In this post, we're going to learn about the need for mobile app testing. After that, we are going to learn briefly about a popular mobile testing framework, Appium.
There are some issues with Appium, like complex setup. Additionally, testers need to learn a programming language to write test cases in it. So, next, we'll see some alternative mobile testing frameworks other than Appium. And some of them don't even need you to write test cases.
What Is Mobile App Testing?
Mobile app testing is the process of testing apps before releasing them to the end user. We need to test on both iOS and Android platforms. For an app to work properly, it must be tested on devices of all sizes. This is especially problematic when developing for Android, which has a variety of mobile devices from different vendors. Although Apple also has different mobile devices, there are fewer types.
Apps also need to be tested on the different versions of iOS and Android. Again, more version testing is required for Android apps because a lot of devices are stuck on old versions of Android. Also, the apps needed to be tested on the latest 5G networks, as well as 4G and the slow 3G networks, which are still used in many places. Further, the mobile network speed is slow in a lot of places.
You also need to test whether the app is slow due to code that isn't optimized. A slow app leads to a bad user experience and can lead to user uninstalling it. According to a research, 48% people uninstall slow apps.
What Is Appium?
Appium is a free mobile app testing framework that's completely open-source, which means you can see all the code behind it. You can use it to test all types of mobile applications—like those written using Kotlin or Java for Android, or Swift or Objective-C for iOS. You can even test mobile apps written with languages like React Native or Flutter. These use web views to create cross-platform mobile apps.
What Other Tools Can be Used to Test Mobile Apps?
Although Appium is open source and highly popular, we have other options as well. Next, we're going to look into some alternatives to Appium.
TestProject is a completely free testing framework. And it can be used to do web app testing, API testing, and mobile testing. TestProject was created on top of Selenium and Appium; however, it's much easier to use and has more features than both Selenium and Appium.
TestProject runs on all operating systems and supports both Android and iOS apps. Besides this, it provides beautiful test reports with useful logs. Like Appium Inspector, it also has features of auto-generating test cases by interacting with app.
Testsigma is a completely free and open-source testing framework. And, like Sauce Labs, it allows us to write test cases in plain English. So, again the tester doesn't have to learn a complicated programming language. It generates beautiful reports and logs, and also supports a wide range of emulators, simulators, and physical devices.
Besides this, it also has a marketplace, Visual Studio Marketplace, for small add-ons that extend Testsigma's functionality. These add-ons are completely free and created by open-source enthusiasts.
Cypress is an open-source and free testing framework. It was created on top of Selenium, but it adds lots of functionality to it. It's used for end-to-end testing. But the main problem with Cypress is that it tests web apps.
That means Cypress can test only hybrid mobile apps that create a web view. Such apps are written in languages like React Native, Flutter, and Ionic. So, Cypress doesn't support native mobile apps written in Swift or Objective-C for iOS. Similarly, native mobile apps for Android written in Java or Kotlin are also not supported.
Waldo is a state-of-the-art, end-to-end mobile testing suite. You don't need to set up any devices or learn a new programming language in Waldo to build out your test suite...you just need to upload your APK or IPA file and click through your build. Waldo will load a clean device in the configuration, OS, and language of your choosing right there in your browser. Once your build loads, you can simply click through it to record interactions (like tap, shake, rotate, deeplink, Apple Pay, etc.) with the app as though you were a real user.
After you have recorded a test and set run rules around when it should be triggered, Waldo can run all tests automatically. Results for each test include a full test reply, network and analytics logs, crash reports, and step-by-step comparison views between your most recent build and your baseline test.
In this post, we've recapped the aims of mobile testing. After that, we learned about a popular mobile automation platform, Appium. Since there are many limitations to Appium, we learned how it compares to seven alternative testing platforms.
Some of them are paid tools and some of them are free. The paid testing frameworks outshine the free ones in terms of functionality and features. Out of these Waldo shines the most due to its ease of use, top features, and detailed reports.