Best Mobile Automated Testing Tools 2023
Let’s open up with some hard facts:
- The global mobile application market is expected to grow and reach $565.40 billion by 2030.
- Over 3.8 trillion hours were spent last year using mobile apps.
- 90% of mobile internet time is spent in apps.
- There are more than 2.9 million apps in the Google Play Store.
- There are more than 4.75 million apps in the Apple App Store.
- Most users have over 80 apps installed on their phones.
The landscape of mobile applications is expanding in all industries in the modern world. Why? Billions of mobile users find these apps to be incredibly useful and businesses are willing to do whatever it takes to attract and retain this large group of mobile users by developing apps that appeal to them.
When developing mobile apps at break-neck speed, it is imperative to establish a mobile app testing strategy that is geared to help achieve the goals of the company and the needs of the client. Because testing is unavoidable before releasing any software product, testers are tasked with finding innovative ways to test quickly and at scale. However, being able to test on a wide variety of mobile devices and operating systems like Android, iOS, and Windows presents its own set of challenges in terms of cost optimization.
Due to frequent OS updates, the introduction of new device models, new releases to maintain competitiveness on mobile features, etc., testing must be performed more frequently. Automated testing mobile accelerates the process and reduces the number of mistakes that usually happen with manual testing. Of course, nowadays, there are a lot of automation testing tools out there, and it can be hard to choose the right one for your team.
In this article, Svitla System’s very own Person X, Person Title, will walk us through a curated and thorough overview of some of the best mobile automated testing tools that can help your business cut expenses and come out on top in the mobile app testing space.
What is automated mobile testing?
Mobile apps very often have a complicated internal logic that needs to be tested very carefully for every change in the source code. Automated testing for mobile apps is such a powerful tool that there are projects that build all their QA system around it by covering each screen and each user workflow with it.
So, what is automated mobile testing? As the name suggests, mobile automation is "automation" that is done on mobile devices. And in the context of testing, automation is the process of testing an application automatically with tools, which helps cut down on testing time by using computers rather than people.
Why is automated testing a must for mobile development?
Mobile automated testing has revolutionized software development and is largely responsible for the recent app expansion. Let's have a look at the key advantages of automated testing that allow businesses to speed up their testing and development processes.
Enhancing Regression Testing
Having to manually test for bugs in software updates is a time-consuming operation. To validate that a mistake has been solved, testers must perform testing multiple times using the same set of test cases. Developers and testers have long found this to be a major source of frustration.
Testing Across Multiple Environments
It is crucial to test applications for cross-platform compatibility early on in the development cycle. Automated testing allows testers to test a mobile application across several platforms, operating systems, and devices. This is particularly helpful as testers only need to create a single universal automated test that can work on multiple environments without the challenges of having it be compatible across diverse platforms.
Test Cases Can Be Reused
The ability to reuse test scripts is a significant benefit of automated testing because creating test cases is time-consuming and labor-intensive. When putting in place a cross-platform test, testers must always write fresh test scripts for each new operating system or device. Because automated test scripts may be reused, testers can make better use of their time.
Improved Test Results
By analyzing the data produced by test automation technologies, testing teams may keep tabs on the status of the entire testing procedure. By using these insights, engineers can minimize the likelihood of making mistakes.
Automated testing requires much less resources and people involved, which makes it easier to scale. In stark contrast, manual testing requires a lot more people because it involves a high volume of instances. Automated testing makes the process more scalable and with very scarce human involvement.
Best Tools for Testing Android Apps
Availability: TestComplete offers a 14-day trial. Pricing ranges between $1,665 to $5,075. See all the pricing details here.
Platforms: TestComplete is built on an open architecture based on COM, which makes it easy to add new features. It supports the following platforms/applications: all 32-bit and 64-bit Windows applications, extended support, access to internal objects, methods and properties, for the following: .NET (C#, VB.NET, JScript.NET, VCL.NET, C#Builder, Python .NET, Perl .NET etc.), WPF, Java (AWT, SWT, Swing, WFC), Android, iOS, Xamarin, Sybase PowerBuilder, Microsoft FoxPro, Microsoft Access, Microsoft InfoPath, Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Visual C++, Visual Basic, Visual FoxPro, Delphi, C++Builder, Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight, HTML5, Chromium, and PhoneGap.
Background: With an easy-to-use GUI test automation tool for mobile testing, TestComplete helps ensure the quality of apps without sacrificing speed or flexibility. The object recognition engine is powered by AI and can work with or without scripts, making it easy to test desktop, web, and mobile apps.
Documentation/community: TestComplete’s documentation is thoroughly curated, offering rich information about basic setup but also citing value-add use cases for reference. You can see TestComplete’s documentation here.
