RERAN: Timing- and touch-sensitive record and replay for Android

Lorenzo Gomez, Iulian Neamtiu, Tanzirul Azim, Todd Millstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

258 Scopus citations


Touchscreen-based devices such as smartphones and tablets are gaining popularity, but their rich input capabilities pose new development and testing complications. To alleviate this problem, we present an approach and tool named Reran that permits record-and-replay for the Android smartphone platform. Existing GUI-level record-and-replay approaches are inadequate due to the expressiveness of the smartphone domain, in which applications support sophisticated GUI gestures, depend on inputs from a variety of sensors on the device, and have precise timing requirements among the various input events. We address these challenges by directly capturing the low-level event stream on the phone, which includes both GUI events and sensor events, and replaying it with microsecond accuracy. Moreover, Reran does not require access to app source code, perform any app rewriting, or perform any modifications to the virtual machine or Android platform. We demonstrate RERAN's applicability in a variety of scenarios, including (a) replaying 86 out of the Top-100 Android apps on Google Play; (b) reproducing bugs in popular apps, e.g., Firefox, Facebook, Quickoffice; and (c) fast-forwarding executions. We believe that our versatile approach can help both Android developers and researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 35th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2013 - Proceedings
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2013 35th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2013 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: May 18 2013May 26 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
ISSN (Print)0270-5257


Other2013 35th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


  • Google Android
  • Record-and-replay


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