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Using Virtual Devices – All You Need to Know

Technological advancements have led to the internet encompassing almost every aspect of our daily lives. Whether mobile apps or websites, everybody goes online to extract information or complete tasks through different software and tools. It might surprise you that a considerable amount of effort and time goes into constructing a website or app for businesses and ensuring that it’s compatible with the general audience.

In its early stage, any web or mobile device needs to undergo rigorous testing, which can be challenging. This is where virtual devices come in: they enable high-end prototyping and unit testing. Keep reading as we explain what a virtual machine entails, its different types, benefits, and some helpful practices regarding testing mobile apps.

What Is a Virtual Device?

Using Virtual Devices

Virtual devices are software programs that mimic a desktop or a smartphone’s abilities and features. With a virtual device, you can test your app and understand how it will function on real devices. It helps you detect any problems in the software, allowing you to rectify them before scheduling a launch. Modern developers use virtual devices for app testing and websites while developing the product.

Types of Virtual Devices

Now that you know what a virtual device is, let’s look at the most popular types:

1. Emulators

This type of program can replicate the behavior and functionality of another device’s software by letting you execute it on your computer. With emulators, you can use apps that wouldn’t otherwise be operable on your computer. Emulators are typically used for playing video games and running different operating systems, such as placing a Mac operating system on a Windows laptop.

2. Simulators

A simulator software enables you to run specific programs on your computer that are built for a different operating system. They’re more commonly used for iPad and iPhone devices than Android ones. Unlike emulators, they don’t imitate hardware, and you cannot analyze testing operations like battery usage, and cellular interruptions. An iOS virtual machine mimics iOS and runs the required application inside it.

Virtual Devices vs. Physical Devices

If you rely on mobile devices to test, you’ll have to choose between emulators, physical devices, and simulators. Emulators can replicate a device’s hardware, whereas simulators only allow for software duplication. For instance, you’re using an iOS simulator for flight simulation. In that case, the plane’s flight surroundings, journey, mechanics, and operation are all captured through a computer program, illustrating how it will feel when you fly after the training.

Now suppose scientists invent a ‘flight emulator.’ This flight emulator will enable you to visit the necessary destination by flying in real-time. It would be a complex process with barely any difference between an actual and emulated flight, and you’d have to juggle standard airplane operations. Ultimately, whether you pick emulators or simulators depends on the type of application you’re working on.

In contrast, physical devices don’t contain many features supported by emulators and simulators, requiring additional time and cost to be invested in using them. For testing Android apps or software, emulators are typically used because they can easily imitate Android’s hardware and software, while simulators are used for iOS and macOS platforms.

Benefits of Virtual Devices

Utilizing virtual devices for app testing fundamentals comes with numerous benefits. Here are a few:

1. Reduced Costs

Gone are the days when companies spent a huge chunk of their IT budget to support physical servers for hosting mobile and web applications. With virtualization on the rise, you can purchase hefty hardware to manage virtual systems that will cost less. The money left over can be invested into other aspects of your organization, boosting profits and workplace efficiency.

2. It’s More Efficient

When you incorporate virtual devices for testing, maintenance operations have fewer problems and your production environment isn’t forced to suffer. You won’t need downtime during maintenance because these machines enable you to accomplish development processes and simplify web or application testing.

3. Greater Provisions and Eco-Friendly Operations

If your physical server is infiltrated and damaged, it will take a lot of time to replace it. On the other hand, it will only take you a few minutes to recreate a virtual environment. Additionally, since you will be working with a handful of servers, you can save more power. Not only are extra operational expenses cut, but you will also contribute to a better future with a smaller carbon footprint.

Strategies for Testing Mobile Apps

By this point, you probably have a good grip on the concept of testing software and applications using virtual devices. However, all the information you’ve gained will be futile if you don’t know how to apply it. In this section, we’ll discuss various ways you can ensure a compact and seamless testing process:

1. Know Your Application

Unless you completely understand your app’s functionality, you will be unsure which test cases to develop and run to determine whether everything works how you envisioned it. Don’t run application tests blindly because it will cost you time and money.

2. Monitor Operating System Upgrades

If your phone app doesn’t work following an OS upgrade, it will detrimentally affect your brand and, in turn, sales. It’s essential to keep checking for upgrades and maintaining your software accordingly. You can look for OS-device-browser combinations that will allow you to test an application across recommended devices.

3. Usability Testing

A product or service is nothing without its consumers. User experience can make or break your business’s success, making it crucial to be careful when conducting mobile usability testing. Users will always prefer using apps that are easy to navigate, so don’t hesitate to test how the app has been performing and focus on fixing any inconveniences they might be facing.

4. Break Down The Testing Process

Splitting app testing into smaller units and performing individual tests will make the entire testing process easier to execute. You can divide these units in a way where each test focuses on a certain functionality or module of the app. This way, you’ll be able to target all of the app’s aspects and ensure that it works perfectly.


Choosing a virtual device that aligns with your app or website’s features holds the utmost importance because it will help you avoid any limitations in launching or updating your product. By testing your software regularly and in increments, you can bring your vision to life as accurately as possible. If you aren’t already using virtual devices to test your applications, now is the time to invest in them and reap the benefits.

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