Testing on physical devices vs. testing on virtual machines: What’s the difference and which one is the better option?
Many software testing companies and teams are no strangers to device simulators and emulators. They are presented as an affordable, quick way to increase platform coverage. Indeed, virtual machines can be a great option for when you need to test a software application on different devices and platforms that you may not necessarily have physical access to.
However, we will always choose testing on physical devices over even the most high-quality emulators. For this project, we use dozens of smartphones, tablets, and laptops with a wide range of characteristics, operating systems, screen resolutions, and other parameters. We test on flagship devices and older gadgets. Testing on physical devices allows us to:
- Simulate real-user behavior and see the application through the eyes of a user
- Use real-world scenarios for all-encompassing testing
- Notice minor UI, performance, and other issues that are not that easy to notice with virtual devices
- Add a new device to our roster in a matter of seconds, without any lengthy preparation and setup process
- Save time on effective and accurate testing, which results in faster build times
Clearly, testing on physical devices has a lot of advantages over doing it on virtual machines. The difference is especially apparent when it comes to testing an OTT product — a lot of its potential success depends on an engaging UI and positive user experience, and that is something you can only test in full with a roster of physical devices.
Automating OTT testing: How and why to do it?
Automated testing has a lot of potential when it comes to OTT products. It saves time and resources on tests that need to be run every day — for example, to execute full regression testing with maximum efficiency. Automating tests allows us to spot critical bugs in the early stages of testing. This includes functional parameters, UI parameters, and a few other essential aspects of QA.
Our team is also proficient in testing automation and actively uses tools like Selenium, TeamCity, and Appium to cover more of our testing needs in less time with Java as our main programming language for automating the tests. Over the years, we have been involved both in web and mobile testing automation. For example, there are 1,250 tests run automatically just for the web version of the product every day, and it would take a manual QA approximately a month to cover all of them.
Moreover, we use automation testing to process system reports more efficiently. Automated tests help us make sure that a report is created and sent correctly after it’s triggered by a specific user action. In the near future, we are also planning to launch automated localization testing — because the product is available in 11 different languages, automated localization tests are the most efficient way to verify the compliance of the app with local language requirements.
However, there is one thing we discovered in the course of testing the product for more than nine years: a combination of manual and automated testing is the one that delivers the strongest results. Automated testing follows the same sequence of steps time after time, whereas with manual testing we can quickly react to possible changes. Manual testing requires us to use our analytical skills and set the right priorities. So it’s not the question of whether manual or automated testing is right for a project — it’s a question of combining both for a winning strategy.
What helps us be good at testing OTT products
Here at TestFort, we firmly believe that in order to be good at something, you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. And in the case of this project, which largely has to do with music, the stars aligned perfectly, as the team working on it is an exceptionally musical one. There are musicians, DJs, and music aficionados who use the app on a daily basis. As active users of the app, and not just detached QA engineers, we are able to evaluate the user experience more effectively and make a real difference in the quality of the product.
Another integral component of our work and the thing that helps us excel in testing the product is how well we are gelled as a team. We know that teamwork is sometimes viewed as a tired buzzword in the tech world, but it’s genuinely the best way to describe our modus operandi.
We started out working from the same office, and even though that has not been the case for over two years — first due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and then due to the war — we continue fostering an open and effective relationship within the team. And it’s not just work-related — it’s also personal.
From daily meetings with cameras for better communication to encouraging each other’s hobbies and interests, we are convinced that the better we communicate as a team, the better we are at our job. And the results of our work over nine years only confirm it. To help with fostering strong relationships within the team, we also have a virtual coffee break room, which is always open to those who want to catch up with their colleagues and discuss anything in the world.
OTT software products have a huge potential and are one of the fastest growing tech industries. And we at TestFort are well-equipped for the inevitable dominance of OTT technology. We know what an OTT application needs to win over the right kind of audience and how to bring the quality of the product from good to great. Entrust testing of your OTT application to us and expect to be absolutely satisfied with the results!