All About Android App Automation Testing Tools
By Harmandeep Gover, Community Contributor - September 2, 2022
Globally, Android is the most popular operating system, serving more than 2.5 billion active users across more than 190 countries. This is reinforced by the fact that the Google Play Store has 2.65 million apps placed as of June 2022.
But what makes Android a favorite among the user and developer community?
To start with, Android is an open-source system that makes it easily accessible, customized, and development friendly. Since Android has a large user base, it caters to multiple audiences owning smartphones of different budgets and functionalities. A larger user base means a bigger market share. Hence android apps can easily have a larger reach, which is why it is preferred.
Lastly, with an open-source community and contribution forum, learning app development on the Android platform is easy. So, developers have adopted Android more easily. Simultaneously, developers and testers have adopted tools and techniques to test Android apps.
To deliver high-quality apps, Android Testing is a must and should be performed diligently for the best results. This guide lists down top android app automation tools and frameworks to help QAs deliver apps that delight users.
Factors to consider for App Automation Testing
Android apps have evolved, and so have their features and functionalities. With the growing user expectations, adding new interesting features to the Android App is a must for customer retention. Moreover, as the number of Android devices in the market is increasing, so should the feature support for these devices to ensure a consistent user experience. Thus, the scope of testing has increased as well.
Let’s have a look at the various factors to be considered when testing an android app.
Every app has some core functionalities that come from the users’ requirements. Functional testing is done to verify whether the app runs for every use case. Let us take an example of a ride-sharing application (like Uber, Lyft). A tester has to ensure the following test scenarios:
- The maps are working in sync with the user’s location
- The available cab locations shown to the user are accurate
- The driver ratings are functional and verified
- The pricing system is working as per the algorithms defined
- The booking time is optimized
These are some of the functionalities which a tester looks at while testing an app.
- Cross Platform Compatibility
Many new Android devices are launched every year. These include different shapes, sizes, configurations, and even components. Thus, it is essential to understand the requirements of your app and to make sure that it is universally accepted and compatible with every Android device. Compatibility is tested based on the device and the version of the Operating system.
- User Interface (UI)
UI is another essential aspect of any app since it is the critical connection between the user and the functionality. UI includes the visual elements of the app and how well they represent each function. App testing for UI enables the tester to ensure the correct visual representation of buttons and text.
Security has been a significant concern since technology has brought in a lot more users, and that has made the safety of private user data more vulnerable. This is very critical for apps concerning finance and communication. Security testing is thus done to ensure the encryption and decryption of essential data. It also makes sure that the data stored is safe and secure from vulnerabilities.
App development is often done in phases, and once all the stages are completed, the app is tested for any bugs. The app is thoroughly tested for all components essential such as location services, maps, social app integration, location services, maps, voice recording, etc. This is known as interface testing.
Why opt for Android App Automation Testing?
Imagine the process of developing a modern Android app. Among other requirements, it needs to work flawlessly on thousands of Android devices with different hardware specifications, OS versions, and other technical minutiae.
To manually test an app on thousands of Android devices would take enormous amounts of time and effort. You’d have to hire a large number of testers to work through every user scenario on every Android device out there, at least the popular ones.
This is where you opt for Android app automation testing. Instead of running every scenario manually, automate as many of them as possible, create test scripts that emulate user actions, and establish benchmarks by which tests will pass or fail. Additionally, you can use parallel testing to run tests simultaneously on multiple Android devices, thus reducing time and effort even further.
Of course, one cannot completely do away with manually testing mobile applications. Human perception and judgment are essential because the success of an app does, in the end, depend on what users think of it. However, except for the most necessary test cases, QAs must aim to automate the bulk of their test scenarios.
Do you know which Android Devices to test on? Check out Top Android Devices For Mobile App Testing
Top Android App Automation Testing Tools and Frameworks
Automation Testing of Android Apps is pivotal in a software release cycle.
Appium is another widely used open-source app testing tool. It is a cross-platform testing framework known for its flexibility, allowing QAs to create test scripts against numerous platforms such as iOS, Windows, and Android using the same API.
You can run Appium tests in parallel using Appium Grid.
Based on the Selenium framework, Selendroid is used for Android app testing. Driving UI of native and hybrid apps, Selendroid can be used on android emulators as well as actual devices. Similar to Selenium, Selendroid offers playback and recording features.
Selendroid can also be used in combination with other frameworks such as JUnit. It offers cross-platform support through export options for scripts in other languages such as Java, Python, and Ruby.
Calabash is an open-source mobile testing framework tool that works with multiple languages, such as Java, Ruby, .NET, etc., to test native and hybrid apps.
Using Calabash, testers can write and execute automated acceptance tests for Mobile apps. It supports actions such as swipe, screen-rotate, tap, etc. It has support for the Cucumber framework. Hence, easier to understand by non-technical stakeholders and supports Behaviour Driven Development (BDD).
Espresso is an open-source app testing tool used to test UI. It is an Android testing framework developed by Google. It is known for its robustness, simplicity, and flexibility.
Its core features are Synchronized test executions, intent validations, and capabilities to run recipes.
Espresso enables developers to test both Android native views as well as hybrid web-views. It support test scripts in Java and Kotlin. Espresso supports both black-box testing as well as testing of individual components during development cycles.
Best practices for Automation App Testing in Android
Some of the best practices that testers should keep in mind are:
- Understand and set an achievable scope of testing in order to set the right expectation across teams.
- Select the right framework based on the requirements of teams. The above list helps decide, when to use which, depending on the project requirements. Numerous teams make the mistake of choosing a popular tool that might not fulfill the actual requirements.
- Test on real android devices, given that multiple manufacturers release new devices each year with different configurations. Emulators and simulators cannot adequately replicate real user conditions as they appear on Android devices. They certainly cannot simulate low battery, incoming calls, or weak internet connections, which means that tests run on them would be highly inconclusive.Use BrowserStack’s real device cloud to run Android app automation tests on thousands of real Android devices (phones and tablets). Leverage actual hardware and software for your automated app testing efforts, and identify bugs and errors before your users do.
- Set scripting rules. Uniform scripting, along with user comments and indentation of code, plays a significant role, especially in
- Android often releases updates for its operating systems. Teams must upgrade test cases that can handle these changes.
- Check the impact of automation testing by measuring test automation metrics such as Execution Time, Pass Rate, Test Coverage, Build Stability, etc.
- Avoid comparing automation testing with the manual testing process since both of them play different roles in the overall development cycle.
- Make sure to have diligent Android App Debugging. This can be done by proper test reporting and using screenshots, video, and text logs to debug failed tests.
Struggling with Android Fragmentation! Know How to deal with Android Fragmentation.
Given that Android has a 71% market share, testers need a robust process to test their Android apps. Automating their testing process helps teams scale up their device coverage. Multiple app automation testing tools and frameworks exist in the market. Testing teams should choose the correct framework and tools diligently and set the right expectations for their engineering teams.
Moreover, it is also recommended should replace apk emulators with real Android devices to test under real user conditions and achieve accurate test results. With real device cloud like BrowserStack, you can easily integrate your Appium and Espresso Automation Tests to test your Android apps on thousands of real devices seamlessly.