Automated software testing solution provider TestPlant announced last week the upcoming release of eggOn, a new mobile component of eggPlant, the company’s test-automation tool. The company said eggOn is different from other mobile application testing solutions because it’s an on-premise solution that gives developers full control of mobile devices during application testing, without the need for jailbreaking. In other words, developers won’t be forced to insert any third-party code into the devices before testing their applications.

“When you jailbreak a phone, you are essentially subverting the operating system and changing the behavior of the phone,” said Antony Edwards, CTO of TestPlant. “So if you then test your application on a jailbroken phone, you really are testing it in a compromised environment. Most corporate developers just simply won’t allow testing on jailbroken devices because it’s not representative of what their users are doing.”

eggOn can run tests across all operating systems and mobile devices, including Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows. It uses image-recognition technology to see and interact with device displays. And because it is an on-premise solution, the company said eggOn gives developers a wider range of test types to perform on mobile devices.

“There are a number of hosted tools for app testing available on the market today, but these are limited in terms of the range of tests that can actually be performed,” Edwards said. “For example, testing for connectivity interruptions, WiFi-to-3G handovers, location services, low-battery situations and even new, unreleased devices can all be handled by [eggOn], but hosted solutions cannot do these tests.”

Edwards said eggOn is different from other testing tools because it gives developers full control of the devices during testing. “A lot of test solutions will let you test your application on the device. So you make your application, you put it on your iPhone and you can test that application,” he said.

“But you can’t interact with the iPhone as a whole. You can’t pull down the notification screen, you can’t go back to the main menu and then jump back to the application, and you can’t go to the settings menu. And this really restricts the different kinds of tests you can do on your application.”

Edwards said that having full control of the device also means that developers can use applications such as Apple’s Safari browser. With most test solutions, he said, developers can’t use those built-in apps. “So if you’re actually just trying to test that your website works properly from an iPhone, you can’t do that with most tools,” he said.

“eggOn is the first tool, really, that we know about, which lets you test your website through the native Safari browser from your phone.”