Looks like nothing can stop the mobile market from growing even bigger. Though handset manufacturers have seemingly produced all the type of devices people would ever want to use, new devices are still springing up now and then, featuring multiple mobile OS and designs far beyond the standard ones.
At the same time, software development companies are trying hard not to miss a chance to join in this mobile trend and produce a couple of their own mobile apps. However, where there’s a chance, there are always risks, and the ever-growing number of mobile configurations is the biggest one for such companies. Thorough mobile application testing nowadays just takes too many devices and developers are turning to emulators in order to cut costs and simplify the testing process.
But are you sure you’ll catch all the device-based bugs and be safe from user frustration in such a way?
These are 4 good reasons why you should think about going back to real devices while testing your apps, as these issues can affect your app user experience in the first place:
- You don’t take all possible user interactions into account.
Emulators can’t test every type of stimulis or user interactions. For example, if a device requires a finger on the device’s screen, you won’t have those on an emulator having just a mouse and a keyboard, whereas a real device provides you with a true-to-life user environment. Besides, some interactions such as zooming, pinching and scrolling can differ greatly across the touchscreens, so there’s no way you can test such things effectively using an emulator.
- You can’t predict real occurrences without real devices.
Some events possible only on real devices, such as battery consumption, Interrupts or charger effects on the app performance and usage, can be simulated on emulators, but they won’t be real situations in any way.
- You may find performance too tricky to test on emulators.
Mobile application performance testing is an absolute priority for your users’ happiness. When you are using a simulated environment to do it, the results have high chances to prove unrealistic and almost meaningless afterwards while, with actual devices, it’s easy to expose possible performance lags.
- You can’t guarantee consistent results.
Finally, you can’t expect the results from the emulator to be the same as from the real device as, due to the absence of a real-life environment, the emulator won’t take into account such factors as Internet connection, desktop setup, file system, graphics capability, etc.
These UX issues demonstrate that successful testing of real user experience can be achieved only with real devices. What’s your opinion?