Top 5 Automation Testing Tools for Mobile Applications

Best 5 Automation Testing Tools for Mobile Apps

In the competitive digitized space for businesses, an increasing number of companies are counting on mobile applications. These applications are developed for multiple operating systems, devices and come in several versions. For business firms, it is important to test the competence of their apps. Eventually, they look for mobile application testing services, which streamline the app’s functionality significantly.

Why is mobile application testing important?

Mobile applications presently serve as intelligent business tools, spearheading marketing and other commercial pursuits. A failure or bug in your app can lead to significant monetary losses. Besides, the functionalism of your app largely determines the user experience. Poor experience leads to poor reviews in the app store. This explains why most business owners seek mobile application testing service from reputed professionals.

Presently, the testing process has mostly become automated. This significantly slashes down the testing cost. You will come across a wide range of tools for automated mobile testing in the market. In this post, we have shortlisted the five best automation testing tools for mobile applications.

Checklist for choosing the right mobile testing app

Mobile application testing refers to the mechanism in which the apps are tested for their consistency, usability and functionality. These apps may be designed to run on multiple devices, such as tablets, PCs, and smartphones.

Here, we bring you a checklist which would prove handy while you choose an automated mobile testing app.

  • The tool has to seamlessly integrate with the present testing environment
  • The record and play feature comes in handy
  • Jailbreaking or rooting the device should not be a pre-criterion for running the testing tool
  • The mobile testing tool should come with an option to use Ruby, .Net, C, Java, etc. Besides, it has to be language-specific
  • The advanced tools are expected to come with an enriched functionality library such as Multi touch, Swipe, Zoom out and Zoom in
  • The tool must support all the methods for the identification of objects

Different categories of mobile app testing

When you leverage mobile application testing service from a trusted partner, the experts deploy robust tools to examine the following aspects of the apps.

  • Functional testing: This is the most common and basic type of test. Through functional testing, the functions of your mobile app would be examined, as per the necessary criteria.
  • Memory testing: As compared to computers, memory in most mobile devices is limited. Through memory testing, it can be revealed whether the app can optimize the available memory in the device when it runs on it.
  • Performance testing: Performance testing helps in evaluating the performance of the app. Through this type of testing, the operation of all its features can be checked.
  • Usability testing: Usability testing is carried out to determine the effectiveness, efficiency and value that the app delivers to the users.

Best Automation Testing Tools for Mobile Applications to choose

 Here, we have presented the five most effective automation testing tools for mobile applications.

1. Robotium

Robotium is one of the most popular frameworks for mobile app testing. It provides complete support for hybrid and native applications. Through Robotium, it becomes easy to write robust and powerful automatic UI tests (black-box) for Android apps. Deploying this tool, it becomes easy for test case developers to write functions and scenarios of the user and system acceptance, encompassing multiple app activities.


  • Robotium can test both hybrid and native Android apps.
  • It can be used even with little knowledge about the application being tested.
  • This framework is capable of handling multiple activities of Android automatically.
  • It takes little time to write down concrete test cases.
  • The execution of tests is very fast.
  • The run-time binding feature to UI elements makes the test cases more robust.
  • Robotium smoothly integrates with Ant, Gradle and Maven to rub tests, with continuous integration.
  • The test case readability gets enhanced significantly, as compared to standard tests of instrumentation.

2. Appium

Appium continues to be a popular automation tool for testing mobile apps. The open source nature of Appium studio has made it even more popular. It enhances both test development and test execution. For testers, carrying out robust tests becomes fast and easy. Appium supports web-based, native and hybrid mobile apps across iOS and Android environments. In iOS, it supports Safari and on Android, it supports Chrome. Besides, this tool supports inbuilt browsers as well. Since it has a cross-platform nature, it improves the code access reusability across various platforms.

Appium comes with the record and playback feature. This, besides, other features like XPath, device reflection and objects makes the test creation process easy. Besides, the testers can deploy any programming language of their choice for test writing. Interestingly, these can be used with any necessary framework, as per the needs of the project. Therefore, it automates all mobile applications, regardless of their platform or language. This helps in accessing the application’s back-end API and database. Appium is Selenium-based, and therefore, offers all the functional values of the latter for test creation.


  • Testers can seamlessly set up Appium
  • Appium works well with any language compatible with WebDriver
  • It is compatible with every testing framework
  • Testers need not install Appium on the machine
  • With Java, it is possible to integrate the tool with other software
  • The testers can also use JSON Wire protocol, that shares a similarity with Selenium Web Driver

3. iOS Driver

iOS Driver is capable of automating any mobile, hybrid or iOS native application, integrating with WebDriver API or Selenium seamlessly. Evidently, automating iOS is as easy as carrying out the process on a browser. The iOS driver enjoys a complete integration with Selenium Grid. Therefore, one can use the existing infrastructure of web automation once again, including the utility and helper classes like page objects and data creation.

