How to Run Android Apps in a Browser
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - June 7, 2021
Having captured more than 72% of the global mobile OS market share, Android continues to dominate the mobile OS landscape. Needless to say, a significant number of users run Android apps for various purposes (social media, bill payments, travel bookings, etc). Any app seeking to be remotely successful must work flawlessly on Android.
Rolling out robust apps for a leading mobile operating system demands comprehensive testing of apps across numerous device-OS versions. This, in turn, demands an inclusive on-premise mobile device lab that enables developers and QAs to test their mobile apps at scale.
However, it’s not feasible for every organization to set up such device labs as it requires huge investments.
This article addresses this challenge by describing an alternate solution that allows teams to run Android apps on real devices directly in a browser.
Running Android Apps in a Browser
An ideal alternative to using a mobile device lab is to opt for a cloud-based testing platform that offers app testing on real devices directly in web browsers.
BrowserStack’s real device cloud provides teams and individuals with a comprehensive test infrastructure to remotely test apps on desired Android devices.
QAs can test their Android app directly through a browser on real handsets from popular vendors like Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, Pixel, etc. They don’t need to worry about any complex setup or configurations.
Follow the steps below to run Android apps in a browser on your PC
- Signup for a free trial for Browserstack App-Live.
- Once the App-live dashboard opens up, click on the Uploaded apps section.
- Click on the Upload button and upload the Android app (APK file) to be tested.
- Select the desired Android handset to test the app on. (Let’s consider testing on Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in this example). Refer to the image below for more clarity on the process.
- Clicking on the desired handset will initiate a new App-Live session on the desired handset.
- The selected APK file is downloaded and installed on the chosen device (Galaxy S21) once the session begins. Now, simply run the necessary tests on the app.
Refer to the image below:
That’s how easily one can install and run Android apps in Chrome or Firefox browser on real devices. One can also use Edge, Safari, and other web browsers. All tests on BrowserStack are conducted in real user conditions; in this case, actual Android devices hosted on a secure cloud.
Developers and QAs can also leverage the following features for app testing:
- Device rotation to view the app’s appearance in Portrait and Landscape mode.
- Geolocation Testing for testing websites from different geographic locations.
- Network throttler for simulating poor network conditions.
- Access to native device features like push notifications, in-app purchases, etc.
Refer to the complete list of features here.
Also Read: How to test Push Notifications on Android
Testing Android apps across distinct Android versions and handsets is mandatory to achieve necessary test coverage. Without a cloud-based testing platform like BrowserStack, QAs have to depend on extensive on-premise device labs. As mentioned earlier, setting up such a lab requires huge investment and is not a feasible solution for small or medium-scale enterprises.
Here’s where adopting platforms like BrowserStack becomes an effective solution for teams or individual testers. Simply sign-up for free -> upload the APK file -> choose the desired Android device-> run APK file directly in the browser. No complex setup or configurations.
Users can run native Android apps on any real handset (like Samsung S10, S20, etc) from anywhere in the world. Since all the tests are conducted on real devices, it helps obtain accurate and reliable test results every time. Thus, Android apps can be examined and optimized for the competitive dynamics of the real world.