A device cloud is a mobile testing environment that enables developers to remotely evaluate the performance of applications on a wide range of smart devices. The device cloud gives organizations as-needed access to modern and legacy devices so that an inventory of devices does not have to be purchased and maintained on-premises. Some device clouds consist of virtual or emulated devices, while others provide access to physical hardware. Emulated device clouds may offer the benefit of testing for scalability to handle many simultaneous requests at once. Device clouds with physical hardware may offer additional insight into how factors such as battery charge impact application performance.
During development, the device cloud provides remote access for developers to interact with and control mobile devices. It is possible to see how the user interface appears and performs on each device, so that missing elements and functional issues can be readily identified. Operational factors such as CPU usage, battery consumption, network signal strength, and performance during interruptions (such as incoming text messages) can be monitored in the cloud environment as well. Device clouds also can give offshore beta testers access to applications to manually evaluate usability and intuitive operation from the perspective of a typical end user.