Five benefits of simulator testing
November 8, 2022

5 Benefits of Simulator Testing

Mobile Application Testing
Mobile Application Development

Throughout the development cycle of any given app, a lot of time, effort, and care is put into it. The team wants it to perform seamlessly when it is in the public’s hands — but how can you be sure that it will? How can you prepare for unforeseen glitches or crashes? 

Testing your apps with emulators and simulators goes a long way in alleviating those worries. For iOS apps, simulator testing is your go-to option for ensuring an app of the highest quality. To be clear, there are many aspects to consider in creating a high-quality app — simulator testing is a big one. 

There is a time and a place for using real devices, simulators, and emulators. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of using iOS simulator testing for Apple devices, explain when you should use them, and share real stories from Perfecto customers who rely on iOS simulator testing for creating the best apps. 

What Can Simulator Testing Do? What Can It Not Do? 

Right off the bat, the distinction should be made that simulators are for Apple devices and emulators are for Android devices — so you won’t be able to run Android apps through simulator testing. 

What simulators can do is mimic an Apple device’s internal behavior. This means that simulators will replicate the needed iOS and allow your app to function within a realistic environment such as iPhones and iPads. Simulator testing in the iOS environment of a given device is very useful, but there are some limitations that you will not experience with real devices: 

  • Functionality - Some simulators do not expose all the functionality available in a target device, such as the camera or hardware sensors. 
  • Physical Considerations – Simulators cannot test hardware components or real-world user conditions. 

When To Use Simulator Testing 

One of the best times to use simulator testing in the development cycle of your iOS app is during early-stage testing. When used early in the software development life cycle (SDLC), simulators can allow for basic functional testing and enable shift-left testing for the team — creating opportunities to catch issues sooner. Simulator testing is especially helpful for those in the early stages of UI/unit testing, as well as mobile app developers who desire faster app feedback and debugging furing development. 

Another excellent instance to leverage simulator testing is when you need greater access to devices. Simulators can and should be used in tandem with real devices to ensure greater coverage. Simulators can be useful for both the manual and automated audiences: 

  • Manual Testing – Manual testers who are conducting live/manual testing can use simulators to give them more options to test against. 
  • Automated Testing – Those, especially SDETs, who are developing test automation scripts can use simulators to access a wide range of devices. 

Finally, simulators are great tools for test automation development by making it easy to write tests from the IDE against a native iOS platform. And by giving you immediate and access to iOS Beta versions prior to their release on real devices, simulators set your app up for success in preparation for every market update.

5 Benefits of Simulator Testing 

The key here is to use simulators to complement your current testing strategy with real devices. Augment your testing strategy to incorporate both real devices and simulators. Here are five benefits to using this potent testing combination: 

  1. Faster Testing – Using simulator testing as you build your apps allows for instant feedback. 
  2. Cost Savings – Simulators mean you can test your apps sooner in the SDLC, which means you can catch and fix bugs sooner and, therefore, save more money in the long run. 
  3. Scale Your Efforts – Run vast permutations of tests for any and all virtualized scenarios. 
  4. Greater Coverage – By supplementing your real device testing with simulators, you can feel more confident in your testing strategy — Perfecto can be your singular location for all your tests. 
  5. No Maintenance – Perfecto removes the headache of maintaining your simulators by doing it for you. You can leave the system updates to us. 

Simulator Testing Results You Can Bank On 

A Senior Automation Engineer for Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) reached out to Perfecto regarding their mobile testing strategy. By using a combination of Perfecto virtual devices along with real devices, they were able to run their tests in parallel; they successfully tested against approximately 300 different devices. The virtual devices allowed RBC to scale their testing operations and reduce overall time spent testing. 

Additionally, Perfecto’s cloud-based lab allowed RBC’s testing across multiple OS versions. Its online banking team uses it to test different Chrome versions on different OS iterations — a tool they have come to depend on.   

Prior to switching to Perfecto, RBC was using in-house solutions like local simulators. They turned to Perfecto because they were looking for something more flexible and less infrastructure maintenance. 

Bottom Line 

Perfecto is the only testing platform that can be your one-stop testing shop — that means no more patchwork testing strategies because everything you need is in one location. iOS simulators are available in all Perfecto clouds. You can test against iOS 12.x and beyond, so you have greater coverage with both devices and OS iterations. Check out our simulator documentation to learn more. 

Start simulator testing with Perfecto today with a FREE 14-day free trial. 

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