Mobile UI Automation Testing Tools

UI automation testing of web applications has seen a large number of good innovations in recent years but the same cannot be said for the mobile automation segment which is still in a nascent stage of development.  This segment suffers from platform fragmentation and limited number of automation tools, all of which are probably responsible for its slow growth.

Thankfully, at least in the recent past, we are seeing some tools emerging for UI automation of mobile devices, but each come with their own pros and cons.
In this blog, I have tried to compare some of the popular open source mobile UI automation tools against various set factors to help developers assess the suitability of such tools to meet their requirements. These tools mainly target the iOS and Android platforms.

Even though it seems, at present, that  we cannot automate every feature of an app, we can still benefit from mobile automation testing…

Some of the key advantages are:

•    Continuous integration testing
•    Consistent and repeatable testing process
•    Improved regression tests
•    Parallelize testing on multiple devices
•    Improved coverage in shorter time – more tests can be run in less time.
•    Better resources utilization – 24/7 operation
•    Manual testing of the features that cannot be automated
•    Simple reproduction of found defects
•    Improved testing efficiency

Platform specific automation tools (for example, performance, analysis and testing) are provided by phone OS vendors, i.e. iOS provides Instruments Tool and Android does the same with the Monkeyrunner Tool. But we are looking for a unified solution, which can allow us to code once and then test on multiple platforms. Also these tools should ideally overcome challenges, like, not providing the record and play options, or the need to learn multiple languages to write scripts etc.

Here is the comparison of mobile UI automation tools:

Hence, in conclusion, after examining all the tools that are out there, I found both Appium and MonkeyTalk measure up quite well but I believe the best tool out there is Appium, since it provides better control to edit recorded scripts.

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