What do we need to know about Selendroid?

At present, Android has the largest worldwide smartphone operating system market share. Google also update its mobile operating system at regular intervals with several new features and enhancements. But the usage statistics posted on various websites depict that latest version of Android has a lower install base than older versions. Also, Android powers many models of smartphones, tablets and phablets manufactured by different companies. The Android device and operating system fragmentation makes it difficult for testing professionals to test Android apps effectively.

It further becomes essential for testers to pick the right test automation tool to test the Android apps thoroughly and repeatedly within a stipulated amount of time. As a widely used test automation framework, Selendroid makes it easier for testing professionals to test both native and hybrid Android apps, along with mobile web apps. In addition to being developed based on Android instrumentation framework, Selendroid allows testers to write tests based on Selenium Web Driver client API. The testers can run the test automation framework on Windows, Linux or Mac OS X. There are also a number of reasons why many testing professionals prefer Selendroid to other test automation tools for Android.

Overview of the Features and Architectures of Selendroid


As noted earlier, Selendroid is developed based on Android instrumentation framework. Also, it contains four distinct and key components – web driver client, Selendroid server, Android driver webview app, and Selendroid standalone. As a Java client library based on Selenium, the web driver client must be installed to facilitate test case creation.

The Selendroid server runs in the Android app on both real devices and emulators. As a built-in Android driver, Android driver webview app is required for testing mobile web apps. At the same time, Selendroid standalone is required to install both Selendroid server and the application to be tested.

Compatible with JSON Wire Protocol

There are a number of similarities between web application testing and mobile app testing. While performing each type of testing, the testers are required to identify and interact with various elements. But they have to emulate advanced gestures like swipe while testing mobile apps. Selendroid is fully compatible with JSON Wire protocol which was originally developed for web applications. The testers can take advantage of the protocol to evaluate common gestures while testing Android apps.

Supports Multiple Versions of Android APIs

The market share of individual versions of Android differs. Hence, the testers need to evaluate the apps with multiple versions of Android APIs. As Selendroid supports Android API 10 to Android API 19, it becomes easier for testers to check how the app performs on different versions of Android.

Supports both Real Devices and Simulators

To generate reliable test results, the testers must test the app with a wide variety of Android devices. Often testers use emulators to evaluate Android apps without investing in real devices. Selendroid enables users to test the app using both real devices and simulators. They can further interact with many real devices and emulators simultaneously. The users can further use Selendroid-standalone to start the emulators automatically.

No Need to Make Changes to the App Code

Selendroid allows users to automate both native and hybrid Android apps using the same concepts. It also does not require users to modify the app code during the testing process. But the testers must install binary files on their system, while signing both test app and mobile app with the same test key.

Option to Emulate User Actions

While testing the Android app, testers can take advantage of the support sign created by Selendroid to emulate common user actions like touch, swipe, and drag and drop on various devices. Also, they can use the extension to extend the test automation tool according to their requirements during runtime. Also, the testers can use Advanced User Interactions API to support additional gestures.

No Need to Stop or Restart Running Tests

Selendroid is designed with features to identify the emulators and hardware automatically. Also, it does not require testers to stop or restart the tests during execution if they change the position of the underlying hardware.

Simplifies Test Case Generation

Selendroid allows users to take advantage of a built-in inspector tool. The inspector tool can identify the UI elements of an Android app accurately. The testers can avail the inspector tool to build various test cases without writing additional code. They also have option to write the test code in several languages supported by Selendroid including Java, JavaScript, Ruby and Python.

Facilitates Parallel Testing

Often testers are required to test the Android app within a shorter amount of time. Hence, they have to perform parallel testing to generate more accurate test results. Selendroid allows users to perform parallel testing simply by integrating a node into Selenium Grid. Also, they can use various devices and simulators at a time to reduce the testing time.

However, it is important for testing professionals to keep in mind a number of shortcomings of Selendroid. Also, they must install all required packages to use the test automation tool without any hassle. The testers can also avail the assistance of robust community to develop complex tests without putting extra time and effort.

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