Top 10 Automation Testing Tools for Mobile Applications

Mobile Applications

Top 10 Automation Testing Tools for Mobile Applications

Rajeev Singh

August 31, 2016

Top 10 Automation Testing Tools for Mobile Applications

In the present world that we live in, the landscape of mobile application is growing across all business verticals. It is because of the excellent usability of such applications by billions of mobile end users.  To tap such mobile users and convert them into a customer base, organizations are ready to do everything possible and create apps that are loved by their prospective users.

One common element in any successful mobile application development is the mobile app testing strategy. It ensures that the mobile application covers customer expectations and business objectives. This testing is a preeminent test of mobile apps that apps need to pass before they are deployed. However testing also poses challenges on the cost optimization with the required ability to support various types of mobile devices, and operating systems like Android, iOS, and Windows. At times, QA is costlier than even development, as organizations need to

  • Test-certify on too many device models, OSs, platforms, and combinations
  • Do such testing more often, because of multiple OS upgrades, the launch of new device models, new releases to remain competitive on mobile features, etc.

To solve such a critical situation, the best solution is to automate testing as much as possible. Let’s take a look at the top automation testing tools for mobile apps, which can help organizations save costs and win at mobile app testing.

1. Appium

Appium Testing Tool

Appium is one of the most popular open-source test automation frameworks. It can be utilized with both native and hybrid mobile apps. Appium drives iOS, Android, and Windows apps using the Selenium WebDriver protocol. Appium supports all programming languages that have Selenium client libraries like Java, C#, JavaScript with node.js, PHP, Ruby, Python, etcetera.

Benefits:

  • Supports multiple languages
  • Does not require source code access
  • Can do cross-platform script development
  • Has more extensive support over the internet
  • Supports Android and iOS-based apps.

Limitations:

  • Frequent unstable releases for Appium server desktop application
  • The script recording is not available for Application server desktop application for Windows OS

Link: Website

2. Calabash

Calabash Tool

Calabash is an open-source testing framework tool that is developed and maintained by the Xamarin team. It works for both Android and iOS apps. One can write and execute automated acceptance tests for mobile applications by using this tool. Calabash can interact with mobile apps as Espresso or XCTest does. Calabash can be used to write in Ruby using Cucumber.

Benefits:

  •  Simple and plain English like a test script
  • Support all actions on screens, i.e., swipe, pinch, rotate, tap
  • Cross-platform development support (same code does work for Android as well as iOS device)
  • Supports Android and iOS-based apps.

Limitations:

  • After the failure of one test step, all subsequent steps will be skipped, which may further lead to missing various other severe product issues
  • Coding will be required in case of iOS
  • Not user-friendly for other languages except Ruby

3. Frank

It is also an open-source tool. It allows users to write structured acceptance tests using (Cucumber) and have them execute against your iOS app.

Frank Testing Tool

Benefits: 

  • Test scenarios are written in English sentences with the help of cucumber framework
  • Frank includes a powerful app inspector called Symbiote
  • Easy setup
  • Supports only iOS-based apps.

Limitations: 

  • Limited support for gestures
  • A bit difficult to run tests on real devices
  • Can’t automate for Android apps

Link: Website

4. Robotium

Robotium is an open-source Android test automation framework that can be used for both native and hybrid apps. It is the last open-source tool on our list. It helps with easy-to-write robust automation test scripts for Android applications. With the help of Robotium, automation testers can write functional, system and user acceptance test cases.

Robotium Tool

Benefits:

  • Test scripts are simple and robust
  • Automation of pre-installed apps is possible with this tool
  • Faster test automation as compared to Appium due to run time binding with GUI components
  • Supports only Android apps

Limitations:  

  • Unable to handle flash or web component
  • It can be slow on older devices
  • Does not support automation of iOS app

Link: Website

5. UI Automator

UI Automator is suitable for cross-app functional UI testing of installed apps. The UI Automator provides a set of APIs to perform interactions on user apps and system apps. The UI Automator is well-suited for writing black box-style automated test scripts where the test code does not require the app code.