Prominent clients/projects: Taos Mountain, Uline, RadNet, BlackBerry, Boeing, and more.
Getting started: Get up and running with TestComplete here.
- Teams can regenerate tests without having to manipulate code thanks to the record feature.
- Simplified initial setup.
- Intuitive interface.
- Integration with Azure DevOps for continuous integration and deployment.
- Small percentage of XPaths are generated automatically.
- Complex integration with Jenkins.
- Lacking API interfaces.
Platforms: Espresso delivers automated testing in Android applications and it’s developed by Google.
Available programming languages for testing: Espresso tests can be written in both Java and Kotlin.
Background: Google's Espresso is an open source testing framework with an API that lets you create user interface tests to simulate how users interact with an Android app (in version 2.2 onwards).
Documentation/community: Thanks to Google’s standardization, Espresso benefits from having robust documentation and help resources that simplify its implementation. You can see Espresso’s documentation here.
Getting started: Get up and running with Espresso here.
- Espresso is easy to use, and because it is based on JUnit, the scripts are predictable.
- Espresso is highly stable and rarely does it show any malfunctioning.
- Espresso is open-source, meaning it is free for anyone to use and can be easily used with other tools.
- This Android framework is only UI-based, so you'll need to learn more than one framework to finish testing. For some testers, this can make or break the deal.
- This Android testing framework does not work on multiple platforms, meaning that you have to make more than one script for each platform.
Appium Automation Framework
Please note Appium is available for automated testing iOS as well.
Availability: Appium is a free solution that is not designed for commercial use.
Platforms: It can be used with both native mobile apps and hybrid ones. The Selenium WebDriver protocol is used to run apps on iOS, Android, and Windows with Appium.
Background: Appium is a framework and tool for automating testing of native, hybrid, and web iOS and Android apps. It uses Selenium's WebDriver to talk to iOS and Android apps through JSONWireProtocol.
Documentation/community: Designed to meet mobile automation needs, Appium delivers comprehensive documentation that includes design and concepts to simplify a tester’s work.
Prominent clients/projects: Walmart, NBC, Wells Fargo, and more.
Getting started: Get up and running with Appium here.
- Supports multiple languages.
- Does not require source code access.
- Can write scripts that work on different platforms and has a wider range of online support.
- Apps that run on Android and iOS are supported.
- Android devices in lower versions than 4.2 cannot be tested.
- Appium doesn't support testing hybrid apps as well as it could. Testers won't be able to test the action that lets them switch between native and web apps and web apps and native apps.
- You can't run Appium inspector on Microsoft Windows because there is no way to do so.
Platforms: Test automation for native or hybrid Android apps and the mobile web with Selendroid. Supports all Android versions.
Available programming languages for testing: Supports Selenium as a scripting language. Supports web driver-compatible languages such as Java, C#, Perl.
Background: Selendroid is also called Selenium for Android mobile apps. With Selendroid, testers can test both native and hybrid mobile apps and can run test cases at the same time on multiple devices.
Documentation/community: With a strong community backing up this widespread testing framework, Selendroid has plenty of resources and documentation items to help Android testers. See Selendroid’s resources here.
Getting started: Get up and running with Selendroid here.
- Selendroid works well with the JSON wire protocol and is ready for Selenium 3.
- The web view app that comes with the Android driver can be used to test mobile web.
- The only thing that makes Selendroid hard to use is that it is very slow and it won't work at all on some machines with less than 4GB of RAM.
Please note this is also available for iOS.
Platforms: It works for both Android and iOS apps.
Available programming languages for testing: Calabash can be used to write in Ruby using Cucumber.
Background: Calabash is a test automation framework that lets mobile developers and pretty much anyone without coding skills makes and run automated acceptance tests for Android and iOS apps. Calabash works by letting an application's UI interact with itself automatically, like clicking buttons, typing text, validating answers, etc.
Documentation/community: Housed inside GitHub, the Calabash documentation is robust and offers value-add descriptions with plenty of community support for common and not-so-common issues. You can see the Calabash resources here.
Getting started: Get up and running with Calabash here.
- Easy-to-understand English, like a test script.
- Supports all screen actions, such as swipe, pinch, turn, tap, etc.
- Cross-platform development support (same code works for Android and iOS devices).
- If one step of testing fails, the rest will be skipped, which can lead to other serious problems being overlooked.
Robotium Android Testing Tool
Availability: Robotium is free. See more details here.
Platforms: Compatible only with the Android SDK. Robotium officially supports Android API level 8 and up.
Available programming languages for testing: When testing an Android app with Robotium, testers can only write test cases in Java.
