Why Developers Shouldn't Use Emulators

Copyright: Matthew (WMF). Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coding_Shots_Annual_Plan_high_res-5.jpg

Everyone wants to be good at their jobs. They want to create good, robust products that work and provide clients with what they need. Yet, everyone is also under pressure to get goods and products out of the door and into client hands.

For developers, they think that the best way to do this is to shorten the testing process by using emulators or simulators. The problem with these, however, is that they don’t actually mimic real-life situations – which can only be found when using a real device.

Here are three reasons why you should avoid using emulators and simulators:

  1. People are not Machines: Emulators and simulators are designed to mimic what most users would do with a product. What this fails to take into account, however, is that people do not all “function” the same. For example, some people may access an application with a mouse while another with their finger or a stylus.

 These interactions can also be seen on real devices – in real life environments. Users on mobile devices especially will have different operating conditions, including low battery, poor WiFi or other interruptions that may affect how applications work.

  1. Other software programs affect how your application works: Real devices have different operating systems, apps and games. These can negatively affect how an applications works on the device. Plus, other apps can interfere with the functioning of your app.

If developers are building applications to work the same across brand models, then they’re not taking in the quirks of individual devices. A major issue that many developers run into is that graphics across devices can vary greatly.

  1. Hardware can be a problem: Perhaps the biggest issue with testing on emulators and simulators relates to device hardware. Hardware includes everything from memory to display to chipsets – and these individual items can mean the difference between good to poor user experience. A common issue among certain devices is that particular applications or games won’t run on these devices because the app uses too much memory.

The takeaway of all of this is: Stick to testing on real devices. Simulators and emulators don’t take into account all of the issues that a product might experience when a user is trying to run it on their own device.

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