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Mobile cloud services: is it expensive and does it bring value?

When describing cloud services I tried to give you all the pros and cons. Now, I want to offer some issues to think over before buying an account at a cloud platform.
29 October 2013
Cloud-based testing
Mobile app testing
The article by a1qa
a1qa

When describing cloud services I tried to give you all the pros and cons. Now, I want to offer some issues to think over before buying an account at a cloud platform. First, which is better: cloud service or a real device? In fact, from a tester`s point of view a REAL device is always better. But how it looks like from the financial side? Let`s compare the prices depending upon the project category, workload, and terms.

Option 1. 10 hours per month

DeviceAnywhere offers 10 hours per month with one hour costing 18$ + 100$ registration fee. Perfecto Mobile is a bit cheaper – 17$ per hour. As a result:

  • If you need multiple devices, non-standard platforms, medium environment quality, get a package at 170$ in price at Perfecto Mobile platform (in case it is not enough, think of package comprising 10 hours at 250$ in price);
  • If  you need multiple devices, non-standard platforms, and you have free means for a good tool, then package at 280$ by DeviceAnywhere is your option;
  • If you have NO requirements to the number of devices. It`s better to get an inexpensive Android model and a Windows Phone, as they are always necessary.

Option 2.  50 hours per month

Need 50 hours per month for efficient work flow? Then you should choose between DeviceAnywhere account – 16$ per hour + a fee; and a Perfecto Mobile account – 15 $ per hour. Let`s see what we get:

  • 900$ account at DeviceAnywhere versus 750$ Perfecto Mobile account. If you have NO free means, then the Perfecto Mobile account is a good choice. If you HAVE means, than it`s obviously better to choose Device Anywhere account
  • Yet the pricing for the accounts is equal to the price of a new iPhone. Maybe, it`s worth buying a real device, if a company still doesn`t have it. But the requirements define everything,and when a company needs a complex like “iPhone 4S + iPhone 5 + iPad mini + iPad 4”, cloud services is definitely a way out.

Having analyzed the numbers and various options, I would like to say that cloud services are better to use in case of lack of real devices.  The prices for the accounts vary from 1440$ to 72600$ depending upon the hours, number of users and duration of use.

When applying to cloud services REALLY worth doing?

  1. You are engaged in project that requires minimum time, e.g. a week or even one working day; and the tests are exercised upon a platform that your team is unfamiliar with. OR, the test should be run upon multiple device models, which are of little interest to your company. In case like this, think first, how the test like this can be held in such short time AND why did you get engaged in project like this? Afterwards, if there is no other way out get a paid cloud service account (DeviceAnywhere showed the best effectiveness).
  2. A project presupposes testing within some region or mobile operator (like American Verizon). If the client hasn`t found a vendor with real devices connected to the operator, then apply to cloud services with no hesitation, a paid account is a right choice.
  3. In case you face a strong need to buy some specific device in some special region, first of all check the device availability. If the device is really impossible to buy, and it`s unavailable in the support service; think of a paid account on one of the platforms. Though keep in mind, that Perfecto Mobile and DeviceAnywhere are not the museums of ancient devices, so no one can guarantee that it`s a solutions to your problem.
  4. If a client developed an app specially for the newest device model, but it`s not on sale yet, and the deadline grows closer. Then, first check the device availability at the cloud platform device park, if they have it – buy an account.

Eventually, except some situations of force majeure, it is always better to widen the company`s device park.  Mobile cloud services cannot compete with real devices; both in price and in testing environment quality.

Anyway, if the project budget won`t get hurt much in case of buying a paid account, and 10 minute trial sessions is not a problem – it is reasonable to apply to a free account on DeviceAnywhere platform while testing websites and small mobile applications.

So in a nutshell, keep in mind that tests always show better results on a REAL device.

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