Whether it is LG, Samsung, or Huawei, 90% of mobile phones function on Android. Considering such tremendous growth in the mobile app development market, there are many compatibility tests done on a massive scale, but developers, owing to an already growing workload, do not have the time to test the compatibility issues of mobile app functions.
Other than time constraints, there are problems with having ample resources available to run tests on every function of diversified applications. As a result, the use of emulators has gained popularity a workaround to streamline and facilitate the testing process to make it easier and less tedious.
Before we move on, let’s first get a firm grip on an “emulator”. So what is it?
What is Emulator?
Well, to begin with, an emulator, by definition, is a tool that imitates the Android operating system on one’s desktop computer. Developers design emulators to help users or developers who want to use Android without going through the hassle of installation.
It is a program that runs on a computer system by emulating the architecture of the guest’s device. For instance, you can easily make the most of the games such as PUBG or Pokemon Go on your PC without having them installed. Cool, isn’t it?
Moving on, now that we know what exactly this tool is for, let’s see how it helps with testing the applications.
We have witnessed a significant surge in the development of mobile applications. Gradually, these mobile applications, arguably, have become the fulcrum of our existence and will continue to grow as the usage of mobile phones goes even more ubiquitous. Whether it is something as domestic as buying groceries or recreational activities like playing games, everything has now just a mere click away.
Speaking of this, for something to work seamlessly, it must be up to the mark.
Therefore, every application must undergo a rigorous phase of testing to trace down any abnormality before having it sent its way to the users. Hence, for all the developers, this is genuinely a godsend considering how it pinpoints unexpected or unusual behavioral patterns during the testing phase of a mobile application.
Before we embark on the journey of discussing various emulators, let’s explore a bit about how it works and what is that which is driving the users to opt for such a tool.
An Android or iOS application or a browser gets emulated by an emulator on an operating system considered as a defined one, such as that of Mac and Windows. What it does is that it establishes virtual hardware conditions of that of an Android or iOS device. Following this, we use it for testing besides debugging. Like anything in this world, an emulator as well comes with its fair share of limitations.
We cannot deny how expensive it is to set up and maintain a real Android device lab because it is no piece of cake to tackle regular maintenance costs besides frequent device upgrades. Therefore, online Android and iOS emulators are a popular choice amongst users, and rightly so!
Bluestacks, it is pertinent to mention how popular and mainstream a choice it is for Android emulators. Why is that so?
Well, for starters, Bluestacks is one desktop emulator which blends in well with both Windows and Mac. While they design it in a manner that it can run any Android application, its features work best to improve gaming experiences of Android video games on Windows.
So, if you are someone who is very much into high-graphic games, then this one’s for you for it is all about Android games on PC! The most significant advantage it comes with is that there is absolutely no loss of graphical quality and not to forget its remarkable compatibility with most and major Android games.
Now let’s take a look at some Bluestacks alternatives.
The Bluestacks alternatives
Considering that there are no or limited options available for iOS emulators for PC and Mac, Appetize serves as the best solution as the most it asks you is to upload the application on the website, and from then on, you are all set to go. It efficiently caters to both Android and iOS.
HeadSpin offers real device infrastructure on the cloud. You can choose from thousands of real Android and iOS devices to test on.
HeadSpin is an industry-leading platform when it comes to testing on Android and iOS devices. Users can get real-world insights that achieve emulator-like environments by testing on real devices. The best part is it does not require any SDK.
Manual & Automated Testing – Remotely test and debug your apps with secure, scalable API-driven manual and automated testing.
Functional Testing – Get the real-world insights you need while you test app functionality to achieve expected app behavior.
Performance Testing – Delve deep into performance issues and troubleshoot crashes and errors.
AI Engine – Get performance & QoE insights and issue recommendations powered by our state-of-the-art AI engine.
With a choice of 2000+ different browser and OS environment combinations, LambdaTest ensures that the websites and all the applications get rid of every bug and run smoothly. The built-in developer tools are the gateway to debugging, that too in real-time.
It facilitates cross-browser testing on several mobile browsers, such as Safari, Mozilla, and Google Chrome. The Lambda tunnel feature provides the added benefit of testing both locally and privately hosted pages.
This one is simple to use and set up besides being a feature-rich emulator. It comes in a free and paid version.
Genymotion stands out of all because of its capable OpenGL graphic cards. This makes it one of the best and fastest Android emulators. It comes with plugins for both Eclipse and Android Studio.
