Testing Mobile Applications

Mobile testing Android and ios is available using Selenium WebDriver. Selenium WebDriver is a browser automation tool that provides an easy way of testing web applications and mobile devices. WebDriver allows you to write automated tests that ensure your site works correctly when viewed from an Android or iOS browser.

WebDriver provides a touch API that allows the tester to interact with the web page through finger taps, flicks, finger scrolls, and long presses. It can rotate the display and provides a friendly API to interact with HTML5 features such as local storage, session storage and application cache. Mobile WebDrivers use the remote WebDriver server, following a client/server architecture. The client piece consists of the test code, while the server piece is the application that is installed on the device.

WebDriver is broken into two components: the server and the tests themselves. The server is an application that runs on the phone, tablet, emulator, or simulator and listens for incoming requests. It runs the tests against a WebView (the rendering component of mobile Android and iOS) configured like the browsers. Your tests run on the client side, and can be written in any languages supported by WebDriver, including Java and Python. The WebDriver tests communicate with the server by sending RESTful JSON requests over HTTP. The tests and server pieces don’t have to be on the same physical machine, although they can be. For Android you can also run the tests using the Android test framework instead of the remote WebDriver server.

Android emulators can run on most OSes because they are virtualized, so we run them on our generic cloud setup. Though there are many advantages to using Android emulators because they emulate a complete virtual device (including the virtual CPU, MMU, and hardware devices), it makes the test environment slower. You can speed up the tests by disabling animations, audio, skins, or even by running in the emulator headless mode. To do so, start the emulator with the options –no-boot-anim, –no-audio, –noskin, and –no-window. If you would like your tests to run even faster, start the emulator from a previously created snapshot image. That reduces the emulator startup time from 2 minutes to less than 2 seconds!

iOS simulators can’t be virtualized and hence need to run on Mac machines. However, because iOS simulators don’t try to emulate the virtual device or CPU at all, they can run as applications at “full speed,” this allows the test to run much faster.


Appium – Is an open-source tool for automating native, mobile web, and hybrid applications on iOS and Android platforms. Native apps are those written using the iOS or Android SDKs. Mobile web apps are web apps accessed using a mobile browser (Appium supports Safari on iOS and Chrome or the built-in ‘Browser’ app on Android). Hybrid apps have a wrapper around a “webview” — a native control that enables interaction with web content. Projects like Phonegap, make it easy to build apps using web technologies that are then bundled into a native wrapper, creating a hybrid app.

Importantly, Appium is “cross-platform”: it allows you to write tests against multiple platforms (iOS, Android), using the same API. This enables code reuse between iOS and Android testsuites.


Selendroid – Selendroid is a test automation framework which drives off the UI of Android native and hybrid applications (apps) and the mobile web. Tests are written using the Selenium 2 client API – that’s it!


ios driver – Automate any IOS native, hybrid, or mobile web application using the Selenium / WebDriver API. ios-driver is fully compatible with the Selenium / Webdriver API. IOS automation is therefore as easy as automation for a browser.
ios-driver fully integrates with Selenium Grid so you can reuse your existing web automation infrastructure including your helper and utility classes (i.e. data creation, page objects etc.).

Testing non web mobile applications


Sikuli – Sikuli automates anything you see on the screen. It uses image recognition to identify and control GUI components. It is useful when there is no easy access to a GUI’s internal or source code.

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