Top 5 Android Testing Frameworks With Code Examples

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Top 5 Android Testing Frameworks With Code Examples

Find the best testing framework for your Android app with this analysis of five popular choices, complete with code examples.

· DevOps Zone ·
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With the rollout of Android Oreo, Google’s mobile ecosystem continues to expand rapidly. It is evident that new mobile OEMs are emerging in every corner of the world, bringing in different screen sizes, ROM/firmware, chipsets, etc. The complexity of Android app testing has been growing all the time.

To cope with increasing testing workload, it has become a common practice to rely on a cloud-based device lab for scalable mobile app testing and automate scripted tests on a large scale of real devices for extensive QA. Though there are multiple choices on Android testing frameworks, it's critical to understand the basics and how each framework performs so the selected tool can help you meet your testing needs and ultimately achieve your business goals.

Here we are going to behold 5 most used Android testing frameworks and break down the basics and code examples of each. 


Appium is a mobile test automation framework (and tool) for native, hybrid, and web apps for iOS and Android. It uses JSONWireProtocol internally to interact with iOS and Android apps using Selenium’s WebDriver. It supports Android via uiautomator (API level 16 or higher) and Selendroid (API level lower than 16), iOS via UI Automation, and mobile web as Selenium driver for Android and iOS. This Appium beginner's guide will walk you through more details.

One of the biggest advantages of Appium is that you can write your Appium scripts in almost any programming language (e.g. Java, Objective-C, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python or C#), freedom from having to select tools, compatibility across the most important platforms (Android and iOS), freedom from having to install and configure devices to test and more. Also if you are familiar with Selenium, then it’s easy for you to use Appium in mobile app testing. They use the same WebDriver and DesiredCapabilities is used in the same way. Configuring an application to run on Appium has a lot of similarities to Selenium.

Appium code example:

# wait for hello
 textFields = driver.find_elements_by_tag_name('textField')
 assertEqual(textFields[0].get_attribute("value"), "Hello")
 # click sign-in button
 driver.find_elements_by_name('Sign in')[0].click()
 # find the text fields again, and enter username and password
 textFields = driver.find_elements_by_tag_name('textField')
 # click the Login button (the first button in the view)
 # sleep
 # click the first button with name "Compose"
 # type in the tweet message
 driver.find_elements_by_tag_name('textField')[0].send_keys(”#Bitbar is awesome!")
 # press the Send button
 # exit


Calabash is a cross-platform test automation framework for Android and iOS native and hybrid applications. Calabash’s easy-to-understand syntax enables even non-technical people to create and execute automated acceptance tests for apps on both of these mobile platforms. Calabash’s tests are described in Cucumber and then converted to Robotium or Frank in runtime. It supports about 80 different natural language commands (controllers), and new controllers can be implemented in Ruby or Java. To learn more, this Calabash 101 ebook will give you an extensive understanding.

Calabash code example:

Feature: Login feature
 Scenario: As a valid user I can log into my app
 I wait for text "Hello"
 Then I press view with id "Sign in"
 Then I enter text "username" into "login_username"
 Then I enter text "password" into "login_password"
 Then I wait for activity "HomeTabActivity"
 Then I press view with id "menu_compose_tweet"
 Then I enter text "Bitbar" into field with id "edit"
 Then I press view with id "composer_post"


Espresso is the latest Android test automation framework that got open-sourced by Google, making it available for developers and testers to hammer out their UIs. Espresso has an API that is small, predictable, easy to learn and built on top of the Android instrumentation framework. You can quickly write concise and reliable Android UI tests with it. It is supported on API level 8 (Froyo), 10 (Gingerbread), and 15 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and onwards.
It’s quite reliable, synchronizing with the UI thread and fast because there is no need for any sleeps (tests run the same millisecond when an app becomes idle). But, it does not have support for webviews as well.

