Frequently asked questions about Rainforest Mobile testing with Android and iOS Virtual Machines

What testers can interact with while testing:

Can photos be uploaded?

  • Yes, as long as they are downloaded to the phone. There is a set of preloaded images ready to use. More info on the images can be found here.

Can we test videos on mobile devices, i.e. if a video loads, if you can watch it, etc? 

  • Yes - in-app videos can be played and viewed on our Mobile VMs.

Can we configure the geo settings for the mobile VMs?

  • There are two ways. We can set the geolocation similarly to the way we’d configure for a web test to test from a specific location.
  • It is also possible to instruct testers to configure the GPS settings of the VM they're using for region testing. See this article for details on how to do this.

Are Mobile VMs simulators or emulators?

  • The iOS VM is a Simulator.
  • The Android VM is the official Google Android emulator running on a computer, instead of a phone. This means that Android testing very closely reflects behavior on a real device.

Can I see the address of my business on a map/interact with different built-in phone functionality? 

  • You can interact with pretty much any app that’s preloaded on the VM
  • Location functionality (like seeing the drop marker for your business on a map, etc) works.

Can you log in with social credentials?

  • Yes, logging in your app with social (Facebook) credentials will work.

Does Rainforest provide application logs?

  • Yes, Rainforest can provide application logs for app testing on all of our supported platforms.
  • Rainforest will additionally provide tester videos, just like with regular Rainforest web regression.

Is it only WiFi connection?

  • It’s actually a cabled connection. The iOS and Android VMs will display this connection as a wifi connection, but since it’s a simulator it actually uses the VM connection.

Where does the connection come from? Is this different from VM to device? 

  • Like Rainforest web regression, all Mobile VM traffic originates in Germany.
  • Mobile VM traffic from tests run on real devices (device farm) are originated from the US.

What cannot be tested on our mobile VMs?

Can I make Phone Calls?

  • No. There is no phone functionality.

Can I use TestFlight?

  • No. The App Store is not supported on Device Farm or simulators so TestFlight is also not supported.

Does camera functionality work?

  • Currently, we only support cameras for Android Emulators, but not iOS.
  • No, but our Mobile VMs come preloaded with a set of 10 images in their image gallery. Also, as long as photos can be downloaded, they can also be uploaded.

Can you receive SMS or text messages in the VM's inbox?

  • No, neither the iOS nor Androids VMs have a mobile number/sim card attached to them. However, Rainforest offers customers dedicated private SMS numbers that can only be used by testers in their specific account. These are unique, static numbers that are not shared with other clients. Customers are free to use these phone numbers however they wish. This can be used for test cases that require testers to receive messages to a specific phone number that’s preconfigured in the database, for example for two-factor authentication.

Can degraded data coverage be simulated? 

  • Today degraded data coverage is not supported. However, we do plan to support different options for connectivity in the future. If this is something of interest, please let your CSM know!

Mobile Set Up FAQ

What platforms are represented on mobile VMs?



For a list of real devices we support of iOS native testing, please see here.

What does a user need to do to set up their Android app for testing on a VM?

  • Android applications should be formatted as a standard .apk compiled for x86, accessibly hosted (such as Amazon S3 or on an FTP server) and provided to Rainforest as a direct download link. For more details please see our documentation on setting up an Android app for testing on a VM.

What does a user need to do to set up their iOS app for testing on a VM?

  • It's not possible to use an .ipa file with the simulators because .ipa files are compiled for a phone's ARM architecture, not the simulator's x86 architecture. Instead the user will need to provide a simulator's application bundle (.app file).
  • To generate the .app file users can use the xcodebuild tool:

xcodebuild ENABLE_BITCODE=NO -workspace YOUR_WORKSPACE -scheme YOUR_SCHEME -sdk iphonesimulator CONFIGURATION_BUILD_DIR="/tmp"

  • The .app file should be zipped and uploaded to S3, FTP server, or any accessible website. The URL for the zipped .app file should be informed when starting a native mobile test using an iOS simulator.
  • For more details, please see our full guide on setting up an iOS app for testing on a VM.

If you have any questions about Rainforest Mobile testing not covered here, please let us know at!

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