What Is Real Device Testing and Why Is It Important?

Posted by Enconnex Team on February 16, 2021

Organizations in a wide range of industries are rolling out mobile apps to meet the needs and demands of their customers. In today’s fast-paced, highly competitive environment, these apps tend to evolve quickly to meet changing requirements. Developers need an effective strategy for testing new versions of their apps across multiple devices and operating systems to ensure quality and usability.

As the name implies, real device testing is the process of testing an app or website on various devices. Software developers will buy multiple models of devices and place them in a lab to test an app’s functionality. Depending on the application, real device testing could also be used for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, networking equipment, and other hardware.

One of the challenges is that testers need to isolate the various devices so that their wireless signals don’t interfere with one another. Given that the quantity of devices needed for testing is very high (typically hundreds or even thousands of devices), lab managers need to carefully manage limited space and ensure proper cooling for equipment.


Methods of Mobile App Testing

The mobile device market is crowded with a plethora of different devices. While Apple has produced just 12 different iPhone models with slight variations, the Android market is highly diverse. Mobile analytics firm Opensignal has estimated that there are more than 24,000 different Android smartphones and tablets.

That’s just the hardware — the operating system version also influences how an app works. On average, mobile users upgrade to the latest operating system once a month, but users with older devices may not be able to upgrade. While it would be impossible to test all the possible variations, developers should at least test their apps against the most widely used devices.

There are emulators that mimic the behavior of device hardware and software. There are also simulators that enable an application to run on a device’s operating system. Simulators are primarily used for iOS devices. While emulators and simulators can reduce the cost of testing, this approach leaves a lot to be desired. Testing using simulators and emulators tends to be slow, and the testing software sometimes has bugs. Additionally, the behavior of devices often varies in real-life circumstances.


Using an RF-Shielded Rack for Real Device Testing

Developers wanting to conduct real device testing will need to shield the devices to prevent wireless signal interference. The DefenseShield™ Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Hardened Enclosure from Enconnex is the ideal solution for this use case. DefenseShield effectively attenuates radio frequencies from 1MHz to 18GHz, which covers signals generated by Wi-Fi, cellular, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and other wireless technologies. It optimizes lab space by supporting up to 1,000 devices along with computing, storage, networking, and power resources in a single 42U rack.

DefenseShield’s RF attenuation capabilities come from galvanized metal coated with special copper-lined paint. Because cooling is a top concern as density increases, DefenseShield incorporates 10 fans that provide more than 10kW of cooling capacity. The fans are also coated with the metal alloy paint and meshed with a copper and nickel material that allows air to pass through while minimizing RF interference.

Real device testing is the most effective way of ensuring that a mobile app or application will perform well in actual use. The Enconnex DefenseShield EMC Hardened Enclosure facilitates real device testing by preventing RF signal interference and providing dense, scalable support for thousands of devices in the testing lab.

Posted by Enconnex Team on February 16, 2021

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