It should be noted that an iOS driver was developed, considering the scaling objective. Tests based on GUI are slow. Besides, they fail to furnish quick feedback if you run them sequentially. The iOS driver can couple up as a Selenium Grid node when you follow the WebDriver for Selenium protocol. Here, the tests can be parallelly run on the same architecture, as found on the web.  


  • One can run an iOS Driver in a Selenium grid as a regular node
  • It deploys JSON wire protocol
  • You can run iOS Driver on devices and emulators
  • Testers do not have to make any change in source
  • Localized native apps can get good support from the tool
  • iOS Driver can be deployed in an existing Selenium Grid for managing a simulator farm or device
  • There is no need to jailbreak the device on which it is used
  • Besides, you would not require any additional app
  • For iOS devices, it offers off-the-shelf support

4. Calabash

As an open source framework for testing, Calabash has gained significant popularity. It works well with both iOS and Android apps while writing and executing tests. It comes with Automated User Interface, which means that the tests can be written in Ruby and Cucumber. Calabash enables UI interactions within an app through buttons and input test by validating the responses. One can also configure it to various Android and iOS devices. Calabash comes up with validations and feedback in real time. Besides, it provides a strong foundation for testing strategies across multiple platforms.

Also Read: Detailed Checklist & Guidelines For Mobile App Testing

Calabash was developed based on BDD (Behavior Driven Development). It shares a similar framework with Test Driven Development. However, the application behaviour is well-defined, and the tests are not created to describe the API shapes. BDD is a mechanism where a common understanding is made with multiple stakeholders regarding the necessary features to be developed. This strategy fosters the development of the right design and software from the owner’s perspective.

Even if the testers are not aware of the basic coding skills, they can carry out automated tests for Android and iOS apps using the Calabash framework for test automation. It enables UI interactions as well. One can perceive the actual benefits when the tests are carried out on mobile devices. On configuring Calabash testing with hundreds of Android and IOS devices, you can obtain real time feedback.


  • Writing tests become amazingly easy with Calabash. It comes with easy language syntax, and people without any coding experience can carry out the testing.
  • Through Calabash, testers can comprehensively enhance productivity or throughput.
  • The product quality is enhanced and one can predict the same.
  • The processes or products deliver improved consistency and robustness.
  • Expenses on labour costs are greatly reduced.
  • The output reveals more consistency with Calabash.

It should be noted that using Calabash calls for certain prerequisites. Firstly, you should have the latest version of Ruby on the computer. Besides, you need to install Bundler, which would be necessary to deal with the dependencies. In Android sets, you need to install the latest SDK.

5. Google Espresso

Espresso, released by Google in 2013 for white box testing, happens to be a popular testing framework for Android devices. This testing framework is open source, and presently one can avail it as a component of Android Support Repository. Being flexible and simple, Espresso has gained popularity over the years. The APIs offered by this framework enable users to write UI tests. Espresso has gained popularity among testers as it comes from Google.


  • As an open source framework for mobile app testing, Espresso comes free of cost
  • In Espresso, a simple API is used, that allows the users to write the UI test cases very fast
  • Being easily customizable, users can seamlessly deploy it making the learning curve minimal
  • For developers, setting up the framework before testing is simple
  • It supports black box testing, when integrated with CS/CI environments
  • Espresso is backward compatible and supports JUnit4 as well as out-of-app testing
  • It executes all tests at a rapid speed
  • Since it depends on the Hamcrest library, the testers can use matchers in order to evaluate complex situations
  • Support synchronization is also available with Espresso
  • The app’s UI gets synced automatically with test actions
  • Each of the elements in the app is thoroughly tested with Espresso
  • Besides, you will find the Espresso Recorder handy while creating tests; Most importantly, it is not necessary to write code
  • Espresso supports web component testing, as well.

It is recommended to compare and study the benefits of each tool and select the one suitable for your particular project need.

About the Author

QA InfoTech

QA InfoTech

Established in 2003, with less than five testing experts, QA InfoTech has grown leaps and bounds with three QA Centers of Excellence globally; two of which are located in the hub of IT activity in India, Noida, and the other, our affiliate QA InfoTech Inc Michigan USA. In 2010 and 2011, QA InfoTech has been ranked in the top 100 places to work for in India.

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