How to test mobile applications on Emulator and Simulator devices?

One thing is self-expressive in case of mobile testing. To perform mobile testing, we need a mobile device. This is to notify that how our application will behave and work and how the user interface will look like on a real device or Emulator and Simulator.

If we talk about the key challenges in mobile applications, there are many. In this article, I will discuss the solution of one which is lack of access to multiple devices.  Most of the times while performing the testing, it may be possible that one or more QA might require the same real device at the same time, wherein a tester is left out waiting until the other QA complete his work. To overcome this problem, the testers might use Emulator and Simulator.

But it is the fact, as real devices give more accurate test results than Emulator/Simulator devices, using them alone is not ideal for manual and automation testing of an application. Some startups and SMBs may ignore real devices to test the application as they’re too expensive, and opt for the more convenient, cheap and easy to use an option which is Emulator and Simulator.

If an organization wants their mobile applications effective and efficient. So mobile application development requires both Emulator and Simulator and real devices. The main focus of this article, what is the use of emulators and simulators, how they use and why they’re still required for mobile test manual and automation?

What are the Emulator and Simulator in mobile testing?

Emulator: It is a program which is used to emulate the features of another mobile software which you want them to copy by installing them to your computer or Mobile.

Simulator: It is a software program which makes the replica (virtual devices) of real mobile devices such as an android phone, iPhone on the computer.

Advantages of using Emulator and Simulator:

1) Application testing on a simulator and emulator is very simple. QA needs to download the software, install on the computer. Testing can be done on multiple emulators and which run in a straight forward manner.

2) In most cases, mobile emulators and simulators are completely free. So it can reduce the cost. Hence, the key advantage is low price.

3) There are lots of varieties of mobile devices (multiple versions of operating systems, interfaces, screen size) available in the market. But it is infeasible to purchase all the devices. To overcome this problem, you can use emulators and simulators.

4) It is easy to capture all the issues with screen-shots over simulator.

5) The performance of emulators and simulators is very fast because emulators are simple client software that runs locally on our machine. So it can reduce the time of the tester.

6) Things can easily reproduce on simulators that are hard to recreate on a real device. For eg., If your device is running slow then it can easily be notified on emulators.

Can Emulator and Simulator replace Mobile Real Devices completely?

‘Real is Real’, a real can never be replaced with a replica. Though, it may full-fill all the requirements like as real environment but, they can’t replace the real device. So here, we can say same for simulators and emulators. The look (resolution variance and display) and feel of the mobile application may be different on a simulator and emulator as compared to a real device.

QA can use the mixed approach. The mixed approach may become the best QA strategy employs using emulators/simulators and real devices together. Choosing this option can improve the scalability and cost inefficiencies that may face with real devices while making the strategy to test the application on real devices.

Once the decision has been made to add simulators/emulators to the mix approach, there may still be uncertainty about which tests to run on emulators, and which tests to run on real devices. But there are following mobile testing scenarios which can’t be tested on simulators and emulators or we can say disadvantages of simulators/Emulators:

Mobile device battery: The test case related to a battery of mobile that means to test the effects of your application on the battery of a device with a simulator/emulator is impossible.

Mobile device’s camera:  It is impossible to test the behavior of the mobile application with the camera of a device.

Interruptions: It is very typical to test all the interruptions like SMS, phone switched off and incoming calls.

Mobile device memory usage:   The performance of the mobile application on an emulator/simulator may be much better as opposed to a real device. Your app may give a quick response and this could cause a misconception.  Memory related issues can skip during testing of the application.

Difference between the testing of emulator and simulator:

Both Emulator and Simulator are not the real devices, these are virtual devices. As we all know every virtual thing is not real. So Emulator and Simulator are software applications which give all the functionalities of the real device except some functionality like the battery, camera.

There are some differences between an Emulator and Simulator, which are as below:


  1. The objective of the simulator is to simulate the object’s internal state as close as possible to the internal state of an application.
  2. The testing team can prefer simulators whenever they need to test the external behavior of mobile like calculations, making transactions etc.
  3. Simulators are made in high-level languages.
  4. Debugging of an application can be tough on simulators.
  5. A simulator is not a complete re-implementation of the original software.


