6 Automation Tools for iOS App Testing

Developing application for iOS is not similar to developing an application for Android Operating System. Apple has certain guidelines that could stop the development efforts. And it will become a balancing act of developing an appropriate app and getting the Apple’s approval. There are so many advantages in developing iOS platform rather than developing the android platform. There are six iOS app testing tools that are to be mentioned if one need to know about mobile automation testing.

app testing

Below follows the top six automation tools for iOS app testing:

  1. XCTest

One can use the framework called XCTest for the purpose of unit testing. This framework is provided by Apple. They can also maintain a good integration with integrated data environment in order to write test, run test and doing test-driven development work-flow. XCTest is the recommended testing framework when the use of Xcode5 and OCUnit got depreciated.

Read Also: 8 Must-Know iOS Testing Tips

2. User Interface Automation

There is User Interface Automation, especially for the more typical functional test or black box tests where the user is going to write code that stimulates end user navigating the app. User Interface Automation is also by Apple and is one of the apple sanctioned way of carrying out iOS app testing. For using User Interface Automation, there is the need of instruments that comes as one of the tools of Xcode. The only disadvantage of using User Interface Automation is that tests are written in Javascript which is entirely different from iOS code written in Objective-C or Swift.

3. Ocmock

It is a typical mock framework that acts like a code that leverages in a remote application program interface just like a web service. We can also use Ocmock for code which relies on user interface objects that you can’t easily represent by yourself through unit tests.

4. KIF (keep it functional)

One of the better alternatives for User Interface Automation is a tool called KIF. KIF is an abbreviation for keeping it functional. It is an open source and better than User Interface Automation. It mostly relies on accessibility labels just like User Interface Automation. While defining the application, it should be made sure that the app is accessible to people who are visually impaired. When compared to User Interface automation, KIF has certain benefits that are, one can write a test in Objective-C which supports Swift. This is not possible for User Interface automation. Also, KIF tests are executed in the same way as unit tests. Graphical User Interface based tests are much easier to execute with the help of KIF.

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5. FBSnapshotTestCase

As the name suggests, it is indeed created and maintained by Facebook. The basic function of this tool is that it allows to verify one’s User Interface code by doing visual differences between saved screenshots. One can do it in a granular level than the full screenshot. You can take little User Interface view where you will get widget on the screen. One can isolate the snapshot text case to the User interface subclass view to change anything.

6. FRANK- Behavior Driven Development for iOS

For doing end-to-end testing and to use behavior driven development and cucumber ( written using a ruby programming language), it is better to use the tool called Frank. It allows us to create acceptance tests and requirements using cucumber. Frank helps to run behavior driven development tests against our iOS app testing.


In almost every testing process, automated tests are used. Automated testing can help to exclude errors and can thus take care of omission in the test that takes place at the time of execution caused by humans. Each of the above automation tools is unique and possess certain characteristics.

8 Must-Know iOS Testing Tips

There is high demand for iOS applications these days. iPhones and iPads are gaining popularity with every new release, and so are the apps that come along with them. With so many people demanding iOS apps, the importance of thorough testing has become much more than ever. High standards and good quality are most important for users. With so many apps emerging in the market, one has to maintain really high standards to make it big in the App store.
mobile app
You need to ensure that your app runs well on all the iOS devices. This is the first thing to keep in mind. You could reach out to a wider audience this way. iPhone App Testing requires a good amount of homework beforehand. Here are some tips to help you in your testing process:

  1. There is no “Untestable Behaviour”

“Untestable Behaviour” cannot exist. There could only be ‘untestable code”. It is a very simple point to remember.
You should be able to test every part of your app. If there is any part that cannot be tested, you must think about refactoring some parts of the code to make it happen. You must have a good answer to the question,” Why can’t I test this?” Your answer could most probably be that the code is either too complicated or there may be too many actions in the code. Resolve such issues by dividing the code and making it cleaner. Make your code more modular, as it helps you to test it more effectively.

  1. There must be only one Source of Truth

You must be very thorough about how your object should behave. It is also important that you have complete confidence in yourself when you say that.
Always attempt to make simple classes that have well defined and concrete responsibilities independent of one another. You must understand these specified responsibilities and should be able to describe them well. There are two important testing frameworks in the world of iOS, Quick for Swift and Specta for Objective C.

  1. Ensure that Objects have Minimum Dependencies

Your objects need to know as less as possible. The lesser they know, the lesser you will have to test, and the easier it becomes for you. Remember the rule to minimize adhesion and maximize cohesion. Objects should not be too dependent on each other. Each module must be complete in itself. Your test writing becomes simple if you have less to test in a single module. This ensures a better quality for all your products through effective iOS App Testing.

Read Also: 11 Differences Between iOS And Android Mobile App Testing

  1. Remember the SOLID Rules

Over time, there are a lot of changes in the devices, the hardware, architecture, operating systems, and the programming languages. But, there are some classic rules that remain true no matter what changes. They are the solid foundations for building an efficient software product. The S, L, and D rules are essential in the case of iOS App Testing.

According to this, your class must be entrusted with only a single responsibility. This makes it much easier for you to understand its purpose and role in the product. When you understand what exactly it does, it makes it easier for you to write its specification.

You should make sure that your objects can be replaced with other instances. You should be able to substitute objects with instances of their subtypes as well. Mocks are often used to test any specific behaviour exhibited by objects, but such testing could not be applicable for your whole program or system.

Using protocols to decouple your classes is the most effective practice you could use in iOS for testing purposes. Do it for a few parts only and test them independently to assess the behaviour individually. You must test bit by bit as testing it as a whole will never help you.

  1. Restrict your class to 150 lines of code

Your class must never have more than 150 lines of code. If it exceeds the limit, there is definitely something wrong in it. Divide it in to smaller parts that can be easily managed and maintained. This makes your code break up in to smaller units of logical codes. This helps you as well as other who look in to your code. A legible code is an indication of a good developer.  It helps you in iPhone App Testing also.

  1. Tests help you out

Most developers have the wrong notion about writing tests. They do not help the end user in any way. Moreover, there can be cases where the test case for a class has more lines of code than the class itself. As such, it is considered to be an unnecessary waste of time. But, this is not the case.  When you get a code and have no idea what is happening in there, the test cases can actually help you out. There are numerous classes and tricks in every code. Cracking them is not an easy task. When you write tests, it will definitely help in maintenance and testing.

  1. Look at the Picture as A Whole

When you are working and get stuck with a piece of code, you tend to overlook other things that matter. Your focus is always put on this single piece that you are working with. You tend to stop seeing other ways to resolve your issues or get your work done. In such cases, you must always take a small break and get your mind cleared. This lets you see the bigger picture at hand. You will be able to find other different ways to get your work done. You could even consult a fellow developer for new ideas to pour out.

Recommended Read: Best Practices to Follow for iOS Mobile App Testing

  1. Keep Learning

Even if you are a pro, you could always learn something new. This is applicable to testing and programming in general. Never keep your mind closed to new things. Most professionals consider their code to be perfect. Even if that is the case, you could always improve. Writing tests will always speed up your development time. Even you break your code unknowingly at times. As such, machine check of the code helps you faster. It is much faster that manually going through every line of your code. So, keep learning and improving yourself for the better every time.
So, here were a few tips you need to keep in mind with regard to iOS App Testing. Some of them are applicable to Android App Testing as well. Building efficient apps that work seamlessly on the intended platform is the ultimate aim of every developer. Follow these steps to make that possible in a more productive and efficient manner.