Using the Genymotion Android Emulator to Increase the Stability of Mobile Web Application Tests

With Silk Test 15.0 or later, we included support for testing mobile Web applications on physical Android devices and Android emulators. For additional information on testing mobile Web applications with Silk Test, see Testing Mobile Web Applications.

By default, we use the standard Google Emulator to test mobile Web applications on an Android emulator.

We also use the HAXM accelerator for the Google Emulator, which is provided by Intel, to speed up the Google Emulator when it is running on a machine that is based on the Intel architecture.

To see whether we could further improve the overall performance and stability of our tests by using another emulator instead of the standard Google Emulator, we tried out the Genymotion Emulator, available from http://www.genymotion.com/.

We performed an initial stopwatch comparison between the Genymotion Emulator and the standard Google Emulator by running a set of 57 Silk Test JTF tests on a Nexus 7 with Android version 4.4.2 and the Android stock browser.

The following table displays the results of the comparison:

Emulator

Overall Execution Time (minutes)

Test Result

Genymotion Emulator

7:35

All tests passed.

Google Emulator with Intel HAXM

10:16

The first three tests failed.

Google Emulator with Intel HAXM (2nd run)

8:20

All tests passed.

 

While this initial test is in no way complete, and the results might differ when executing another set of tests, we interpreted this first outcome as an indicator that using the Genymotion Emulator instead of the standard Google Emulator for mobile browser testing with Silk Test might increase the overall speed and stability of the tests.

We also noticed that the Silk Test Web Tunneler application installs itself on the Genymotion Emulator as on any physical Android device, with a visible icon in the Android status bar, while in the Google Emulator we had to manually set the proxy. This behavior of the Genymotion Emulator provides a more realistic emulation of a real device and simplifies the overall process of setting up the testing environment. Additionally the installation of a certificate for testing a secure Web application worked better on the Genymotion Emulator and the overall usability of the Genymotion Emulator is very good.

In general, if you are facing stability and performance issues when testing mobile Web applications with the standard Google Emulator for Android, the Genymotion Emulator might provide a good alternative. For information about the pricing and the installation procedure for the Genymotion Emulator, refer to http://www.genymotion.com/.

  • Note: This article is not relevant since the release of Silk Test 17.5. We recommend using the emulators provided with Android Studio as they are much faster than the old Google emulators. This removes the need to look for alternative emulators. At the time of writing this comment, we haven't tested Silk Test 17.5 with Genymotion.