Why replace an Android emulator for iOS with Real Devices?
By Kitakabee, Community Contributor - February 15, 2023
Let’s begin with a basic question.
What’s an Android emulator?
An Android emulator is a software program that allows you to simulate the Android environment. This enables the developers to test their apps on a computer before deploying them to actual devices.
Developers and QAs often prefer using emulators for testing apps across platforms. This helps them test and analyze the behavior of the apps when used on cross platforms such as Android or iOS. In some instances, teams also search for Android emulators that can run on iOS. This drives us to an important question:
Can an Android emulator be used on iOS?
The simple answer is No. An Android emulator cannot be used on iOS. An Android emulator is specifically designed to run Android apps on a computer, while iOS devices run iOS applications and do not support Android apps natively.
What’s the issue with using an Android emulator for iOS?
Teams need to bear in mind the following:
Third-party apps iAndroid, and ApowerMirror that claim to allow Android apps to run on iOS are often unreliable and may not work as intended. So it’s best to avoid them. Moreover, they are unsuitable for conducting a comprehensive test for your apps.
iOS and Android are two different operating systems and are incompatible with each other. Hence it is not possible to use an Android emulator on an iOS device. Emulators are software that allows one operating system to run on another, but it’s impossible in this case. You can learn more about it here.
What is the best Alternative for Android Emulators for iOS?
An alternative solution to run Android apps on iOS is to use a remote access service, such as Remote Desktop or TeamViewer, to remotely access an Android device and control it from your iOS device. However, this requires you to have access to a separate Android device to use it.
Another compelling alternative is to use a cloud-based testing platform like BrowserStack. It allows you to run Android apps on the desired devices directly through a web browser regardless of the operating system you use.
Additionally, its real device cloud allows you to perform real-time testing, giving you the ability to interact with your app in real time on the desired device. This allows you to quickly identify and resolve any bugs or compatibility issues that may arise.
Note that this is a virtual testing experience, and you need to have a good internet connection to use it.
Why Replace an Android Emulator for iOS with Real Devices
As mentioned initially, Third-party iOS apps that claim to allow Android apps to run on iOS are often unreliable. Moreover, using such emulators, one can face the following:
- Compatibility issues: Many Android apps are not optimized for iOS devices and may not work as intended when run through an emulator.
- Performance degradation: Emulating an operating system on another device requires significant processing power, which can slow down the device’s overall performance and affect the user experience.
- Security concerns: Running Android apps on an iOS device through an emulator can expose the device to potential security threats in the Android ecosystem.
- Complex setup: Setting up an Android emulator on an iOS device is complex and may require technical skills.
Considering all the facts listed above, it is ideal to replace Android emulators with a real device cloud. Using a real device cloud will allow you to test Android apps on the desired Android device-OS combinations in real conditions, regardless of the OS you use. Besides, it offers a bunch of other benefits. Learn more about it in the section below.
Benefits of Using a Real Device Cloud for Testing Android Apps
Using a real device cloud offers the following key benefits:
- Real-world testing: A real device cloud allows you to test your app on a wide range of real devices, giving you a better understanding of how it will perform in the hands of your users.
- Increased coverage: Testing on a variety of devices and configurations can help ensure that your app works correctly on different screen sizes, resolutions, and hardware specifications.
- Reduced cost: With a real device cloud, you don’t need to purchase and maintain an extensive collection of physical devices, which can be expensive.
- Scalability: A real device cloud allows you to quickly scale up or down your testing resources as needed, providing you with the flexibility to handle large and complex testing tasks.
- Access to the latest devices: BrowserStack’s Real device cloud provides the latest devices for testing, such as iPhone 14, and Google Pixel 7, which can be helpful in ensuring that your app is compatible with the latest hardware and software.
- Remote access: Test on devices from anywhere. No need to physically access the device.
- Continuous Integration: Real Device Cloud allows you to perform Continuous Integration Automated testing and integration with CI/CD pipeline.
- Concurrent testing: You can Test multiple devices at the same time with parallel testing saves time and resources.
Replace Android emulators on iOS with BrowserStack’s Real Devices
Considering the overall benefits, replacing emulators with a real device cloud is the best decision teams can make.
Here’s where platforms like BrowserStack make it extremely easy for teams to test across 3000+ devices-OS combinations.
To begin Android app testing on real devices using BrowserStack, one needs to:
- Sign up for free on BrowserStack.
- Upload your app ( .apk file) from your system or directly download it through Playstore. Learn how to upload .aab, .apk, and .ipa files.
- After uploading the app, choose the desired device for debugging/testing purposes (Samsung S22, in this case).
- An App-live session begins immediately once you select the device. The image below represents an App-Live session on Samsung S22.
After the session starts, your test app is instantly downloaded and installed. You can immediately start testing and interacting with the app’s UI just the way you would on a real handset.
Adopting a real device cloud allows mobile QA teams to test in real environments. It helps teams to yield accurate test results. With this Android emulator alternative, QAs also get access to the following features:
- Perform Geolocation testing for apps
- Record test sessions for enhanced reporting
- Test apps in Portrait and landscape mode
- Test the performance of apps in poor network conditions
- Conduct screenshot testing of apps for security concerns
- Test the app’s behavior in different languages.
With an extensive test infrastructure available at their fingertips, teams can improve their test coverage and release apps faster.
Additionally, BrowserStack also empowers developers and QA to run automated app tests across desired devices using leading app automation frameworks like XCUITest, and Appium. The integration of automation frameworks allows QAs to run numerous test cases concurrently on the desired platforms. Naturally, this helps QA teams reduce the overall testing time and fix critical bugs faster.
Furthermore, teams can significantly cut down on app release time as the real device cloud is compatible with leading CI/CD tools like Jenkins, TeamCity, Circle CI, and Travis CI.
Given, the number of features teams can leverage using a real device cloud like BrowserStack. They are bound to meet maximum test coverage without the need for using third-party emulators. Besides, teams also save significant time and investments required for setting up device labs.
- It is not suitable to use third-party emulators for testing Android apps on iOS. iOS and Android are two different operating systems.
- Adopting BrowserStack’s real device cloud as an alternative to an Android emulator for iOS makes it extremely convenient for teams to test applications on the desired device-OS combination regardless of the operating system you use.
- A real device cloud empowers you to achieve accurate test results and roll out market-ready apps faster.
Simply Signup > upload your apps > choose the desired device, and start testing from anywhere in the world.