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Genymobile Takes Android OS to the Cloud

Genymobile Inc., known for its popular Genymotion Android emulator for mobile app development, is providing an Android operating environment on the Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) cloud.

While the new Genymotion On Demand service can be used in the mobile development process for testing apps on a variety of devices, its capabilities go beyond Android emulation, letting enterprises run Android virtual devices online in the cloud. For example, any Android app can be launched and run from a Web browser on a pay-as-you-go pricing model for actual usage.

The company's move toward more Android virtualization functionality beyond device emulation testing was reflected in its launch of a new Genymotion Cloud service last October. It now continues with the On Demand service.

"Apps can be launched in a Web page, such as in an ad banner, or in 'kiosk' mode," the company said yesterday in a news release. "Android virtual devices can be cloned, scaled and automated. Apps can connect to Android virtual devices on AWS via ADB [Android Debug Bridge] activated through specific settings by issuing ADB calls locally, and seeing those executed on virtual devices that are on AWS."

From examining feedback from an early rollout of the service, the company envisions a variety of use cases:

  • BYOD/Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI)
  • Help desk/mobile app customer support
  • Apps benchmarking/stress testing
  • Mobile Application Security Testing
  • Mobile Threat Defense (MTD)
  • Applications Performance Monitoring
  • Online advertising of mobile apps
  • Ad campaigns A/B testing -- competitive analysis

Developers are likely to be interested in the app testing capabilities. The service's Web site says it provides "Seamless ADB access activated through specific settings. Automate your tests on Genymotion on Demand and integrate it with your existing Continuous Integration infrastructure to enable continuous delivery."

In its statement yesterday, the company said "Our team was able to shrink the cloud platform to fit a full Android environment in each virtual device; they have implemented a full, unrestricted user/physical interaction stack; all Android API interaction widgets; and have included full, high-speed custom 3D rendering stack in a Web browser window, which can auto-adapt to the performance of the underlying AWS instance."

Genymotion On Demand comes in three versions: Runtime, for simple apps not requiring a GUI; Pro, to run mainstream Android apps; and Performance, for apps with intense graphics UIs.

Performance will be affected by the underlying AWS EC2 instance used. Genymobile said the specific type of backing EC2 instance is left to the enterprise, but it recommends specific instance types for each version of the service, basically scaling from two virtual CPU instances to four to eight for the three versions.

Genymotion On Demand, running Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), is available on the AWS Marketplace.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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