  1. The purpose of Emulators is emulating as close as possible the outer behavior of an object.
  2. Emulators are considered to test the internal behavior of the mobile like working on hardware, firmware and so forth.
  3. Emulators are created in machine-level assembly languages.
  4. Developer and tester can easily debug the applications on Emulators.
  5. An emulator is the complete re-implementation of the original software.

Genymotion- An Emulator:

What is Genymotion?

Genymotion is an easy-to-use Android emulator. It is basically designed to help mobile app developers to test their products within a safe and virtual environment. Genymotion is the best emulator ever. The support service of genymotion is very good and it simplified the work.

Download the Genymotion:

  • You can download it as per your requirement (free or business version). Select it as per your operating system. Download the Genymotion from .  To download, you have to create an account. Sign up is free. So you need to click on create an account only. Once account creation is done, now you are free to easily download a free version of Genymotion for any operating system.

Installation of Genymotion:

  • After download, you need to click on the executable file. You need to follow the steps which are given in the below images:
Select languages which you preferred and click next.


Set the location where you want to install and click next icon.



Now click finish to complete the installation process.
  • Now it’s time to see the Genymotion emulator. “You don’t have any virtual device yet” message will display on launching the Genymotion first time. So it will ask you to add the virtual devices.
So Click Yes to add the virtual devices.
  • You need to sign in first with Genymotion User Id and Password to add the virtual devices. Click Sign in at the bottom of the screen. A pop-up window will open to enter the Sign in credentials.
  • After sign in, list of all virtual devices will appear. Select your preferred device. After that, you need to click next.
List of all virtual devices
  • Properties of selected virtual devices will appear.
Enter a new name for your new virtual device. Now click Next.
  • Now, deployment of your new virtual device has been started. It will download the necessary files and to finish it, you need to click the finish button. After deployment,  your new device will appear in the Genymotion window.
Click start icon to start the new virtual device.
  • Now you are ready to test your application on the virtual device. So don’t forget to check whether your installed Genymotion is working fine or not.
Virtual Device Window

Deployment of Android Apk file:

So your setup is ready. What are you thinking? It’s time to test your mobile android application. First of all, you need to install .Apk file on your virtual device. To install .Apk file, you need to install on either of the following steps:

  • So here is the first way through which, you can drag the application from the local drive and drop it into the virtual device.
  • In the second approach, you need to run the command on the command prompt to install the application. The Command is “adb install <application name>.apk“. I think some people don’t know the ADB installation process. Don’t worry, you can refer By referring this link, you can easily get to know the installation process of ADB and installation process of .APK file through command.
  •  Now here is another easy way to install the .APK file, launch your virtual device-> Open the browser-> Paste the URL at which .APK file is available-> Now Download the .Apk.

So full setup is done. Use virtual device as a real device except for some features and start executing your test cases to test android mobile device.

Disadvantages and Advantages of Genymotion


  • The interface is easier and good.
  • It has a resizable device window.
  • Genymotion has the facility to share files with the Emulator by drag and drop way.
  • It requires less space (about 550MB vs 1.30GB).


  • You need to install Google APIs manually.
  • There is no android wear emulator.

Wrapping Up

Testing in a parallel environment allows you to release faster by performing testing on applications across multiple virtual or real devices. So emulators and simulators run on virtual machines so you can test your application on multiple virtual devices as per your requirement.

Since emulator and simulator are virtual, it is easy to run many more test cases in a parallel environment which will reduce your build times and you will be able to deliver high quality builds. Multiple iterations of the build in a frequent time will allow and help your dev team to improve the quality of the application. It will increase end user experience better.

Testing on real device remove challenge over either cost or meeting the 100% accuracy. Validation of every scenario to meet the business requirement of the application are possible with an efficient and good testing process. So 100% accuracy is possible on real devices.

Testing on the emulator and simulator are cheaper than testing on the real devices. Obviously, it reduces company’s cost. In this article, I have shown the working of Genymotion android emulator. So in one article, you have everything like the pros and cons of the emulator and simulator-based testing, testing on Genymotion android emulator. I believe you can cover almost your complete test cases except some because those can only be tested on the real device.

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