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Best Practices for Setting Up and Managing a Mobile Device Lab


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Those who work in quality assurance or as a developer in a larger company, with over 100 employees, may have access to a dedicated set of test devices. It is common to have a couple of devices on your desk at any given time. However, there can be some issues when colleagues ask to borrow a device before you’re finished with it. This may not be a big problem for smaller QA departments or those located far from each other. 

Nevertheless, it can create office tension when devices are returned uncharged or not in the condition they were lent. Charging devices can also be a challenge, especially when testing older Android devices that can take up to 20 minutes to boot up. Waiting for devices to charge can be frustrating, especially when you have limited time between meetings and need to test on older devices.

While a device cloud with a large set of real devices can be a strong solution, manual testing is sometimes necessary, and organizations of a certain size recognize the importance of ready availability. If your organization is reaching this point, here are some effective tips for setting up and managing a mobile device lab.

Is It Important to Conduct Mobile App Tests on Mobile Device Labs?

Conducting mobile app tests on mobile device labs is extremely important for ensuring the quality and functionality of a mobile application. Mobile devices come in various shapes, sizes, and configurations, and testing on a diverse range of devices is crucial to ensure that the app works as intended across all platforms.

Using a mobile device lab allows developers and testers to test their app on a wide range of real devices with different hardware specifications, screen sizes, operating systems, and versions. This enables them to identify and fix any issues or bugs that may arise on specific devices or operating systems, and ensure that the app works smoothly and seamlessly for all users.

Moreover, testing on a mobile device lab can also help save time and resources. By testing on real devices rather than simulators or emulators, developers and testers can accurately replicate real-world scenarios and user experiences. This can help to identify any usability or compatibility issues that may not be apparent in a simulated environment, and help ensure a better overall user experience.

Are There Any Challenges Associated with Setting Up a Mobile Device Lab?

There are several challenges to setting up a mobile device lab for testing mobile applications. One of the most significant challenges is the cost of acquiring and maintaining the devices, especially for smaller organizations or startups with limited budgets. Depending on the number of devices required, the cost can be quite substantial.

Managing a large number of mobile devices can be challenging, especially when updates and maintenance are required. It can be time-consuming and labor-intensive to ensure that all devices are updated and maintained regularly. A mobile device lab requires physical space to store and maintain the devices, as well as the appropriate infrastructure, such as charging stations, racks, and security systems.

Mobile devices contain sensitive information, and it’s crucial to ensure that they are kept secure and protected from theft or unauthorized access. This may require additional security measures, such as surveillance cameras, alarm systems, or access controls.

Steps To Set Up a Mobile Testing Lab

Setting up a mobile testing lab involves several steps. Here is a general guide to help you get started:

  1. Define your testing requirements: Determine the types of mobile devices you will need to test your application. Consider screen size, operating system version, and device hardware specifications.
  2. Acquire the necessary equipment: Purchase the mobile devices you will be testing on. You may also need accessories such as charging stations, cables, and storage solutions.
  3. Choose a location: Find a suitable location for your mobile testing lab. It should be a secure and controlled environment with minimal distractions and noise.
  4. Set up your workspace: Configure your workspace with appropriate furniture, lighting, and network connectivity. You will need a reliable internet connection to download and test your application.
  5. Install necessary application: Install the necessary application to manage and test your mobile devices. You may need tools such as mobile device management (MDM) application, mobile application management (MAM) application, or mobile testing frameworks.
  6. Develop a testing plan: Create a testing plan that outlines the test cases you will perform, the devices you will use, and the expected outcomes. This plan should be continually updated as new devices and operating systems are released.
  7. Begin testing: Start testing your application on the mobile devices in your lab. Document your findings and make adjustments as necessary.
  8. Maintain your lab: Regularly maintain your mobile testing lab by updating application, replacing devices, and ensuring that your workspace remains organized and clean.

Remember that setting up a mobile testing lab requires a significant investment of time and resources. However, having a dedicated testing environment can help you ensure that your application works as intended on a variety of mobile devices, leading to better user experiences and higher customer satisfaction.

What Can You Do to Manage a Mobile Device Lab?

Are you wondering how to manage a mobile test platform to ensure optimal results? Here are some tips for managing a mobile device lab:

  1. Create a device inventory: Keep track of all the mobile devices you have in your lab, including their make, model, and operating system version. This will help you ensure that you have the devices you need for testing and prevent duplicate purchases.
  2. Develop a testing schedule: Plan out a regular testing schedule that ensures each device is tested on a regular basis. This will help you catch bugs and issues early and ensure that your application works across different devices.
  3. Establish device management policies: Develop policies for device usage, security, and maintenance. This includes ensuring that devices are charged and stored properly, that data is wiped from devices when they are returned, and that devices are regularly updated with the latest operating system and security patches.
  4. Use mobile device management (MDM) application: MDM application can help you manage and secure your devices remotely. It can also help you distribute apps and updates to devices, monitor device usage, and track device location.
  5. Create a testing checklist: Develop a testing checklist that includes all the key steps to be performed when testing an application on a mobile device. This can help ensure that all necessary tests are performed consistently across all devices.
  6. Prioritize devices: Prioritize testing on devices that are most commonly used by your target audience. This will help you ensure that your application is optimized for the devices your customers are most likely to use.
  7. Keep up-to-date with new devices: Stay on top of new device releases and consider adding them to your lab as needed. This will help you ensure that your application is optimized for the latest devices and operating systems.

Overall, managing a mobile test platform requires careful planning, organization, and attention to detail. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your lab is running smoothly and that your application is tested thoroughly on a variety of devices.

Final Takeaway

Every organization undertaking Mobility projects needs a well-planned strategy for setting up a Mobile Testing Lab. Nowadays, there are numerous options available for setting up a mobile test platform, including in-house labs, private-hosted services, and cost-effective public cloud labs.

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