Appium for Android Automated Testing: The Essential Need

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Appium for Android Automated Testing: The Essential Need

Android testing is complicated enough with device and OS fragmentation. See how Appium Studio can speed up automated Android testing.

· Mobile Zone ·
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The fragmentation of the Android market makes releasing high-quality mobile apps on time a difficult task. Automated Android testing is extremely important in order to release or update mobile apps in a growing, fast-paced environment. Appium for Android is a solid testing software, but lacks functionality, leading to the creation of Appium Studio, the free, easily downloaded automation software from Experitest that takes your automation project to new heights.

Android is the operating system dominating the global smartphone market much to the delight of developers of Android apps. In their May 2017 report, the IDC has Android’s market share worldwide at 85.1%, while Apple stands at only 14.7%, giving Android app developers access to huge numbers of potential customers. A lot of this success can be put down to Android’s appeal within emerging markets, with people opting for smartphones over personal computers owing to the price.

The Challenge of Testing With Appium for Android Apps

With two billion users worldwide, over 4,000 different devices being sold by more than 400 device manufacturers, Android’s operating systems are not standardized. The device manufacturers will often issue customized Android versions that are infrequently updated. This inconsistency of OS versions, device models, and varied network conditions renders compatibility testing one big challenge.

The cycle of new device purchases complicates things further. According to a 2017 Microsoft report by Dan Luu, over half of the Android devices used worldwide are over two years old, making their OSes out-of-date.

Luu also mentions that as many as 8 major varieties of Android are in circulation globally. A significant number of Android users are operating under-supported or rare OSes. Their devices also carry potential security threats owing to either the nature of the OS or how old the device is. These users may find that your app is incompatible with their devices, potentially hurting your rating in the app store.

App developers can, however, manage these risks.

Android Automated Testing as a Necessity, Appium Testing as the Key

To ensure compatibility with all devices, apps must undergo quick yet rigorous Android automated testing.

The testing must account for all scenarios in an Android application. Testing tools must have the ability to simulate extremely complex scenarios, scenarios like barcode/check scanning, GPS simulation, and Touch ID.

Additionally, to save time, as well as increase testing coverage, automated Android testing must be capable of simultaneously executing on a great number of smartphone devices.

Appium is a popular open source automation tool, allowing testers and developers to create Android automated testing projects on both Android and iOS devices (not at the same time). It is based on the Selenium Webdriver, its operation familiar to those who use Selenium. Appium allows testers to install applications on devices, simulate and automate many different use cases. The devices employed in Appium for Android testing can be connected remotely, locally or be emulated.

Appium is not perfect, however.

Appium Can Be Challenging

Appium can be unwieldy since it is an open source software with no dedicated support. Because of its limitations, only Appium testing experts can get the most out of it.

Installation is not easy and takes up a lot of time. In order to increase its functionality, it must be connected to third-party apps and different systems, making it susceptible to error.

The insufficient GUI makes test development dependent on lengthy test scripting, which slows down the process, leading to buggy tests. Debugging tests is nigh on impossible, owing to a lack of visual tools. Scripting is rendered difficult because of a paucity of object-identification tools like XPath identifiers of the Object Spy.

Lastly, since Appium for Android is an open-source software, it is impossible to gauge when new OSes will become compatible with it. Users can need to wait for weeks or months before they can test whether their app is compatible with a new OS. This time delay cannot be tolerated.

Appium Studio as a Cure

To make up for these shortcomings, Appium Studio, an improved form of Appium testing was created. It offers the same level of rigorous testing but in less time. Appium Studio can be downloaded as a free community edition from the Experitest website and installed with one click. The whole process lasts a few minutes. Once installed, users can avail themselves of the free support via the Appium Studio Forum.

The way Appium Studio works can be broken down into three component parts.

First, it is a visual test development tool that provides its users with device reflection, Object Spy, and a test recorder. Users can write robust tests in a fraction of the time it once took.

Second, its setup is quick and easy.

The third component is the Appium Execution Engine, designed for the mobile. It enables test execution, parallel execution and out of app testing.

These components compensate for all of Appium’s shortcomings. Users can start testing in minutes, it reduces cost and effort, enabling the testing of iOS apps on Windows machines, improving coverage with out-of-app testing. Appium Studio offers a simple, easy to use UI, making test development simpler, allowing developers to test any use case, including testing outside of an app.

Executions and tests are more stable, with results presented in concise reports. Finally, Appium Studio comes with guaranteed OS version support and supports large-scale parallel execution.

Also Available as a Plugin for Eclipse

Appium Studio is also available as a Plugin for the widely used IDE, Eclipse. This one of a kind native Plugin called Appium Studio for Eclipse is available as a free download from the Eclipse Marketplace. Appium Studio for Eclipse gives mobile developers and test automation engineers the ability to perform all of the enhanced Appium test automation capabilities we mentioned before, from within Eclipse. They can now develop and execute Appium tests directly from the environment they already use and love. The use of the test recorder, the Object Spy, and the device reflection enable them to easily create a more powerful and stable Appium test automation projects using real iOS and Android devices and not just simulators and emulators. For companies that are looking to scale to continuous testing on a large number of mobile devices, the plug-in also offers an out-of-the-box integration with a cloud of real mobile devices hosted at Experitest data centers worldwide. This integration also offers parallel execution of test for continuous testing.

android, app testing companies, appium, automation testing

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