Espresso code example:

public void testEspresso() {
 // Check if view with the text 'Hello.' is shown
 // R class ID identifier for 'Sign in' - and click it
 .getIdentifier("com.twitter.android:id/sign_in", null, null))).perform(click());
 // R class ID identifier for entering username
 .getIdentifier("com.twitter.android:id/login_username", null, null))).perform((typeText("username")));
 // R class ID identifier for entering password
 .getIdentifier("com.twitter.android:id/login_password", null, null))).perform((typeText("password")));
 // R class ID identifier for clicking log in
 .getIdentifier("com.twitter.android:id/login_login", null, null))).perform(click());
 // Activate the text field to compose a tweet
 .getIdentifier("com.twitter.android:id/menu_compose_tweet", null, null))).perform(click());
 // Type the tweet
 .getIdentifier("com.twitter.android:id/edit", null, null))).perform((typeText(”#Bitbar")));
 // Tweeting!
 .getIdentifier("com.twitter.android:id/composer_post", null, null))).perform(click());


While Robotium is a good yet basic framework, uiautomator allows you to do more in testing Android apps and games. Google’s test framework allows you to test user interface (UI) of your native Android apps on one or more devices. Another advantage of uiautomator is that it runs JUnit test cases with special privileges, which means test cases can span across different processes. It also provides five different classes for developers to use:


Similar to its time of birth, it only works on Android devices with API level 16 or higher. Another downside of uiautomator is that it doesn’t support webview, with no way to directly access Android objects.

uiautomator code example:

// Public void for the operation
 public void testSignInAndTweet() throws Exception {
 // Starting application:
 getUiDevice().wakeUp(); // Press Home button to ensure we're on homescreen
 getUiDevice().pressHome(); // Select 'Apps' and click button
 new UiObject(new UiSelector().description("Apps")).click(); // Select 'Twitter' and click
 new UiObject(new UiSelector().text("Twitter")).click(); // Locate and select 'Sign in'
 UiSelector signIn = new UiSelector().text("Sign In"); // If button is available, click
 UiObject signInButton = new UiObject(signIn);
 if (signInButton.exists()) {
 signInButton.click(); // Set the username
 new UiObject(new
 new UiObject(new
 new UiObject(new UiSelector().className("android.widget.Button").
 text("Sign In").instance(0)).click(); // Wait Sign in progress window
 getUiDevice().waitForWindowUpdate(null, 2000); // Wait for main window
 getUiDevice().waitForWindowUpdate(null, 30000);
 new UiObject(new UiSelector().description("New tweet")).click(); // Typing text for a tweet
 new UiObject(new UiSelector().className("android.widget.LinearLayout").instance(8)).
 setText("Awesome #Bitbar!"); // Tweeting!
 new UiObject(new UiSelector().text("Tweet")).click();


Undoubtedly, Robotium was once the most widely used Android testing framework in the early days of the Android world. With a similarity with Selenium in Android, it makes testing API simpler.

Robotium is an open source library extending JUnit with plenty of useful methods for Android UI testing. It provides powerful and robust automatic black-box test cases for Android apps (native and hybrid) and web testing. With Robotium you can write function, system and acceptance test scenarios, and test applications where the source code is available.

Robotium code example:

// Public void for the operation
 public void testRecorded() throws Exception {
 // Wait for the text 'Hello!' to be shown for newbie
 if (solo.waitForText("Hello!")) {
 // R class ID identifier for 'Sign in' - and click it
 // R class ID identifier for entering username
 solo.enterText((EditText) solo.findViewById("com.twitter.android.R.id.login_username"),"username");
 // R class ID identifier for entering password
 solo.enterText((EditText) solo.findViewById("com.twitter.android.R.id.login_password"),"password");
 // R class ID identifier for clicking log in
 // Wait until log in is done
 // Activate the text field to compose a tweet
 // Type the tweet
 solo.enterText((EditText) solo.findViewById("com.twitter.android.R.id.edit"), "Bitbar");
 // Tweeting!

Wrapping Up

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Here we have listed the top 5 testing frameworks for your daily Android builds, creation, and correction. Certainly, each of them has its pros and cons, and it depends on your goal and how comfortable you are with each framework. In general, Appium and Calabash are good cross-platform frameworks in testing both your Android and iOS versions at the same time. Espresso is a good choice if you are purely testing Android apps. Therefore, think about your testing need - functional testing, compatibility testing, UI testing, etc. - and pick the right and best Android testing framework(s).

test automation ,android ,android o ,mobile ,mobile testing ,appium ,calabash

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