Top 5 Automation Testing Tools for Android

android automation testing

Automation testing is used these days in almost all the test processes. The advantage of a reduced testing time along with reduction in error has led to its widespread acceptance among software testers. With a wide variety of testing tools available for this purpose, one should be aware of their features to better understand them.
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Choosing a single tool to support you entire project is rather impossible, since most tools may not be able to fully correspond to you project. Here we discuss the top 5 tools that have been the most sought after by Android testers around the globe.
1.Robotium Android Testing Tool
It is one of the first and frequently used automation tools for Android software testing. Robotium, a free Android UI testing tool is suitable for test automation of different Android versions. Often referred to as Selenium by Android Software developers, the tests created by Robotium are written in Java. Robotium is also a library for unit tests.
But Robotium is time consuming and needs much more effort to create tests in it. This is because in order to automate tests, one must work with the program source code. Also the tool is unsuitable for interacting with system software; it is incapable of locking and unlocking smart phones or tablets. Robotium does not have a record or a play function and it also does not provide screenshots. As part of continuous integration, Robotium incorporates easily with Maven, Gradle or Ant for the execution of tests.
This is a popular Android app testing tool used for the automation of functional tests for Android software. This tool is more low-level when compared to Robotium, but does not have to work with the source code in order to automate tests. Written in Python, it also gives provision of using a recording tool for creating tests.
With MonkeyRunner, it is possible to run tests on real devices connected to a PC or emulators. The API within the tool helps to control a smart phone, a tablet or an emulator from outside of the Android code.
The biggest disadvantage of this mobile app testing tool is the necessity of writing scripts for each device. Another drawback is the need for a test to be adjusted each time the user interface of a test program changes.
3.Appium Android Automation Framework
Appium is used to test iOS and Android native mobile web and hybrid applications. While native apps are written with the help of iOS or Android SDKs, mobile web apps can be opened on mobile browsers and hybrid apps are totally involved with “webview”. It is an open-source mobile automation tool.
The running of tests does not require any changes to be made in the source code which is a huge advantage. The Selenium JSON Wire Protocol used in Appium allows you to write the test in any language supported by Selenium. Appium facilitates testers to reuse the code between iOS and Android test suites even though it is considered a “cross-platform” tool.
The advantages are in plenty, but it would be a sin not to discuss its drawbacks as well. It takes a long time to configure appium for both android and iOS and also is prone to too many unexpected errors.
4.UI Automator
UI Automator allows you to do more in Android app testing and games when compared to the basic framework that is Robotium. You can test the user interface (UI) of your native Android apps on one or more devices with Google’s test framework. Another advantage of UI Automator is that the cases can span across different processes with JUnit test cases having special privileges. It also provides five different classes for developers.
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UI Automator has its downsides, one of them being it only works on Android devices with API level of 16 or higher. Another drawback of UI Automator is its lack of support for webview, were directly accessing Android objects is not possible.
It is the latest Android test automation framework open-sourced by Google. It is available for developers and software testers to work on their UIs. Its API is small and predictable making it easy to learn and above all built on top of the Android instrumentation framework.
It helps to write concise and reliable Android UI tests and is supported on API level 8 (Froyo), 10 (Gingerbread), and 15 (Ice Cream Sandwich) till current versions.
Its reliability and the ability to synchronize with the UI thread makes it fast since there is no need for any sleeps.
Just like UI Automator, it too suffers the drawback of not supporting webviews.