Tech 16. Sep. 2016

BrowserStack screenshot service uses emulators

In my personal roadmap on automated tests integrated in a countious deployment strategy, my first phase was setting up screenshot regression tests. Within this phase I wanted to extend the tests from a simple setting at GhostInspector to cross device/browser tests. So I’ve got a subscription at BrowserStack with the aim to trigger the screenshot API an generate all browser screenshots automatically.

But on this way I recognizes 1) a lot of timeouts, 2) different browser display behaviours than on real devices, and 3) stange effects with backgrounds and fixed/sticky elements on longer pages. The first issue makes automation impossible, because you cannot trust on reliability. The second issue made the test results not usable - if the screenshot on android 4.4 has no main menu, a alarm rings in the head of a tester, but with not using emulators, everything is fine.

I tested your URL on emulators in BrowserStack ‘Live’ and it worked fine. I generated Screenshots with a defer time of 60 seconds and it failed. I also tried generated screenshots with BrowserStack ‘Automate’ and it did not worked.

We use Selenium to automatically capture the screenshots. It seems Selenium is unable to capture screenshots for the particular URL on Android emulators.

Unfortunately, there is no immediate fix. However, it is exactly to fix such issues we are working to add physical Android devices on ‘Screenshots’. This will take couple of weeks and we will keep you posted on developments.

Meanwhile, I suggest you to use BrowserStack ‘Live’ to test on Android emulators.