If you’ve ever tried to developed a mobile app or website you probably know how frustrating it can be to think what you made is ready to go, only to take it for a spin on a new device in a new environment and find that something is broken. It happens a lot, and Amazon wants to help alleviate some of that frustration with its new AWS Device Farm.
AWS Device Farm in short gives developers the ability to run their Android applications on a wide range of the newest devices packing the latest OS versions, without actually having any of the devices in their possession. And if this sounds familiar to you, it’s because Amazon already has another similar offering called App Testing Service which while at first glance appears to be the same thing, is vastly different in that it simulates the behavior of real devices. The difference is that with real devices, developers can test their apps against scenarios that actually happen in the real world – intermittent cellular connections, modifications done to software by carriers and manufacturers, and more. Also, due to licensing and ownership restrictions, it’s not easy to get simulators for many popular consumer devices like those from Samsung or HTC.
“For mobile app developers, delivering high-quality apps across all of the different device and OS combinations is a major effort – it’s time consuming, complicated, and expensive. And, as new devices continue to enter the market, developers are looking for an easier way to build and test across them,” said Marco Argenti, Vice President, AWS for the company’s release. “AWS Device Farm gives developers a very simple and cost-effective way to test the real user experience of their apps across multiple device types at scale.”
After a developer uploads their app and chooses which devices to test against from Amazon’s catalog, the built-in test suite will test against common customer scenarios and then return a comprehensive report with identical errors reported across multiple devices grouped together. The reports include logs, device screenshots, and performance data so issues can be pinned down quickly. And for those wary about handing over their pre-release apps to a third-party who may or may not have tough security to prevent against things getting out, Amazon says that devices running tests are isolated – meaning that no other apps are simultaneously being tested on the same device – and apps are wiped immediately after each test is finished.
The first 250 device testing minutes are absolutely free, and $0.17 per device minute after that. For developers who expect to do a lot of testing, unmetered testing goes for $250 per month.