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What Is Live View?

The Live View feature gives a visual video stream to the ongoing execution of a test run in the cloud. While running an automated test on a local device, it is possible to check the device to see what is happening. For devices running in the cloud, the live video stream of the device screen provides you this same capability.

Checking the test execution on real device test executions in the cloud is especially interesting with long test runs where it sometimes happens the test gets stuck in mid execution. Peeking at the execution tells you whether the test is stuck or the execution is just slower than maybe on other devices.

Why Was It Created?

There are multiple reasons when you want to check the device you’re running tests on. Looking into a test execution is interesting when you are running long tests taking tens of minutes or even longer. This allows you to peak into the executing device and sees if each device test is really progressing or if something unexpected has happened and the run is stuck.

For really fast testing frameworks like native Espresso or XCTest, this might not be meaningful as the test execution is so fast that tests are typically over in a few minutes. Of course, if you have short tests then you won’t be able to catch the execution before the session already finishes.

What Is Supported?

Currently, Live View is supported on most cloud side execution frameworks. These include Appium, Espresso, Calabash and XC(UI)Test. Unfortunately, currently the Live View feature is not supported on AI Testbot or Client-Side Appium execution, but it works like a charm with Cloud-Side Appium.

Note that the Live View supports only viewing the execution and not interacting with the device while the execution is ongoing. So even if you notice some error in the execution and would like to click some button to enable the test to progress, you won’t be allowed to do this. Allowing this, would skew your test results and give your team a false sense of application or test quality. It is better to fix the test and run again, rather than manually make the test pass. If your test fails because of some device-specific property, you might want to further develop your test by taking a remote USB connection to it.

In addition to checking the device screen, you also have the possibility to view the device logs during the execution. Stopping and scrolling logs are supported. Once the execution finishes, you’ll be able to download the logs to your machine from the device-specific test results page.

How Do I Work with Live View?

Start your cloud-side test execution like you would normally. Upload your mobile app and test suite zip-package, select the devices you want to run the tests on and hit the start button. Once the tests start executing, go to the device test execution view and you have the possibility to click on the “Live View” button. The button is visible only for the duration of the test execution. When the button disappears the test has finished execution and you can’t check the device anymore.

What About Performance?

There are no performance implications from Live View to device execution performance. Depending on the device you are trying to connect to, connection creation can take anything between some seconds to almost a minute.

How Do I Get It?

The Live View feature is available with each cloud installation but needs to be configured into the framework configurations. On Bitbar’s public real device cloud, you can already try out how this feature behaves.

Niko Cankar

Bitbar Product Owner