How popular is Appium among Mobile App Testing Tools?

Most enterprises nowadays implement formal mobile app testing strategies to prevent user abandonment, enhance the app’s marketability, and implement app monetization techniques effectively. The testers have to evaluate the user experience delivered by a single mobile app across varying mobile devices and platforms. Also, they need to test the mobile under real user conditions to produce high quality test results.

The mobile app testing tools make it easier for QA testers to evaluate the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) by repeating the required tests and enhancing test coverage. The testers also have option to choose from a wide range of open source and licensed mobile app testing tools according to their precise needs. The usage statistics posted on various websites depict that Appium is currently one of the most popular mobile app testing tools.

As an open source mobile app testing tool, Appium helps enterprises in cross-platform mobile test automation to evaluate mobile apps without incurring additional cost. At the same time, the testers can use Appium to test native app, hybrid apps, and mobile web apps. Also, Appium allows users to test mobile apps using both real devices and emulators/simulators. There are also a number of reasons why many mobile app testing professionals prefer Appium to other mobile app testing tools.

Why Mobile App Testing Professionals Prefer Appium to Other Mobile App Testing Tools?

Test a Varity of Mobile Apps

A tester can use Appium to test three different types of mobile app – native apps, hybrid apps, and mobile web apps. Appium further supports major mobile platforms like Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It allows users to test Android, iOS, and Windows Phone app with the same API. The tester even has option to reuse and share code across test suites from various mobile apps. Many testers use Appium as a cross-platform mobile app testing tool.

Provides Built-in Support for Major Browsers

As mentioned earlier, a QA tester can use Appium for testing mobile web and cross-platform apps developed using web technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. Appium further accelerates testing of cross-platform mobile app by supporting built-in web browsers on each mobile platform. For instance, it supports Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS. The testers can even run the same test scripts to test different versions of a single mobile app across various browsers and platforms.

Supports Popular Programming Languages

Despite being an open source mobile app testing tool, Appium is developed according to a number of philosophies. One of these philosophies emphasises on not compelling testers to use a single or specific programming language. Appium supports an array of widely used programming languages including Java, Objective-C, C#, PHP, Ruby, Python and JavaScript. Appium does not require testers to learn new programming languages. Hence, each tester has option to write test scripts in his preferred programming language.

Combine Real Devices and Emulators

The testers can always produce precise and reliable test results by testing a mobile app with real devices. But they have to incur additional expenses to procure and maintain an array of real devices. Many testers use specially designed software programs like emulators and simulators to accelerate mobile app testing without buying and maintaining real devices. But the emulators and simulators lack the capability to assess the app’s usability and user experience. That is why; testers combine real devices, emulators and simulators to produce accurate and reliable test results without increasing project overheads. Appium makes it easier for testers to produce accurate and reliable test results by supporting test automation on real devices, emulators, and simulators.

Android Inspector

Like other mobile app testing frameworks, Appium allows testers to take advantage of a record and playback tool – Appium Inspector. The record and playback tool is developed based on Selenium IDE. But Appium Inspector simplifies mobile app testing automation by providing an array of features. The testing professionals can use the tool to create test scripts automatically simply by carrying out the required steps in the Inspector. Also, Appium has the capability to generate test scripts written in the selected programming language by checking the DOM.

No App Recompilation

Another design philosophy of Appium emphasises on facilitating test automation without recompiling or modifying the app code. Hence, the testers are not required to recompile the app code repeatedly through the testing process. Also, they can test the mobile app as it will be submitted to specific app stores. Unlike other mobile app testing tools, Appium enables users to produce accurate test results without adding specific agents.

Compatible with Other Mobile App Testing Tools

In addition to supporting multiple programming languages, Appium also does not require testers to write and run tests using any specific test automation framework. The testers can integrate Appium seamlessly with several mobile app testing tools and frameworks. For instance, a tester can integrate Appium with a continuous integration server to generate more reliable test results. The integration makes it easier for testing professionals to enhance Appium’s core functionality and overcome its shortcomings.

However, Appium, like other mobile app testing tools, has its own shortcomings. For instance, Appium does not support all user gestures. Hence, the testing professionals find it difficult to test specific mobile apps. But Appium has been evolving consistently to accelerate cross-platform mobile app testing.


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