Aug 12, 2011
Device incompatibilities and fragmentation are an issue on Android, and with all the different permutations of hardware, it may always be an issue. However, Samsung is definitely trying to make this less of an issue on their hardware. First, their Galaxy line of devices share a similar hardware profile, using similar electronics between their various devices in order to help reduce the amount of issues that might pop up. However, this doesn’t mean that issues still don’t exist at all, and it may be tricky for developers without one of Samsung’s Android devices to test and address issues on them. So, Samsung has launched a clever solution to help developers test their apps on Samsung devices: the Remote Test Lab.
A free service available to those with free Samsung Mobile Innovator accounts, the Remote Test Lab allows developers to install their apps on real Samsung hardware, and test them out over the web. This way, they can test out how their applications will work on Samsung devices, including ones they might not have. There’s also a screen capture abilty, and given how Samsung devices do not often have screen capture built in to the device, this is a huge help for getting images of games.The RTL service is free but limited to a certain amount of time per day for basic account users, but still free to test out. Those interested in testing out the service can visit Samsung’s lab.dev site.
Considering how fragmentation and device incompatibility is such an issue on the Android platform, a service like this is something that other hardware manufacturters should jump on. With such a wwide array of devices, hardware manufactuers don’t want to be known as the one company that constantly has incompatible apps. It’s impossible for developers to make apps that will run on everything perfectly, and it’s difficult for many smaller ones to test out on all hardware permutations, so a remote testing service from the other manufacturers could be a boon toward making fragmentation and incompatibility a thing of the past.