App & Browser Testing Made Easy

Give your users a seamless experience by testing on 3000+ real devices and browsers. Don't compromise with emulators and simulators

Get Started free
Home Guide What is Android UI Testing?

What is Android UI Testing?

By Amrita Vazirani, Community Contributor -

Android OS devices are becoming increasingly popular. According to statistics, Android OS devices have a market share of 71.59% as of April 2022. This makes them the most popular type of device in the world with a large number of people using them for a variety of tasks. 

Android Market Share 1

With this increase in popularity, it is important to ensure that your app is compatible with as many devices as possible. Android UI testing helps you do just that. It allows you to test your app on a wide range of devices, ensuring that it looks and behaves the way you want it to.

This article highlights some of the important aspects of Android UI testing. Let’s begin by answering the most fundamental question. 

What is Android UI Testing?

Android UI testing is a process of testing the graphical user interface of Android applications. The goal of Android UI testing is to ensure that the UI of an Android application meets its functional requirements. UI Testing is one of the most critical parts of the Android development process. It helps ensure that your Android app has a smooth and error-free user interface, which translates to a better experience for your users. It can be performed manually or automated.

Why is Android UI Testing important?

Android UI testing can test various aspects of the user interface on Android devices. It helps ensure that your Android app provides a consistent and user-friendly experience across all devices. It includes testing the following key aspects:

  • The layout of UI elements: The placement of different UI elements such as icons, buttons, images, headings, text fields, selection fields, checkboxes, etc. is thoroughly checked if they are placed as expected.
  • Responsiveness of the UI: It checks how the application appears on different screen resolutions to test the adaptability of the UI. By testing the Android Application using a real device cloud you can test your app on various popular Android devices in real-time, under real user conditions.
  • Overall look and feel of the UI: This includes testing the font, alignment, and display type, of the Android application. It basically checks how user-friendly the UI is from the users’ perspective with usability tests.

Android UI Testing Approaches

There are two approaches for performing Android UI testing of applications. They can be broadly classified as follows:

Manual Testing of Android UI

UI testing can be performed manually using BrowserStack App Live or a physical device. This approach is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. It is effective in finding bugs and issues with the UI that involve a limited number of elements. However, it might not be effective to test at scale.

To showcase how to deal with Android UI Testing, let us test a real Android App: Gmail using BrowserStack App Live.

Step 1: Sign up on BrowserStack App Live

Step 2: Select the Android device on which you want to perform the Android UI Test.

BrowserStack App Live Dashboard

Here are some UI tests conducted on different Android device combinations using BrowserStack’s real device cloud:

Scenario 1: In this case, the user is composing an email across different Android device combinations.

One Plus 9 5G

Android UI Testing on One Plus 9 5G

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Android UI Testing on Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Google Pixel 4XL

Android UI Testing on Google Pixel 4XL

Scenario 2: In this case, the user is searching for an email across different device combinations.

One Plus 9 5G

Android UI Test on One Plus 9 5G

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Android UI Test on Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Google Pixel 4XL

Android UI Test on Google Pixel 4XL

Test Results: 

On all of the Android devices, the Gmail application was consistent, with a seamless functionality providing the same user experience. Hence, it can be concluded that the Gmail application has an error-free user interface.

Android UI Testing Automation

Automated Android UI testing plays a vital role in delivering a high-quality Android application in a shorter period of time. It is typically performed using mobile automation test frameworks such as: 

  • Espresso: It is one of the popular testing frameworks designed specifically for Android. Espresso makes it easy to create concise and reliable UI tests. 
  • Robotium: Another popular test automation framework that can be used for both native and hybrid Android apps.
  • Appium: It is a versatile framework that allows testing different types of mobile applications. It is an open-source tool that supports different programming languages.
  • XCUITest: It is a native iOS UI testing framework that allows users to write UI test cases for iOS apps. 
  • EarlGrey: It is a native iOS framework that helps ensure that your app UI is stable thereby increasing the test stability.

The most crucial thing is to choose a framework that best suits the needs of your particular application. No matter which approaches you choose it is essential to perform UI testing regularly to ensure that your app always has a high-quality user interface. 

Ways to perform Android UI Testing

There are a few different ways to perform Android UI testing such as:

  • Using the Android emulator: It is an Android Virtual Device (AVD) that provides the capability of a real device. It allows you to test how your app will look and function on different types of Android platforms. However, one of the biggest limitations of using an Android Emulator is that it does not take real user conditions into account while testing.  
  • Using a physical device: It can be helpful if you want to test how your app will work in different environments. It gives a real user experience while testing. However, maintaining physical devices is costly especially when looking for a wider coverage over several devices.
  • Using the Real Device Cloud: It is just like the physical device that allows testing under real user conditions. However, it lets you widen the test coverage since a real device cloud-like BrowserStack can provide access to different models of various Android Mobiles brands such as Google, Samsung, OnePlus, etc.

Role of Real Devices in Android UI Testing

The best way to obtain accurate test results is by testing them across real devices. BrowserStack is one such platform that offers a real device cloud for running Android tests on real devices. It offers handsets from popular vendors like Samsung, One Plus, Motorola, etc., for live interactive testing. BrowserStack provides integration with popular Android automation frameworks (like Appium, Espresso, Robotium, etc.) for running parallel tests across real devices. It also includes a wide range of integrations with popular CI/CD tools and debugging tools that ensure efficient and accurate testing at scale. Sign-up for free to get started.

Test your Apps on Real Android Devices

Best Practices for Android UI Testing

Android UI testing can be a challenge, but there are some best practices that can make it easier. 

  • It is important to create an effective test plan. This should include what you want to test and how you want to test it. 
  • Make a test plan keeping in mind code coverage and test coverage. The right balance between coverage and time has to be maintained for delivering a high-quality application in a shorter period of time.
  • Take Screenshots or Video recordings in case of a failed test for better debugging.
  • Share Bug Report with the team via integrations like Slack, GitHub, JIRA, or Trello for an effective project management
  • Test on a real device cloud for better accuracy
  • Integrate to run tests from CI/CD pipeline
Automated UI Testing Automation Testing Manual Testing Mobile App Testing

Featured Articles

Android App Automation using UIAutomator

Getting Started with Espresso – Android UI Automation

App & Browser Testing Made Easy

Seamlessly test across 20,000+ real devices with BrowserStack