/ mobile-testing

Top 4 Mobile Automation Testing Tools

By DeviQA on Tue Mar 26 2019 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Top 4 Mobile Automation Testing Tools

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Developing mobile applications is very different from developing desktop or even web software. But automating every kind of mobile application is neither possible, nor required. It should depend on what kind of application do you have, if it has complex logic does it have, and how long it will be in development or getting big updates. If you decide to have mobile automation, you will face another huge pane - ‘What tool should I use for this purposes?’ There are lots of mobile test automation tools are available to fit mobile device test automation process. But let's take a look on the most popular (used) of them and help you to decide.

Top Mobile Automation Testing Tools



Appium – open-source test automation framework for mobile native, web and hybrid apps. Appium is best option for QA teams that are trying to test the functionality of native, mobile web and mobile hybrid apps across iOS and Android because of it uses the WebDriver JSON protocol to standardise the automation API across the two platforms and three app types. It uses first-party automation instrumentation and does not require modifications to the source code. Appium let’s you choose the language or framework you want to write your test in.This tool is less useful for developers who want to develop and perform unit testing because it uses a different scripting language than the app itself, (e.g. Objective C or Swift). Reports generated by Appium are less informative than a debugging and fast feedback loop perspective, and does not include videos, network logs and key vitals information.


Calabash – designed for behavior-driven development (BDD) workflows test framework based on Ruby development language.

The tool offers an easy way to develop the features in parallel with covering them by the auto tests in an easy user-flow based language. Calabash is appealing for both developing and test automation for mobile devices purposes. It provides comprehensive insights and reports to Dev and QA teams. This tool can be used with Cucumber but it’s not limited to Ruby. You also can use Java, C#, Flex or other languages. Another great stuff about Calabash, that it was created by the Xamarin team and because of this you can easily integrate you test scenarios to execute on over 1,000 real mobile devices in the cloud.

The common features of Appium and Calabash:

  • They are free
  • Both have a large open source communities
  • Supporting run test suites on both simulator and real devices
  • Cross platform compatibility


Selenium is a portable software testing framework for testing web application

Selenium – the leading open-source test framework for web app test automation. It’s one more tool that can be used for mobile app test automation.

The Selenium framework is the best option for web test automation teams testing for responsive web design, or stand-alone web sites. It's less useful for developing unit tests, which makes this framework less appealing for developers. Core Selenium test reports are not very informative and lack unique mobile related insights.

Selendroid.Selenium for android

Also Selenium has a project that is directly focused on mobile testing called Selendroid. It is a mobile application test automation framework which drives off the UI of Android native and hybrid applications (apps) and the mobile web. The main advantages of Selendroid are that it using the Selenium 2 client API, that makes scenarios easy writing, can interact with multiple Android devices at the same time via full integration as a node into Selenium Grid for scaling and parallel testing and don’t require any changes of application in order to automate it.



Robotium - is an extension of Android test framework that allows to create UI tests of native and hybrid Android applications. It can be run on both emulator and real device.

The major benefits of this tool are:

  • Scenarios are easy to write
  • Fast test execution
  • You can delay and timing use test runs
  • Automatic views finding
  • Auto scrolling and other helpful staff
  • Code looks nice and short
  • You can create scenarios in black-box style (without knowing of code implementation)

Major disadvantages of Robotium are that it suitable only for Android apps and in case of cross platform testing you need to look for other tools or create auto tests for iOS in second tool from scratch; Robotium doesn’t work with web or flash; old versions can be really slow.

In conclusion, we can say that if you are developing application for both iOS and Android, better choice for mobile test automation will be Appium or Calabash. Both of them a open sources and can cover most of issues. Appium is easy to start because it does not require any changes in application code. But Calabash is a little bit more stable and has a great integration with Xamarin cloud in case you don’t have lots of devices in your office to perform testing.

But if you are developing mobile application for some specific platform you are free to choose from plenty of automation tools that are focused on it.