Background: Robotium is an open-source mobile automated testing tool that is often used to test a wide range of Android apps. It is often called the "Selenium for Android" by programmers. The UI testing tool also works with both major and minor versions of the Google mobile OS.
Documentation/community: Also living inside GitHub, Robotium’s documentation delivers value to users with timely release notes, a helpful wiki, and powerful tutorials. See the available Robotium resources here.
Prominent clients/projects: MetaBrite, TestAutomation.
Getting started: Get up and running with Robotium here.
- Test scripts are easy to use.
- You can automate apps that have already been installed.
- Automation of tests is faster than with Appium because run-time binding with GUI components only works with Android apps.
- Flash or web components can't be used.
- iOS app automation is not possible.
Best Tools for iOS Automated Testing
Platforms: iOS exclusively.
Available programming languages for testing: Limited to build with Objective-C or Swift.
Background: Like Android Studio, Xcode gives developers iOS automated testing with plenty of options for testing software, which can greatly help to make the software more stable. Also, Xcode comes with XCTest and XCUITest, which are very helpful tools for making and building better software. Apps that have been well tested, whether at the unit level or at the user interface (UI) level, improve the user experience and make it easier for people to use those kinds of apps.
Documentation/community: Professional, sleek, and thorough, this iOS-based testing framework’s documentation delivers plenty of value to testers thanks to its definitions of test cases, methods, test assertions, UI tests, asynchronous tests, and much more. See documentation and resources here.
Getting started: Get up and running with XCTest here.
- Easy to use and only needs knowledge of Swift.
- Since the grammar is similar to English, it's easy to read and write tests in this language.
- You can write unit tests, performance tests, and even tests to see how well your app works with other apps and services with XCTest.
- Most of the time, Apple builds everything so that it can only be used on its own tools, devices, and environments. Since this makes sense when testing APIs and functions as a whole, many testers prefer cross-platform test automation frameworks so that they only need to write one test script that works on both Android and iOS.
- Developers can only use Objective-C or Swift.
KIF — Keep-It-Functional
Platforms: iOS, exclusively.
Available programming languages for testing: Objective-C.
Background: KIF, which stands for "keep it functional," is an iOS integration test framework that uses XCTest test targets and is closely related to them. Any subclass or XCTestCase itself can be used to run KIF tests. KIF makes it easy to automate iOS apps by taking advantage of the features that make the OS accessible for people with visual impairments.
Documentation/community: In honor of its name, KIF’s documentation is also easy to follow and understand, providing users with plenty of resources around projects, security, releases, and more. See KIF’s resources here.
Getting started: Get up and running with KIF here.
- Easy to learn. iOS app developers can choose between Swift and Objective-C.
- KIF works directly with Xcode projects, so testers don't have to install any packages, set up any extra servers, or work with any other instances.
- KIF offers user-like inputs, and all automation events and interactions are similar to how a real person would use the app being tested.
- Can be buggy at times, especially with newly-released versions of iOS.
Availability: Bugfender offers a free account for new users up to 100K daily log lines, after which the software is available across 4 pricing tiers: Basic, Pro, Premium, and Enterprise. See pricing details here.
Platforms: Bugfender is available for iOS and Android. Also supported are frameworks like Flutter, Xamarin, ionic, unity, etc.
Background: Bugfender is a service for application developers that lets them store logs. Bugfender records everything that happens in an app, even if it doesn't crash. This helps developers find and fix bugs faster and gives customers better support.
Documentation/community: From zero-to-hero guides, checklists, whitepapers, FAQs, and more, Bugfender documentation is geared to help testers succeed. See Bugfender’s resources here.
Prominent clients/projects: Schneider Electric, GLS, Macy’s, Napster, Levi’s, and more.
Getting started: Get up and running with Bugfender here.
- Integration and usability make it possible to easily integrate with apps while providing enough support.
- Easy implementation.
- Crash reporting is limited.
Automate Mobile Testing - Doing It The Right Way
As industries evolve, the demand for mobile automated testing is skyrocketing, highlighting the importance of test automation as the golden standard for software testing. To take advantage of automated testing of mobile apps including quicker releases, automated repetitive jobs, decreased time for regression testing, increased test coverage, and 24x7 availability, many companies are transitioning from a purely manual testing environment to a hybrid one.
Your mobile app testing can be fully automated with the help of Svitla Systems' engagement models and solutions. What sets Svitla Systems apart are its engagement models and major features, which are:
- Wide expertise in the development of large-scale mobile applications for Android and iOS
- Highly skilled test, software engineers, and other professionals in test automation.
- Tailored engagement models that suit the client and project needs.
Let's discuss your project
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