TestArchitect Corner: Testing Web Applications in Mobile Emulation Mode

The huge range of mobile devices used to browse the web now means testing a mobile website before delivery is critical.

Developers use various techniques that allow mobile web applications to adapt to different mobile devices and screen sizes. Specifically the following:

  • Responsive web design that lets websites conform their page layouts to various screen sizes and dimensions
  • Platform detection that allows websites to present device-specific content

In a nutshell, testing on emulators helps verify that your mobile web applications look and work well on various devices, before you actually begin to test the web applications on real physical devices.

Mobile web testing can be challenging and tedious due to the large variety of mobile devices, platforms and screen sizes. TestArchitect addresses this challenge by letting you test mobile web applications on device emulators. Without the need for real physical devices of every type to improve test coverage, the result is a testing setup and maintenance that is highly simplified.

What is Mobile Emulation Mode?

Basically, Chrome DevTools’ Device Mode is a built-in function of Chrome. This mode simulates a wide range of devices and their capabilities, so that you can test applications under test (AUTs) on a variety of emulated mobile devices, without the need for real physical devices. It simulates not just the browser environment but the entire device. It’s useful to test things that require OS integration, for example, form input with virtual keyboards.

Automate Tests in Mobile Emulation Mode with TestArchitect

TestArchitect attempts to implement built-in actions in a manner that, from the standpoint of the AUT, is as close as possible to real user actions. The general workflow to test a web app in mobile emulation mode is:

1. Prepare Mobile Browser Profiles

The profiles are coded in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), and with Chrome debugging protocol. You can define as many parameters as you need for a mobile browser profile.

However, it is recommended that your JSON string contains the following basic information:

  • The user agent
  • Whether to emulate a mobile device
  • Screen width
  • Screen height
  • Device pixel ratio
  • Whether a view that exceeds the available browser window area should be scaled down to fit
  • Enabling of touch event emulation

2. Launch Mobile Browser Emulator in Device Mode on Chrome DevTools

Now you’re ready to begin performing your automated web-based tests on the emulator. For example, enter “TestArchitect” then click on the “search” button.

3. Change Environment to Customize Emulator Behaviors During the Test Run

You may wish to change the environment for the emulator to customize its behaviors (device orientation, emulate geolocation data, etc.). When the mobile browser emulator has been invoked, use the send command to browser built-in action again. Technically, “send command to browser” sends a JSON string request to Google Chrome to customize the emulator behaviors on-the-fly. Note that you can change as many behaviors as you want, as long as those behaviors are supported by Chrome debugging protocol.


Besides Android emulators and iOS Simulator, mobile emulation mode is another approach for mobile web testing without the need for real mobile devices.

To learn more about this TestArchitect feature, visit testarchitect.com

Hien D. Nguyen
Hien D. Nguyen is an experienced Software QA Engineer at LogiGear Corporation. A tester by day and a blogger by night, Hien has a great passion for software testing, especially complex Test Automation problems. When not doing all those, he enjoys reading, jogging and trying new things.

The Related Post

Regardless of your current state of tools, building an effective Continuous Integration suite of significant automated regression tests is the key to moving to a higher level of confidence in today’s development world. In the evolution timeline of software development tools, new tools have recently proliferated. We have all been sold on collaboration, transparency and ...
*You can check the answer key here
I’ve been teaching a lot lately, was in India for one week, and I’m off to Seattle in two weeks to teach on performance topics. I thoroughly enjoy teaching, it allows me to stay sharp with current trends, and provides a nice break from the “implementation focus” that I generally have day to day.
Developers of large data-intensive software often notice an interesting — though not surprising — phenomenon: When usage of an application jumps dramatically, components that have operated for months without trouble suddenly develop previously undetected errors. For example, the application may have been installed on a different OS-hardware-DBMS-networking platform, or newly added customers may have account ...
This is part 2 of a 2-part article series; part 1 was featured in the September 2020 issue of the LogiGear Magazine, and you can check it out here. Part 1 discussed the mindset required for Agile, as well as explored the various quadrants of the Agile Testing Quadrants model. Part 2 will delve into ...
Mobile testers need to take a different approach when it comes to Test Automation.
TestArchitect TM is the name we have given to our automation toolset. It reflects the vision that automated testing requires a well-designed architectural plan allowing technical and non-technical elements to work fluidly in their capacity. It also addresses the continual missing link of all test automation tools of how to design tests. In TestArchitect the test ...
The following is a transcript of a May 7, 2008 interview with Hung Q. Nguyen, founder and CEO of LogiGear Corporation and coauthor of the best selling textbook Testing Computer Software. Interviewer: When it comes to software testing, what concerns or issues are you hearing from software developers? Hung Q. Nguyen: The most pressing concern ...
< Michael Hackett sat down with EA’s Stephen Copp to discuss the world of integrated test platforms.
The Cloud demands that we be as nimble as possible, delivering features and fixes in almost real-time fashion. Both customer and provider rely on software development that can maintain quality while being light on its feet and constantly moving. In addition, Cloud-oriented systems tend to be highly complex and dynamic in structure — more than ...
“Happy About Global Software Test Automation: A Discussion of Software Testing for Executives” Author: Hung Q. Nguyen, Michael Hackett, and Brent K. Whitlock Publisher: Happy About (August 1, 2006) Finally, a testing book for executives!, November 17, 2006 By Scott Barber “Chief Technologist, PerfTestPlus” Happy About Global Software Test Automation: A Discussion of Software Testing ...
When automated tests are well-organized and written with the necessary detail, they can be very efficient and maintainable. But designing automated tests that deal with data can be challenging if you have a lot of data combinations. For example, let’s say we want to simulate a series of 20 customers, along with the number of ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news