A Look at Some Open Source Android App Testing Tools

While developing a new mobile app, enterprises always target Android platform due to its massive worldwide market share. But a number of studies have shown that a large percentage of users abandon Android apps after one time use. Hence, it becomes essential for each business to focus on the user experience delivered its Android app to keep users engaged and implement various app monetization techniques.

The business must get the Android app tested elaborately under varying user conditions to assess its user experience precisely. But it must provide QA professionals with robust mobile app testing tools and test automation framework to repeat the tests under varying user conditions. Each business can always consider using open source test automation frameworks to test the Android app effectively without increasing project overheads.

Brief Overview of 7 Widely Used Open Source Android App Testing Tools

1) Appium

The cross-platform test automation framework comes with features to simplify testing of native, hybrid, and mobile web apps for Android. The testers can use Appium to test native apps without including an SDK. As Appium uses standard test automation APIs, they can test the application without modifying or recompiling the app code. They also have option to write test in a number of WebDriver compatible programming languages including Java, PHP, Ruby, Python, C#, and Perl. The users can further test the Android app with both real devices and emulators, while using a number of widely used test frameworks.

2) Robotium

The open source tool is designed with features to facilitate Android UI testing. The QA professionals can use Robotium app testing to test both native and hybrid apps for Android. Robotium further comes with features to help users write automated black-box UI tests efficiently. The users can take advantage of these features to write functional, system, and user acceptance test scenarios across varying Android activities. Robotium executes test cases faster, and enables testers to write test cases quickly. The users can further integrate Robotium seamlessly into popular continuous integration (CI) testing tools like Ant, Gradle and Maven.

3) Selendroid

As its name indicates, Selendroid is basically Selenium for Android apps. The QA professionals can use this open source test automation framework to evaluate native, hybrid, and mobile web apps for Android. They can further use Selendroid on both real devices and emulators. Likewise, they can also test the Android apps without modifying or recompiling their source code. Selendroid further supports common gestures through Advanced User Interactions API and Multiple Android target API. The testers can further simplify test case development by using the built-in Inspector provided by the test automation framework.

4) MonkeyTalk

The users have option to choose from community and professional versions of MonkeyTalk. However, Oracle acquired both editions of MonkeyTalk in 2015. MonkeyTalk is designed with features to simplify testing of native Android apps. The cross-platform testing tool further enables users to perform both simple and complex tests efficiently. They can further execute the test scripts smoothly by availing the record-and-playback feature of the mobile app testing tool. Also, the users can run MonkeyTalk on both real devices and emulators.

5) Calabash Android

The automated acceptance testing framework for Android is developed and maintained by Xamarin. The libraries provided by Calabash Android enable testers to make the test code interact with both native and hybrid mobile apps programmatically. The interaction further includes common user actions like assertions and touches/gestures. The QA professionals can further use Calabash to test both native and hybrid apps for Android. Also, they can take advantage of Xamarin Test Cloud to test the application on more than 1000 devices in the cloud. However, some of these Xamarin testing services are commercial.

6) UI Automator

The open source framework is designed with features to simplify user interface (UI) testing of Android apps. The testing professionals avail the APIs provided by UI Automator to create UI tests that interact seamlessly with both user apps and system apps. Also, UI Automator enables testers to write black box-style automated tests efficiently, while performing common operations through the UI Automator APIs. The users can further avail important features provided by the framework like UI Automator Viewer tool, UIDevice class, and UI Automator APIs.

7) Magneto

The test automation framework helps testing professionals to write custom and robust tests for native Android apps. It is written in Python programming language, and developed based on PyTest. The users have option to launch Magneto from an IDE, CI server, or command line. They can also avail a number of useful features provided by Magneto including screenshots, videos, log watching, skipping, tagging, and blocking.

On the whole, the QA professionals have option to choose from several Android app testing tools. But the features and performance of individual testing tools and frameworks differ. That is why; it becomes essential for testing professionals to keep in mind the precise needs of the Android app while selecting a test automation framework.