Benefits:

  • Simple and easy to learn
  • A viewer to inspect layout hierarchy - UI Automator Viewer
  • Library maintained by google community
  • The third-party paid integration with cloud-based test management tools is also available
  • Supports only Android apps

Limitations: 

  • UI Automator requires Android 4.3 (API level 18) or above
  • Test script recording is not supported
  • Library supports in Java only

6. Ranorex Studio

Ranorex Studio is a Windows GUI test automation tool that provides testing for desktop, web, and mobile apps. Ranorex can record and playback. Its interface allows automated UI testing by recording UI actions.

Ranorex Studio

Benefits: 

  • Codeless test creation
  • User-friendly UI
  • Incredible customer support
  • Supports Android and iOS-based apps

Limitations: 

  • Paid license
  • Less supporting languages
  • No Mac OS support

Link: Website

7. SeeTest

SeeTest is one of the leading app testing automation tools in the industry that supports iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry applications. It provides client libraries for Java, C#, Perl, and Python to develop automation scripts in these programming languages.

SeeTest

Benefits:

  • The same script can be used among different OS with a few minor changes
  • Support image and object-based recognition
  • It provides its own reporting mechanism with screenshots and video recording of test executed
  • Supports Windows, Android iOS-based apps

Limitations:

  • Paid license, which makes it unaffordable for small organizations
  • A plugin is required for parallel execution
  • Peer user community is not broad

Link: Website

8. TestComplete Mobile

TestComplete can automate UI actions on real devices or emulators using script-free record and replay. It can also create automated scripts in any of the languages, such as Python, VBScript, Jscript, and JavaScript.

TestComplete Mobile

Benefits: 

  • It’s easy and efficient to use
  • Record and playback test creation is possible with this tool
  • Built-in integrations with source control systems make it user-friendly
  • Supports Android and iOS-based apps.

Limitations:

  • Even though it is a paid tool, the interface is not very user-friendly
  • TestComplete does not record pressing on-device buttons, 3D touch and multi-touch gestures for iOS
  • Android devices get disconnected in an overload situation

Link: Website

9. UFT Mobile

UFT Mobile provides extended support for Mobile app testing. With the UFT mobile support, this tool can create mobile automation test scripts. Test script, which has been developed on iOS, can also be used for Android.

UFT

Benefits:

  • Great user interface
  • Support for record and playback ability provides convenience
  • This automation tool is capable of testing desktop apps, web apps as well as Mobile apps
  • Supports Android and iOS-based apps

Limitations:

  • It is a paid tool
  • The CPU utilization is high which makes its performance slow
  • It supports only VB scripts. It cannot build tests using Java or C# 

10. EggPlant

EggPlant can perform object-based testing of apps on Android and iOS devices with the help of Eggplant Functional using WebDriver functionality. It uses mobile WebDriver commands and functions to define these tests.

Eggplant Testing Tool

Benefits:

  • AI-assisted approach to test automation makes it more user-friendly
  • It has user-friendly syntax
  • It provides an integrated debugging environment
  • Supports Android and iOS-based apps

Top 10 Automation Testing Best Practices to Enhance Efficiency

Limitations: 

  • A free trial is available but posts that user needs to buy the license
  • Text-based OCR search is slow and unreliable on bigger resolutions
  • Only android 5.0 and later version are supported

Link: Website

Conclusion

Mobile app testing automation is a complex task. An effective automation testing using tools as per the selection criteria and budget can be achieved.

Several factors like availability of tools and compatibility, network and environment setup, recording and location elements on UI tricks, system configuration for desktop and server machines should be considered for effective and on-time automation project delivery that makes app stable and bug-free, earning app clients’ satisfaction and appreciation.

Rajeev Singh

Written by

Rajeev Singh

Rajeev is Tech Lead and heading the Quality team of TechAhead. He is having 10+ years of solid experience on test automation, performance and manual testing. He is passionate to learn new tools and technologies and implement those into our software testing division to deliver a quality product to all our clients. He is well versed with various open-source tools like Appium, Selenium Webdriver, Rest Assured and JMeter etc.