Technology

How to Use Appium for Testing on Android and iOS

How do you test your mobile app? Do you just download it and check the obvious things, or do you go deeper and try to find bugs in your code? If you want to test out your app with a broader array of users, then automated testing is the way to go. In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits of using Appium for automated testing on iOS and Android, as well as how to set up your environment for the best experience.

Why should you test your app?

There are a couple of reasons why you should test your app: 1) it’s going to save you money and time. 2) it’s going to increase your app’s user experience and it’ll be more user-friendly. 3) it’s going to increase your app’s conversion rate.

There are two primary ways to test your mobile app for performance: iOS and Android. We’ll cover both the iOS and Android testing platforms, but we will only be using one of them on this specific example.

What is Appium?

Appium is an online cloud platform that helps you test your mobile apps so that you can continually improve your performance and ultimately get a higher percentage of your users using your app, instead of having to focus on just the people who use your app.

If you are familiar with Microsoft’s Edge and how it can leverage web technologies to provide an improved user experience and boost conversion, then you are familiar with using web-powered testing tools. While this is obviously less resource-intensive, there are a couple of drawbacks to such tools.

The main drawback is that the experience is often not as intuitive as to how your site or app would be. Even just running an app emulator in Google Chrome is more visually rewarding than trying to use an on-site browser on a PC.

With the rise in smartphone adoption, there is a greater need for apps to provide a better mobile user experience, and this is where there are many different testing solutions available, especially for those businesses that have many different app versions and need a way to test for each version individually.

However, the problem becomes that once you start running hundreds or even thousands of test campaigns, you begin to become overwhelmed and it’s a relatively difficult task to keep them all organized.

Enter the Appium platform. Appium’s unique approach is to turn the track-and-trouble traditional testing tools into a system that enhances the user’s response.

How does Appium work?

Appium is an open-source test automation framework for use in testing mobile native, hybrid, and web apps. It’s an automated testing tool to run tests written in different programming languages against mobile apps using different frameworks and mobile operating systems. It supports most mobile platforms like Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

Why use Appium?

Because it’s fast and doesn’t require any technical knowledge or coding skills to set it up. It’s also open-source, which means many other developers use and maintain it. And unlike other platforms such as Selenium, you’re not limited in terms of languages you can use.

According to Google, Appium supports the following programming languages: C, Kotlin, Swift, Objective-C, C++, Python, C#, Go, Julia, Ethereum, Jing, PHP, Julia, Kotlin, Node.js, PHP, Java, Kotlin.

Benefits of using Appium for your Automated Testing Needs.

Easy to Use:

No setup required (especially if you’re a single developer). At its core, Appium is just a server running an application. At the time of writing, there is an easy-to-use web frontend that enables you to quickly and easily set up your environment for Appium testing. 

Allows Check Scripts:

What if you want to reuse code? One downside you may find with using Appium is that certain features make it incompatible with certain apps and frameworks.

For example, in some cases, you may find that Appium cannot run services and plugins such as Analytics or AdMob.

One possible workaround is to identify the Checkstyle violations that your app may encounter which need to be either ported or disabled temporarily.

Allows on Various Versions:

One advantage of Appium is that you don’t need to worry about versioning or allowing different environments to run at the same time. There is a single environment master, and from there, any number of environments are aggregated across peers.

Enroll now in Appium Training to automate testing on android and iOS.

How to set up your environment for automated testing in iOS and Android

If you’re developing your app in Swift and Kotlin for iOS and Android, you should be using some kind of automated testing in order to ensure that your app works as intended.

The reasons we want to automate testing our mobile apps are pretty straightforward: we want to be sure that users can easily find and use the features of our app as we’ve outlined in our business case. However, some of the common ways we choose to test are:

To find out which of these options best suits your app, will require that we go into more detail than we have here.

If you have a simple app, with no feature that’s likely to use much bandwidth, and your users interact with it very rarely, then you don’t need to bother with A/B testing.

Many app store optimization metrics apply to these types of interactions, with the two most common being time on first touch (TOU) and unfriendly behavior.

You’ll know if you’ve hit a special case activity if you see both values trending upwards, both of which are being influenced by the content in the app.

There are lots of automated testing techniques used across all of the platforms discussed, such as:

The reason these techniques are chosen in various ways is so that the method of testing that we’re choosing to apply to each type of app is really suited to what we want to find out, which is sometimes based upon correlation, and other times based upon pure random chance.

Tips for getting the most out of using Appium for automated testing in iOS and Android

Step: 1. The first step to getting the most out of Appium is to get the most out of your test scripts. Don’t write scripts that are long, complicated, and difficult to maintain. Instead, write short, simple, easy-to-follow scripts that are easy to debug.

Storyboards are great for this; they are extremely easy to set up, provide many options, and can be used across multiple apps. The best way to move forward with a storyboarding script is to first create it on your computer. Tools like Storyboard Studio can make life easy.

Step: 2. Once you’ve got your storyboard set up, then you can transfer it over to your mobile device, and use that to test your app. This means that you will need to know the name of your iOS or Android device, the identification number that is listed in your phone’s settings, and the unique identifier for that device.

If you are creating a script to launch an app, there should be a screen shown to let you know the name of your device and to confirm that it’s the correct iOS or Android version.

Step: 3. On most iOS devices you can just touch the screen with two fingers and the app should launch. Inputting the incorrect identification number (7 digit or numeric) will almost always crash the app.

Step: 4. Testing different screen sizes on an iPhone or an Android device is more difficult than it appears. On an iPhone, gradients can hide some essential information.

Step: 5. On Android, a black square in the middle of the screen may be the only part visible to the user. Whatever device you’re using, make sure that it’s optimized for your app’s purposes.

Vinod Kumar Tanem

Tanem Vinod Kumar working as a content contributor at MindMajix. He is a tech enthusiast and has a great understanding of today’s technology. He can write articles on software technologies such as Software Testing, QA, Android, JavaScript, Data analytics and ERP tools, Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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