Back to Resources


Posted September 28, 2022

What is a Real Device Cloud?

This guide discusses what a real device cloud is and why it’s the best way to test your mobile apps on real devices.


What is a Real Device Cloud?

A real device cloud is a mobile app testing environment that provides instant access to thousands of real iOS, Android, and other mobile devices so app developers and QA testers can test on different device/OS combinations to get real-world feedback and ensure optimal coverage for your organization’s target customers. A real device cloud can integrate with popular mobile testing frameworks like Appium, Espresso, and XCUITest.

Real Devices vs. Physical Devices and On-premise Mobile Devices 

With a remote/hybrid workforce and the ever-evolving mobile device and operating system (OS) landscape, maintaining physical devices or devices on premises can quickly become costly, risky, and unsustainable, negatively affecting mobile app release cycles – and your bottom line.

When most employees were working in the office pre-pandemic, it’s likely that little thought was given to the cost or security of the office device cart. But today, remote/hybrid organizations that still rely on physical and on-premise devices for mobile device testing open themselves up to a host of business risk, including:

  • Increased costs and operational burden from procuring, distributing, maintaining, and updating mobile devices on premises

  • Security and compliance risks when devices are lost, misplaced, or stolen

  • Slower development velocity and release speed due to limited access to devices, inefficient collaboration, and isolated app issues.

  • Increased application risk when bugs escape into production due to insufficient test coverage

Ultimately, your development and QA testing teams need to have the flexibility to work and test remotely without the cost, hassle, or risk of maintaining physical devices or device carts on premises. This is where a real device cloud offers the most advantages for mobile app developers and testers.

What are the Benefits of a Real Device Testing Cloud?

Regardless of whether your company works in the office or in a remote/hybrid arrangement, a cloud-based mobile app testing platform offers many advantages.

  • Instant and secure access anytime, anywhere: Test from anywhere. Your teams can be centrally located, spread out globally, or working from home. No more worrying about stolen competitive data due to lost, misplaced, or stolen devices.

  • Easier scalability: A cloud-based testing platform can scale to support both manual and automated testers running scripts. Developers can get immediate access to clean devices and OS combinations when they need them.

  • Increased team productivity: 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.

  • 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.

  • No maintenance or updates of devices required: Eliminate the pain to maintain 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.

  • 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

When to Use a Real Device Cloud for Mobile App Testing

The ideal mobile testing strategy employs a mix of emulators/simulators and real devices. Emulators and simulators work well for the majority of tests across the pipeline, and gaining a wide testing coverage. While real devices are critical for specific tests that require in-depth testing and to gain a higher degree of confidence in real-world scenarios.

Here’s a quick summary of when to use real devices and emulators and simulators in your testing.

Why Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud?

The Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud provides instant access to thousands of iOS and Android mobile device/OS combinations and test automation frameworks such as Appium, Espresso, and XCUITest, enabling your teams to test securely from anywhere, anytime, on any device/OS combination. In this article and accompanying video, you'll learn how to test push notifications for Android and iOS in the Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud.

With the ability to access to both real devices and emulators/simulators from the Sauce Labs platform, teams can cover the entire breadth of mobile use cases and improve testing speed, accuracy, and efficiency.

Start Testing on the Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud Today

Sign up for a Sauce Labs free trial to start testing your mobile app on real devices today!

© 2023 Sauce Labs Inc., all rights reserved. SAUCE and SAUCE LABS are registered trademarks owned by Sauce Labs Inc. in the United States, EU, and may be registered in other jurisdictions.