How to test thousands of Android devices -Challenge

How to test thousands of Android devices -Challenge

The Module of Business behind the Android Mobile Platform create huge challenges when we come to test our applications. Our applications will executes on the several hardware platform and the versions of software.

So now the question is how to set our risk management strategy when we come to choose the device to process our testing on?

Ideally our would execute our entire regression test on all the possible variations of the phone models / all android OS version / and all the vendor firmware version.

To get an idea of what you are searching at →

As of the Q3 2011 there are:
  • ~130 different HW module (Without Tablets).
  • 7 Android Platform Version: i.e. 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.0, and the 3.1
  • The vendors firmwares can also vary and can be updated from the time to time -a realistic assumptions would be ~2 firmware per devices.

Therefore in order to do testing all the permutation of the Android Device we are looking at the around 1900 combination:-
= 130 HW devices model x 7 SW OS version x 2 firmware)

Devices full list can be found on →

Needless to tell this is the totally impractical. No mobiles automation engineers can seriously target such a large set of devices.

Solution – Identify the relevant device factor:

Now the question is how to bring down this heavy list of lakhs of Android Devices and select a subset for the testing of all of those?

The important thing when narrowing the identify list which factor of the device might affects our applications behaviour and confirm to cover all the possible permutations of such factor. Tackling the factor instead of the device themselves activates to narrow down to a subset of the say 9 devices and give coverage for the ~90 % of the device.

Following Factors list can affect our behavior of application:
  • Screen Size: Screen side of the devices are the main concern for us, that can execute our app. So the varying of screen sizes are the the huge challenge for Android Testing. Example of Screen Sizes are as follows: HVGA (320×480), WVGA (480×800), FWVGA (480×854), QVGA (240×320) etc.
  • OS Versions of Android: Platform of Android is also changing very fastly. Actually difference of one version to another version is very high i.e. version 1.5 to 2.3 have very high differences. So this is also the very effective challenges.
  • CPU: To process the power mobile device is very sensitive. You can look phone with the single core executing at the 600 MHz to phone that have duel core 1200 Mgz

The Strategy – Combined Commonality and Edge strategy:

How to test thousands of Android devices -Challenge
How to test thousands of Android devices -Challenge

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