Cloud – as we all are aware of, is a central storage in a remote location accessible from anywhere. Cloud has immensely assisted the technological world in ways that we can’t now live without it. A new era of cloud computing is now beginning to emerge. It is now not limited for storage purposes only. The next new advancement is services under cloud.

nVIDIA grid and Office online are two contrasting but excellent examples of it. The former processes all the graphical data along with inputs from a gaming controller and streams the resulting unique output as affected by the inputs from the user to his display which may be located at any place on the planet. All the graphical processing which was previously done on a local computer is now performed on what nVIDIA calls the Grid. This implies that you just need a display connected to a fast enough Internet connection. Imagine playing watchdogs on your quad HD tablet on your daily commute. Exiting! Isn’t it?

Office online is also an excellent cloud as a service provided my Microsoft free for all. In this one can exploit the basic functionality of its office suite free of cost. The user is saved of the hassle of installing the software suite and all the licence issues as well. Even on a newly bought or acquired workstation we can easily create an impressive presentation within minutes.

Cloud is offering numerous services in several different industries but the one of my primal interest is that of mobile devices available on the cloud for testing and development. Companies such as Perfecto mobile, Xamarin have come up with flagship devices available on the cloud. They offer logging in from any remote location and interaction with the device in the form of gestures and touch inputs simulated by mouse clicks. Developers and testers can also upload their apk/ipa files and test them on all the flagship devices like S3,S4, S5, Note family, HTC One M8, Xperia Z series and many more.

This has the following benefits-

  1. The firmware is stock and the devices are in pristine condition without any extra apps installed thus you can offer the performance with only your app installed and thus eliminate the effects of other background apps conflicting with your data collected.
    Access to a wide variety of devices without having to worry about safekeeping, managing them all.
    High level features such as automation, recording of video is available without setting up any extra environment. Running an app and making a demo video is very simple.
    As the devices are available 24×7 testing can be done anytime, anywhere. Imagine testing your nightly built on the way to your office.

With all the above listed benefits there are some flaws too as the platform is still evolving –

  1. The biggest constraint is that you require excellent quality network availability.
    Even if you have the best network available I have still noticed a lag and stutter sometimes. This may confuse the developer. One cannot accurately determine whether the stutter happened because of the app or the network.
    Almost all the devices have different carriers none of which were available in India such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile.

The final verdict is still dependent on the developer, the hardcore ones still find it best to physically hold the device and then test. Collecting defects from platforms such as xda is also a fairly cheap and easy way. Still I feel that we should at least explore the options available around us especially if they may be the next big thing. We can’t buy every new device which comes out in the market but remember the people who are going to buy your apps are going to buy those flagship devices too, year after year and they want every app, every functionality to be fully tested and examined in detail.
Gear up devs!

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