Developers can now test their apps on real Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip devices with Samsung’s Remote Test Lab
The life of an Android developer involves much more than just coding. After you actually finish developing features for an initial release or an update, you need to make sure your app runs well on the devices your users are going to actually use. With Android, there are tons of devices with different hardware from different manufacturers, lots of different form factors, and all kinds of custom Android software to deal with. Because of this, testing your apps on stock Android through the Android Emulator in Android Studio rarely suffices.
Samsung phones have a radically different flavor of Android than Google’s software, and as such, it’s best you have access to a physical device to properly test your apps on Samsung’s software. This can get expensive if you want to use Samsung’s flagship phones for testing, but it’s kind of something you need to do given how many millions of them are sold around the world. Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup is running the company’s latest One UI 2.1 release based on Android 10 while the Galaxy Z Flip is an entirely different form factor that you need to account for. If you want to buy both devices to test on, you’re looking to spend nearly $2,500.
If you just want to test your apps on these devices, though, there’s an alternative to actually buying them. This alternative is called the Remote Test Lab (RTL). Basically, Samsung has a bunch of actual smartphones connected to the cloud that developers can control using RTL, essentially letting them test their apps on physical hardware without needing to own them. This means you can test your app on the Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, or Galaxy Z Flip without needing to spend thousands of dollars on actual devices.
All you need is a reliable Internet connection, a free Samsung Developers account, Java Runtime Environment 7 or later with Java Web Start installed, and that’s it. You’ll be able to run your app on the remote device of your choice in real-time. You can install APK files on the device, make screen captures and recordings, and run test automation scripts. You can even choose what language you want to test the device in, and if you have a partner, you can share your screen so you can do testing together. There are some limitations to the service, including the fact that audio, additional peripherals, multi-touch, and camera are not supported. Samsung gives developers 20 credits each day, which allows you to test for a maximum of 5 hours a day. With this free service, Samsung is making it easier for app developers to test their apps and updates on One UI easily and painlessly.
Once you’ve finished developing your new application, considering posting it to our forums for feedback from users.