Other than this, it is available on multiple operating systems Windows, Linux, and OS X. It also allows the use of a webcam for an emulated device as a camera. ADB commands can also be performed by using the ADB tunnel.
SauceLab’s Android and iOS simulators are an economical approach to running tests on mobile applications. Their emulators allow you to carry out cross-browser testing at an attractive speed at a lesser cost than real devices.
To sum up, they are probably the best ones out there to provide a good mix of emulators and simulators in combination with real devices to achieve the best when it is a matter of mobile test automation.
AWS Device Farm
AWS Device Farm helps in running web and mobile applications through tests spread over a wide range of desktop browsers, such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and real mobile devices. This is to ensure that the application functions the same regardless of its browser’s environment.
With automated testing, the issues are identified and grouped so that one can first focus on the most important one. They are analyzed and fixed through heavy usage of videos, action and console logs, and web driver logs.
It is an Android emulator meant to enhance your experience of video games. It is easy to use as it does not involve changing or making adjustments to any of those complicated settings. All it takes is installation, and you are good to go with the playing. Subway Surfers, Geometry Dash, and Minion Rash are some games that you can enjoy wholeheartedly using this emulator.
Besides this, MEmu has emerged as an exception since it supports Lollipop, Android Jelly-bean, and also KitKat. MEmu is recommended because of its stellar productivity and is also free to use.
NoxPlayer is another Android emulator specializing in video games and supports multiple Android versions. It is designed and crafted by BigNox and caters for games such as PUBG and Clash of Clans. It comes with advanced features such as Keyboard Mapping. This feature puts you at an advantage compared to other players, as a response by a keyboard is faster.
The multiplayer mode allows you to run over one game simultaneously in different windows, which makes it possible to switch between several games at once. It is free to download and is used on Windows 10 and Mac. Speaking of this, it is easy to download and install, like any other software.
The Android studio comes with a variety of tools that help developers to design and build game applications and games solely for Android. Similarly, it even comes with a built-in emulator, which aids in testing out your game or an application.
However, the setup is rather complex and can be time-consuming. It can prove quite a hassle for the beginner, while it can be an ideal choice for developers. It is an intelligent software and supports Kotlin, Java, besides C/C++ languages.
Redfinger is one of the most user-friendly and lightweight emulators. It has no hardware requirements, and memory consumption is a bare minimum, so it is perfect for beginners and users who want to stay light on computer resources.
It provides an Android experience that is 100% native. Not only this, but it is also a cross-platform emulator and allows access to run all Android applications from Windows or macOS.
BrowserStack is a unique and innovative haven for mobile emulators of Apple iOS and Google Android, and both stand 99% similar to the real devices.
BrowserStack stands tall as the most credible web and mobile testing platform. This one allows you to run tests across several devices and desktop browsers to ensure that the software goes far and beyond organizational and customer expectations. Loaded with a flexible, user-friendly, and versatile interface coupled with an amazing API, it makes the job fairly easier.
You can easily switch between mobile, PC, or MAC.
There are quite a few tools similar to iPadian, which provide an iPad or iPhone experience on both Mac and PC, but they would not let you go to the extent of uploading your application or code to run tests. Therefore, if you wish to use an iOS emulator that mimics the hardware of that of iOS hardware on a Windows desktop, then the iPadian is what you should go for.
It is pertinent to mention that it, in actuality, is not entirely an emulator; rather, it simulates an iOS UI using an operating system of Windows 7 or higher by opening a new window and making use of Windows applications and hardware. It comes with a customizable interface in combination with many interesting applications.
TestObject by TestMatick is a cloud-based platform where users can access real mobile devices and emulators. Available from any web browser, this solution is used for mobile testing, performance testing, and usability testing.
It provides multiple virtual and real devices where you need to upload your program or app to verify its various aspects, such as functionality. Since it allows you to perform quality assurance activities, it enjoys immense popularity among programmers, test engineers, and project managers.
Testsigma allows you to test your mobile app on different Android devices without the hassle of any coding or setup. Using this solution, you get access to online Android emulators with legacy and latest configurations, such as screen size and OS, to test your apps.
It only takes three easy steps to test your native, hybrid, and web apps to deliver a seamless experience to your Android users. This cloud-based platform can also be configured to simulate real-world use cases for testing the app’s performance.
With network simulation, GPS simulation, device rotation, and resolution simulation, you can easily identify and resolve issues.
We hope that the listings we curated prove to be beneficial for you when you set out to choose one for yourself.