test environment for mobile apps
August 8, 2023

How Your Test Environment Affects Your App

Mobile Application Development

As it stands, the Apple Store has 1.96 million apps available for download and the Google Play store has 2.87 million. With mobile apps expected to generate over $935 billion in revenue in 2023, it is safe to say that releasing a superior app free from bugs and glitches is crucial to success in today’s competitive market. 

This is where your test environment comes into play. To ensure that your apps are performing as expected, testing teams must test user experience, functionality, and more prior to the app being released to the public. The only way to do this is to utilize the proper test environment.

This blog will explore the importance of the test environment and how an effective test environment leads to winning mobile applications. 

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What is a Test Environment?

A test environment is the interface that is set up specifically to test an application prior to release. Ideally, the test environment will replicate real world conditions by configuring the correct hardware, software, and operating systems on which the app will run. 


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The Importance of the Test Environment

An app cannot be released onto the public without being thoroughly tested. Even if a beta version of the app is being released, such as the newly-released iOS 17 beta, many rounds of testing still need to be conducted to ensure functionality. These types of testing may include unit, performance, load, and integration testing, among other types of tests. 

These tests must be conducted in a test environment that mimics real world user conditions to ensure efficacy. By testing first in a test environment, testing teams can discover how the app flows, what needs to be adjusted, and where there might still be hidden bugs or glitches. 

When the testing team locates bugs within the test environment, they can address them without affecting real user experience. This is especially important for enterprise organizations, such as banking, finance, or healthcare organizations. Due to the sensitive nature of their data, testers must ensure the app functions correctly prior to working with a user’s healthcare information or money, for example. 


Related Reading: The Benefits of a Superior Software Testing Strategy


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Using Real and Virtual Devices in Your Test Environment

When creating a test environment, testing and dev teams must ensure they are testing on the devices, browsers, and operating systems on which their app will be utilized. Due to the volume of devices, browsers, and operating systems out there, testing and dev teams need to find a way to accurately test on them without overextending their resources. 

To accomplish this, testers should use a combination of real devices and emulators and simulators in their test environment. 

Real Devices

Testing on real devices within your test environment is an important component of the testing process. Testing on real devices within your test environment allows testers to work with conditions such as low battery life or a weak network signal and other negative testing scenarios. Real devices also allow testers to test their app against hardware defects, perform geolocation testing, and more.

Emulators and Simulators

While real devices will always be an important part of the testing process, testing on emulators and simulators, particularly in the early stages of development, is an effective way to speed the mobile application testing process. Testing on virtual devices early on in the software development life cycle allows testers to detect bugs and defects sooner while accessing a broader range of devices. 


Related Reading: Testing Apps on a Simulator vs. Emulator vs. Real Device


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Components of the Test Environment

A successful test environment will contain the following components:

  • The software or application being tested.
  • Test data. 
  • Operating system, browser, and device.
  • Network configuration.
  • Test automation framework (such as Cypress or Selenium).
  • Test scenarios.

These are the basic components of an efficient test environment. In the next section, we will delve into the specifics of different types of test environments. 


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Test Environment Types

While there are certain features, as described in the section above, that comprise an effective test environment, there are variations needed depending on what is being tested. 

Performance Test Environment

A performance test environment is used to verify how the application performs in the real world. When setting up a performance test environment, some key features to consider are the app’s stability, its response time, intuitiveness, compatibility, and more. Performance testing is an umbrella term that includes stress testing, load testing, volume testing, and more. 

Chaos Test Environment

A chaos test environment will introduce stressors or negative aspects to the application being tested. A chaos test environment will show how your app performs under suboptimal conditions and will help testers and dev teams identify where their code is not stable. Chaos testing environments should ideally be run alongside performance testing. 

Security Test Environment

A security test environment is designed to test potential security gaps in an application. These can include vulnerabilities related to confidentiality, privacy policies, and compliance. The goal of a security test environment is to determine areas of an application that may be targeted or are prone to a security breach so that these vulnerabilities can be rectified prior to the launch of the application. 


These are a few of the main test environments that testers and dev teams will utilize to test their application. Within each of these test environments, testing teams must determine with browsers, operating systems, and device types to test against to achieve optimal results.


Related Reading: Test Coverage Guide 


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Bottom Line

Creating an effective test environment is easy with Perfecto. With a virtual device lab consisting of the most popular browsers, operating systems, and platform combinations, as well as real Android and iOS devices, it is no wonder why Perfecto is trusted by over half of Fortune 500 companies.

Perfecto’s test lab includes:

  • Instant access to 3000+ real devices.
  • Test real-world conditions, including network, battery level, device orientation, and more.
  • Get instant access to any new mobile device, platform, and web OS permutation.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Same-day access to new devices and versions.
  • And more.

Take your test environment to the next level by signing up for a free 14-day trial of Perfecto today. 


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