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RedLaser’s newest Android testing tool: The Manual Test Demultiplexer

Published on | By Miles Skorpen and Ben Yarger

One of the hardest parts of building a great Android app is testing. While testing for iOS means covering 5-10 similar devices, it is a very different story for Android — there are literally hundreds of device & operating system combinations with significant user bases (Animoca showed off their test pool to TechCrunch here). This challenge is particularly true for products like the RedLaser SDK and the RedLaser app which are both used all over the world.

To handle this complexity, RedLaser quality engineer Ben Yarger has built a powerful testing tool, the Manual Test Demultiplexer. We recently released this powerful tool as an open source project on Github! This tool joins a suite of other open source projects from RedLaser team members, including GeoSense and a PHP library for Telemetry.

The Manual Test Demultiplexer can sync a large number of devices so that you can test all devices concurrently and precisely in parallel.  We regularly test 10+ devices at a time. You attach the devices to a control computer, which gives you an interface for the testing (as seen below).

MTDScreenShot

Every action is tracked, so that when issues arise, replication is easy — and doesn’t require much manual work. Ben’s also put a host of tools right at your finger tips, with one-click access to  common functions such as generating bug report, capturing screens, rebooting devices, toggle airplane mode and device wake and unlock.

It also provides another secret weapon: remote access. Many development and testing teams are scattered across the world, which means you’d need duplicate test pools at every location — unless you’re using the RedLaser MTD tool. It enables remote control of device over SSH tunnel. Enable remote developers to debug and control physical devices. We use this so that our California and Portland teams can access the same extensive test pool, despite working 800 miles apart.

You can get the MTD tool and start improving your testing now, via our Github repository!