Global Real Device Network: Testing on Real End-User Devices

Global Real Device Network A few months back we revealed our Global Real Device Network to the world: the testing solution that enables true remote testing on real devices within our globally distributed crowd of testers. With this blog post, I would like to take you back to the fundamentals of this unique solution, that combines the flexibility and scalability of crowdtesting, with the efficiency and convenience of cloud-based testing.

To have a clear understanding of how our Global Real Device Network works, let’s look at both crowdtesting and cloud-based testing. First, crowdtesting combines the principle of crowdsourcing with product testing, meaning that a select crowd of testers (consisting of target audience end users) gives feedback about, for example, functionality and usability issues. At Testbirds, over 200,000 testers are available in 193 countries. These testers test in their own environment and on their own devices; from smartphones and laptops to smartwear and Internet of Things. By doing so, objective but realistic feedback is obtained directly from the end user. From usability studies and bug tests to competitor analysis and localisation tests, with crowdtesting it’s possible.

Cloud-based testing
Additionally, cloud-based testing allows QA managers and test analysts to test digital products by means of virtualisation and emulation. Through an online platform, testing environments can be created that help companies to test on a multitude of OS and software combinations. The process utilises virtual machines to compose the precise combination you require. After which it is possible to install your own software packages and execute either manual or automated tests. For example, it is possible to perform 100 test cases on 10 different desktop PCs overnight, making such a flexible tool highly scalable.

Testbirds Device Cloud

Global Real Device Network
The Global Real Device Network (GRDN) combines both crowd and cloud-based testing principles. The solution leverages the smart devices in a crowd of 200,000 testers in 193 countries to create remote testing possibilities. By connecting their Android-smartphones and tablets, crowdtesters grant access to clients looking to test apps, websites and other software on real-world mobile devices. Once connected, the device can be remotely operated for both manual and automated testing purposes. This enables clients to get true insights from the mobile market in the most direct manner possible – without the need to create, own or even access internal or simulated device farms. It offers realistic test results that consider important local factors such as location-based dependency, language barriers, mobile operability and more.

GRDN: Distributed testing network of real-world devices

With crowdtesting, everyone that owns a smart connected device and has access to the Internet is eligible to become a crowdtester. This results not only in a very diverse pool of testers with different social-demographic backgrounds and skill sets, the crowd also contains all imaginable connected devices and software versions. The Global Real Device Network leverages the capacity of these devices in the crowd to perform remote testing of apps and software. Testers can submit their in-use or old smartphones and tablets to the testing platform, by installing a dedicated device connector app. Through an installer (for Windows, Mac or Linux), the smart device will be set up for the GRDN.

GRDN installer

GRDN Connector Once the initial connection has been established, the tester can grant access to his or her mobile phone or tablet via the newly installed app. Since crowdtesters allow access to their personal devices, data privacy and security are of the utmost importance and are strictly safeguarded. In the app, testers have the option to select which access rights they want to grant. The process is similar to when users install new apps from the Google Play Store and permissions to specific device features need to be granted. When not comfortable with granting certain rights, testers can simply unselect those. If the to be tested app requires access rights that are not selected by the tester, it simply can’t be installed. Once testing access is enabled, the connected device cannot be used for the duration of the access. For providing this valuable testing capacity, crowdtesters receive a financial remuneration each time their connected device is used for testing by a client.

True remote testing on real-world devices
The GRDN forms an exciting approach in software testing, since the method leverages the device capacity of people all around the world. All crowdtesters are eligible to add their Android-smartphones and tablets and other OSs are soon to follow. This results in a globally distributed network of real end-user devices to test on. The solution takes important geo-dependent factors into consideration such as location-based dependency, language barriers, mobile operability and more. Companies and organisations seeking to obtain realistic test results can now make use of one of the largest pools of test devices available.

Interested to learn more?
On Thursday 23 June, our co-founder and CTO Georg Hansbauer will host a demo session during Test Automation Day in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Or check out our website and get in touch with us via

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