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Sponsored Review: Testdroid Cloud

August 1, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

Developing apps and games for Android can not only be a lucrative business but, a rewarding hobby. Whether or not you’re looking to make millions or just create something that you have a vision of, Android is a great platform to do it on. Perhaps the best. No matter how good your coding experience is, we all need a little help from time to time and one of Android’s biggest strengths can create headaches: there are so many devices out there. From low-end handsets to cutting edge devices like the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 there are thousands and thousands of devices to target for. Often we hear of apps that behave different on Samsung and HTC devices or that don’t work quite right with Motorola devices. It’s difficult for those starting out because while they might have a Nexus and maybe a phone on contract, other devices are too expensive to purchase. Testdroid Cloud is a service that can simulate these devices and give you feedback on whether or not there are errors to be addressed or little tweaks needed for those devices. It’s a service that has been used by Rovio, PayPal and even SwiftKey. Read on to find out more about it.

Description: Android devices have changed dramatically in the past 4 years and there’s a myriad of hardware configurations and screen resolutions out there. From single-core right the way up to quad-core devices with 256MB of RAM to 2GB. Display resolutions of 480 x 800, 960 x 540, 1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080 – there’s just so much out there. While TouchWiz, Sense et al are great for some consumers, they often get in the way and cause developers real headaches. For instance, developing an app for an HTC phone with Sense might be harder than for a stock device. This is where Testdroid Cloud comes in, with the ability to test your app on 200+ devices in the cloud. You can take a look at screenshots from the devices to see how your app or game looks at different resolutions. Not only that but, you get detailed info of CPU and Memory usages across the test group of devices you’ve chosen. It’s a fantastic way of getting a quick and detailed look at how the app you’re developing runs and looks on devices you might not have access to. You can start your free trial now by heading to www.testdroid.com

How it Works: To get started with Testdroid Cloud head here to sign-up for a free trial. Once you’ve gotten your account all set-up, all you have to do is head to cloud.testdroid.com to log in. When you log in, the home page will show you your past projects below the recently added devices.

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You can create a new project by just heading to the top of the page:

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If you don’t have any APK files to upload, there are some examples that you can take a look at before you’re ready to test out your own app. If you’re looking for a little help, don’t worry, http://help.testdroid.com/ has all of the tutorials and tips you’ll need:

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That’s one of the things I really like about Testdroid Cloud, the interface is easy enough to use and there customer support is great as well. You can send them a quick e-mail or even give them a call if you need to.

Once you’ve decided on what you’re going to test, just upload the APK file. Then there are some options that you can choose from:

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Once you have everything set-up, like your screenshots and language, and the test-run is complete you’ll be able to pore over the results.

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This is just an overview but, you can always go into more detail as well.

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The above image is of the performance tab, and it’s perhaps going to be the most interest to developers. It gives you a quick glance at how well your devices performed on different hardware platforms. With so many manufacturers using different chipsets, processors and GPUs it can be hard to get your app to perform similarly across all devices. Thanks to the myriad of results available to you, Testdroid can help you smooth things out for most devices.

Opinion: I’m no developer but, I’ve tried my best to learn how to program over the years and I know how hard it can be even starting out. Never mind creating the final product, you’ve got to make sure that everything is ready to flip the switch in the Play Store. Being able to test your app across the most popular devices is a real boon, and we’re sure it’ll lead to a lot more happy developers. Launching an app that you’ve spent time and effort on can be daunting but, Testdroid Cloud can be of help, and it’s particularly worth looking into if you’re an independent developer. Even if you don’t have marketing savvy or a budget for it, a quality product will grow on its own through social media. First, you need to get it right – which is how Testdroid can help.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – Everything is quick and easy with Testdroid Cloud, their website is snappy and their results are delivered in a timely manner. 
  • Features (5/5) – What more could you ask for? Testdroid Cloud has it all, from granular information on CPU and Memory usage to load times and more.
  • Theme (4/5) – The website is laid out well, and the dashboard has a UI that enables developers to get the best out of their subscription.
  • Overall (5/5) – Even if you’ve been developing for Android for some time now, we all need a little help, and Testdroid Cloud could be that helping hand you’ve been searching for.

Pros

  • 200+ devices to test run your app before you send out into the Play Store. 
  • Easy to use online interface.
  • Granular information on CPU and Memory Usage – great for finding which devices need some optimization for.
  • Great for independent developers with a small budget for devices.

Cons

  • Might be a little confusing for devs starting out. 
  • It’s not the same as having the devices at your disposal – but who has the money for that?

Conclusion: Testdroid Cloud is a great way to test your app on a great many devices, before you launch the app into the wild, and without having to own all those devices. Even larger developers will know how devices can vary in performance and even compatibility, like HTC devices for example often have quirks others don’t. One particular use I can see for Testdroid Cloud is for those that are developing in certain regions, for instance parts of Europe. They can use Testdroid to target a selection of the most popular devices in the region to make sure they’ll be ready to target that audience at launch. There’s something about being able to look at all the data Testdroid provides that developers are going to love. It’s one thing to create an app, but another to make sure it’s ready for consumption outside of your hands. Testdroid Cloud is a great service that any developer should be using and it’s easy to get started with. Throughout August, Testdroid is giving away double credits. Don’t forget that there is a free trial and you get 15 devices to test your app with for free!

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