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Posted March 22, 2024

6 Benefits of a Real Device Cloud vs. Physical/On-Premises Real Devices for Mobile App Testing

Some mobile app development teams today are still dealing with the challenges of maintaining physical/on-premises real devices for mobile app testing. This blog post makes the case for moving real device testing to the cloud.


Remember The Before Times in early 2020, when most of us were commuting to the office every day? We hardly remember it either. But if there's one thing we can't forget, it's the pain of managing on-premise real devices for mobile app testing.

We don't want to trigger anyone, but do the following hassles of the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to managing physical/on-premises devices for real device testing sound familiar?

  • Not being able to fully automate mobile app testing because of limitations with physical/on-premises real devices

  • Not having guaranteed access to the devices you need due to resource sharing

  • Replacing lost, damaged, or stolen devices

  • Waiting days for a remote device to be restored after it locks or crashes

  • Spending hours each week installing OS updates on every device

  • Wasting hours testing the wrong version of an app because it wasn’t updated across all devices

  • Further delaying releases to production because of the complexity of setting up an entire build pipeline

We'll stop there.

With so many device models and OS/browser versions out there and new ones always on the horizon, maintaining physical/on-premises real devices can be a seemingly endless chore with no end in sight.

However, some mobile app development teams today are still maintaining devices on-premises, shipping devices to remote employees, or building centralized device labs. Fortunately for these teams, cloud mobile testing is here to save the day.

Real Device Cloud vs. Physical/On-Premises (DIY) Real Device Testing

First, let's make sure we understand the difference between a real device cloud and the DIY approach of maintaining physical/on-premises real devices.

A real device cloud is a mobile app testing environment that provides on-demand access to real iOS, Android, and other mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Mobile app development and QA teams can test their apps on different device/OS combinations to get real-world feedback and ensure optimal coverage for their organization’s target customers. 

Like real devices on premise, cloud-based real devices run tests on actual phone hardware and software. However, the key difference is that cloud-based devices are housed on a vendor’s premises and are accessed remotely by sending test scripts to the devices over the web. These scripts are executed on the devices, and test results are sent back in the form of detailed logs, error reports, screenshots, and recorded video.

6 Benefits of a Real Device Cloud for Mobile App Testing

Whether your company works on-site in the office or in a remote/hybrid arrangement, a real device cloud for mobile testing offers many advantages for mobile app developers and testers, including:

1. Secure access anytime, anywhere: Test from anywhere. Get immediate access to clean devices and the device/OS combinations you need, when you need them.

2. Automated testing support: A real device cloud can support both manual and automated testing

3. Increased team productivity and collaboration: With everything needed for mobile app testing in one place, distributed development and QA teams can more quickly and easily share test results and collaborate on resolving application issues.

4. Expanded device coverage: Test your native and hybrid apps across a wide range of Android and iOS devices. A cloud-based testing platform provides your teams with immediate access to a broader mix of devices.

5. No maintenance or updates required: Eliminate the pain of maintaining physical and on-premises devices. You don’t need to worry about ensuring the right device mix, or dealing with the complexity of constant device, OS, or browser updates.

6. Accelerated test execution: Run larger volumes of real device tests with low error rates.

On-Premise Real Device Testing

Cloud-based Real Device Testing




High Parallelism

Team Productivity

Error Monitoring & Analysis Across the SDLC

Real User Conditions



Beta Testing

A cloud-based mobile testing strategy is more cost-effective, scalable, agile, and easier to implement than one that depends on an on-premises infrastructure.

Sounds good, right?

The Solution: The Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud

The Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud provides instant access to the most extensive range of iOS and Android devices, new/beta OS's, and popular test automation frameworks such as Appium, Espresso, and XCUITest. You can test your mobile apps securely from virtually anywhere, anytime, and on any device/OS combination.

Sign up for a Sauce Labs free trial to start testing your mobile apps on real devices in the cloud today.

Mar 22, 2024
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