Remote Device Access Services for Mobile Application Developers

By John Kieti
iHub
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m:lab East Africa aims to foster the growth of mobile innovations in the region by promoting access to quality assurance services for mobile application developers. A majority of mobile applications developed in East Africa are destined for major application distribution channels such as the Apple’s App store, Google’s Android Market and Nokia’s Ovi Store. Developers often require speedy access to testing services in an effort to expedite publishing of their apps through these major distribution channels. m:lab last week began a familiarization and sensitization effortfor local developers to access Remote Device Access (RDA) services forapplications destined for the Ovi store and other distribution platforms.

Through a web conference, Risto Helin - Manager for Testing and Application services at Nokia facilitated an orientation session on RDA testing options available for free to application developers. This useful session highlighted the following concerns that need to be addressed by application developers

  1. Applications need to be tested on real devices to guarantee reliable test results
  2. Devices are expensive to buy and send around the world, especially when there are many different models and variants
  3. Some device models are only sold in certain regions / countries
  4. The number of available prototype devices available for testing is usually very limited
The RDA service by Nokia enables developers to access live devices over the internet.

According to Risto, three different service options for remote device access exist with Nokia as follows :-

  • Remote Device Access on the Nokia Developer Portal - This is a service free of charge on the Nokia Developer Portal where a developer registration is also required. The service supports symbian, maemo and meego devices. It includes access to about 199 live devices as well as pre-release (prototype) devices.
  • Nokia Virtual Developer Lab powered by DeviceAnywhere - This is a fee based services which includes test scripting. The service also includes access to symbian and series 40 devices
  • Nokia Handset Cloud Service powered by Perfecto Mobile -This is a fee based service which includes test scripting and support for symbian, maemo 5 and series 40 devices
A followup web conference session is planned for mid October  at m:lab. Developers and entrepreneurs with queries regarding Nokia’s Remote Device Access service are invited to channel them through email  - testing@mlab.co.ke. The questions will also help to focus the followup session better.

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