Device Farms: Scaling Mobile App Testing

As mobile phones have taken center in today’s developing world, the need for an efficient mobile app is also increasing. When it comes to mobile apps, they are judged on their performance, ease of use, security, speed, and features. In such an environment, users prefer jumping to the next app. So to have a well-functioning mobile app is essential. This can be achieved through testing.

DevOps engineers and mobile software developers face challenges during version rollouts and deployments. Software applications must run smoothly across various devices for a deployment to be successful. Therefore, utilizing device farms ensures the ultimate enhanced user experience and smooth version rollouts.

This article discusses device farms, their features, and benefits, as well as scaling of mobile app testing using device farms, steps for testing on device farms, and the challenges faced while testing mobile apps on device farms and how device farms overcome them.

Understanding device farms

Device farms are collections of mobile devices or simulators in the cloud. Device farms enable testers or developers to assess the functionality and performance of their apps simultaneously, across a broad range of operating systems and devices. Device farms make it easy to evaluate the performance of an application on several device types and configurations.

It is important because users may operate applications on a broad range of devices and it may behave differently on different devices. By running tests across various devices, testers can ensure the proper working of the applications or detect any unexpected problems.

Developers could run tests across multiple devices by installing or obtaining each device they want to test themselves. However, that would be costly and time-consuming. A diversity of devices are available and setting up each device locally to run tests is impossible.

To resolve these issues, device farm allows its users to connect their applications to a broad number of devices over the network. It also eliminates the need to purchase the devices and manage them.

Mobile App Testing

Features of device farms

Device farms typically offer the following:

  • Test automation framework- Device farms allow testers to create and run automated tests on the devices. It integrates with famous test automation platforms like LambdaTest and Appium.
  • Security and privacy- Device farms offer secure data transfer, data isolation, and secure data storage. It ensures the security and seclusion of the applications and data being tested.
  • Billing and pricing- Device farms provide a pricing model that allows customers to pay for the usage of devices on a monthly or hourly basis. The payment depends on the usage requirements.
  • Collaborating and reporting- Device farms provide collaboration features. These features allow testers and developers to work collectively, discuss issues, and share results. It also provides detailed reporting including test results, screenshots, and device logs.
  • Device management- Device farms manage several mobile devices, providing access to different versions of operating systems, types of mobile devices, and configurations. Configuration and maintenance of the devices allow testers to focus on testing.

Overall device farms offer a scalable and cost-effective solution for mobile app testing, providing access to several devices, and reducing the need for purchasing and maintaining physical devices. They also provide features like test automation, security and privacy, collaborating, reporting, and device management ensuring an efficient and effective testing process.

Benefits of using device farms

During software development using device farms provides several benefits. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Device farms allow testers to perform parallel testing. This enables several test cases to execute simultaneously on various devices. This concurrent execution minimizes testing time, quickens the feedback loop, and maximizes the delivery speed.
  • Device farms automatically record extensive images, test logs, and other data. The coherent data simplifies the debugging process. This helps the engineers fix and find issues rapidly.
  • Incorporating a device farm into app testing can help alleviate difficulties presented by device scalability, variability, and testing efficiency.
  • Testing procedures can be automated by integrating a device farm with the CI pipeline. This enhances testing accuracy and frees up the time to work on formidable projects.
  • Thorough testing on a device farm enables teams to identify and fix bug problems before the app is made available to the users.
  • Device farms eliminate the need to maintain a wide collection of physical devices on testing as they operate in a cloud-based platform. Testers can easily scale their testing efforts up or down without heavy spending.
  • Device farms reduce the need to handle actual devices physically. Remote device access through the cloud has made the testing easier, as the team can communicate with devices from any location.

What is mobile app testing?

Mobile app testing involves testing a mobile app for its usability, consistency, and functionality before it is released. Testing mobile apps verifies whether the app meets expected requirements.

Mobile app testing increases business outreach to users across the world. If mobile apps are not tested there is a high chance of encountering bugs. To ensure a successful mobile app testing the testers require testing on different operating system versions, screen resolutions, and distinct network bandwidths.

