AstroFarm 101: What You Need to Know
Sep 09, 2020 | 42Gears Team
42Gears has released an exciting new remote app-testing service called AstroFarm. Any team that develops and tests Android apps should take note, as AstroFarm can be a big help.
You probably have some questions, and if you do, don’t worry! We have answers.
1. What is AstroFarm?
AstroFarm is a platform that allows you to make your own mobile device farm. In other words, you can use AstroFarm to build a group of devices that are always on and ready to be used remotely. Anyone who needs to develop and test apps can connect to the farm via cloud, letting them build apps from anywhere.
2. Who would need AstroFarm?
Many firms, yours possibly included, have bought smart devices on which developers and testers can test new apps. Due to the pandemic, many now work from home. They can’t go to the office and grab devices to test on. This means companies have to find ways to make remote device testing possible.
3. What makes AstroFarm special?
AstroFarm is special because it empowers you to create a private device farm made up of the devices that your company already owns.
Many mobile device farms (and other mobile app-testing platforms) available in the market rely on a rental model. This means you need to rent time on devices that the farm vendor owns.
4. Why should I care whether my company owns the devices in the farm?
If you own devices that are going unused in your offices, and then you pay for a rental device farm, you are paying for devices twice. It’s an extra expense that you don’t need.
Owning the devices in the farm isn’t inherently better or worse than renting them. It’s just a matter of getting a stronger ROI on the purchases you already made.
5. We sent company devices home with workers during quarantine. Do we have to get them all back?
Your workers can add devices to the device farm from wherever they are. You can build your entire farm network remotely, so no need to get every device back in the office first.
6. Will this still matter if people eventually come back into work?
Yes, AstroFarm helps with Android app testing in both remote and in-person scenarios. Manually trading devices isn’t efficient, even if everyone is in the same office together. With AstroFarm, anyone can see what devices are ready to be used, and as soon as someone finishes, it becomes available for someone else to use right away.
7. How does AstroFarm make my company DevOps better?
Improving DevOps practices is all about efficiency – coordinating between development and operations teams, quickly creating and iterating, and using resources to their utmost.
By allowing 24/7 automated testing, remote source-level debugging, and more, AstroFarm-based device farms bypass many of the concerns that make working from home an obstacle to good DevOps.
8. What exactly can I connect as part of AstroFarm?
At the time of writing, AstroFarm supports any kind of Android device running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later. 42Gears will soon support iOS and iPadOS devices.
9. I don’t test devices myself, I just manage the people who do. Do I get anything out of AstroFarm?
Yes, you do! The AstroFarm console will let you do a full inventory of your devices at any time. Once a device is connected to your device farm, you won’t have to worry about losing track of it ever again. Plus, the console lets you see how often each device gets used. You can use this data to check and improve your ROI for each device.
Also, you can control admin privileges for each device. You can use this to control traffic and ensure users only request access to devices that are relevant for their needs.
10. How do I try AstroFarm?
42Gears understands that every business has different needs. When you connect with us, we’ll set up a personalized demo based on your company. From there, you’ll see what AstroFarm can do for you. Once you’re satisfied with the proof-of-concept, you’ll get access to dedicated cloud infrastructure that keeps your data safe 24/7, 365 days a year.