Starting today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be offering app developers the opportunity to test their apps across a range of real mobile devices, announced Amazon CTO Werner Vogels at the AWS Summit conference in New York.
Amazon thus joins Google in leaping into the business of providing real mobile device testing online. These tech giants recognize that existing methods of testing websites and apps – like using an emulator or building your own device farm apps – are woefully inadequate.
In testing apps, just like testing mobile-responsive websites, digital marketing pros face a major bottleneck. According to Amazon’s Vice President Marco Argenti, “Delivering high-quality apps across all of the different device and OS combinations is a major effort — it’s time consuming, complicated, and expensive.”
AWS provision of online testing on real devices joins the efforts of other tech firms, such as Mobile1st, in offering fast, easy access to a bank of actual smart phones and tablets. Online device farms “removes the logistics and expense of maintaining a test lab” and offer more accurate results than so-called emulator testing, with their myriad defects.
With its online device farms, Amazon says, marketing professionals and app and website builders “can focus on delivering the best experience to their customers without getting caught up in the complexity and expense of designing, deploying, and operating their own device farms.”
AWS’ device farm will feature Android and Fire OS smartphones and tablets that are accessible online but located in Amazon data centers. Developers can simply upload their Android or Fire OS application and select from a catalog of devices. Then, developers can configure AWS Device Farm’s built-in test suite to verify functionality with no scripting required.
Amazon also announced its pricing with a free tier and a flat monthly price tier. Its free tier offers “250 device minutes” (a total of 250 minutes distributed how you choose among devices tested). Its flat tier is a $250/month per device. In contrast, Mobilizer costs a flat $49/month for unlimited testing on all 14 devices.
While the AWS device farm focuses on apps and just the Android and Fire operating systems, Mobilizer, also cover iOS and is intended for the testing of mobile-responsive websites. Beyond mere testing, Mobilizer offers device-level metrics on performance and conversion rates. Those analytics empower digital marketer pros to optimize the performance of their mobile-friendly sites, increasing customer engagement and sales.
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