Scaling mobile app testing using device farms

The benefits offered by device farms make it a fitting option for testing mobile apps. Access to a broad range of devices makes mobile testing much more efficient and accurate. However, testing the behavior of mobile apps using simulation of devices may result in overlooking some aspects. This might also result in bugs being excavated on physical devices. This gives an idea of real-life conditions in which the device might operate.

Device farms let testers verify the efficiency and reliability of their apps on different real devices. Using device farms helps maintain physical devices easily, providing a cloud-based infrastructure. This frees up the developers and lets them concentrate on improving their applications. It is a key asset that supports the development of high-quality apps.

Using device farms, testers can check the app’s behavior to see battery consumption, behavior in case of low battery, network bandwidth requirements, and interactions with device features like Bluetooth or GPS.

Since maintaining and purchasing devices is executable, testers can collaborate and increase the output. Testing on multiple devices simultaneously and adding devices to the pool for testing also becomes easy in this case.

Steps for testing on device farms

Mentioned below are the steps software testers can use to get started with device farms:

Select device

First, the testers must select from a given varied range of devices. The devices can be tablets, smartphones, or other devices on a cloud platform like device farms.

Choose the type of testing

Device farms provide various testing options including custom and built-in testing. Custom testing offers freedom to developers when testing business logic, particular processes, and situations within the application. Built-in testing offers preconfigured tests that testers can use without writing new scripts.

This is useful for quick and initial analysis of application behavior. Custom tests involve more work to maintain and build in against built-in testing. However, custom testing offers better control and accuracy in judging the application’s behavior.

Choose Configuration

Choosing configuration for tests provides options for the network setup, location simulation, preferred language, etc.

Generate reports

The testers need to generate reports once the testing is completed. The immediate reports include device behavior, test results, screenshots, performance data, and logs.

Analyse reports

The last step is to analyze the reports to learn the application’s performance under different conditions. The report helps identify issues, inconsistencies, or crashes during the tests.

Challenges faced during testing and how device farms help in overcoming them

Device connectivity

Problems with device connectivity may occur during testing. This might compromise the validity of the result. Device farms provide testers the ability to simulate network situations and connectivity.

Device variability

Ensuring the compatibility and performance of an application across varied devices is complex. Developers must consider different screen sizes, hardware capabilities, resolutions, and operating system’s behavior. Device farms facilitate this by providing testers access to several emulators and real devices.


Building, maintaining, and scaling physical devices for testing can be expensive. To tackle this problem device farms provide a sustainable option by hosting many devices on a cloud-based infrastructure.

Leveraging LambdaTest device farm for mobile app testing

Device farms can be integrated with testing platforms, allowing for automated testing and deployment. This helps to streamline the deployment process and ensure that code ranges are tested thoroughly on a broad range of devices. One such platform is LambdaTest.

LambdaTest supports many device farm features like integration of native developer tools, and testing locally hosted apps, improving the inclusivity and usability of web applications by leveraging LambdaTest’s accessibility testing capabilities. Additionally, it helps to upload files in formats like PDF, doc, docx, etc, using cloud storage services like Google Drive and accessing them remotely.

LambdaTest is an AI-powered mobile app testing platform used for manual and automated testing of web and mobile applications. This platform allows testers to perform real-time and automation testing by providing access to more than 3000 environments, real mobile devices, and browsers online.

Additionally, LambdaTest is highly reliable and secure and provides users with test browsers for performing automated cross browser testing. The users can easily analyze their test runs and send reports with the help of its handy reporting features and detailed integration. They can even record videos of complex bugs and share them.

This platform also allows users to speed up the testing process by running parallel testing. It includes many features like a highly scalable cloud infrastructure and offers high execution speed and fast automated screenshots.


In conclusion, device farms offer a structured means of mobile app testing. They are important for quality assurance teams to ensure compatibility and performance, providing advanced access and capabilities to physical devices. Since testing mobile apps can be challenging, device farms ensure a marvelous mobile app and speed up application delivery timelines when combined with good testing tools.

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