5 Best Open Source Mobile Test Automation Tools

Automated testing makes preparing a mobile app for release considerably easier. Using automation tools help reuse test cases, manage teams more efficiently, and bring products to the market faster. If you are still running manual tests, chances are, you are reducing the efficiency of the development process and will have a hard time scaling the product. 

In this post, you’ll find out why QA teams automate the testing process and will get to know the most popular open-source app for mobile app testing automation.

Open Source Mobile Test Automation Tools

Why Should You Use Automation Tools?

According to the latest market surveys, 85% of companies use automation during software testing. Most businesses combine human supervision and automation to have control over testing while speeding the process up. 

Mobile app testing automation offers business managers numerous benefits – here are the most impactful ones:

  • Time efficiency. There are testing activities, such as regression testing, that need to be run overnight. Naturally, most teams cannot supervise the test for 10-12 hours straight. Automation testing helps testers start a session and see a complete outcome the next morning – thus, there’s no need for overnight supervision. 
  • Higher quality assurance. An automated tool offers a different perspective as opposed to manual testing. Chances are, a human QA specialist can miss a bug due to fatigue or loss of concentration – automated systems eliminate this risk. 
  • Reusability. The ability to reuse automated testing reduces the amount of time the team needs to spend working on the project. Also, it’s easier to onboard new employees and create uniform practices that can be applied across all projects. 
  • Higher test coverage. It’s close to impossible to test every unit of the software manually. Test automation tools give QA teams a possibility to examine the system in detail, ensuring there are no defects in the interface, the database, or other application components. 
  • Higher return on investment in the long run. Maintaining a manual testing team might seem cheaper in the long run – however, a testing tool subscription is cheaper than paying electricity bills and compensating the team for overtime. 

All the benefits listed above prove that adopting automated testing is a reasonable strategy, both for small- and large-scale mobile applications.

Top 5 Open Source Platforms For Mobile Testing Automation

When implementing mobile testing automation, it’s crucial to choose the right toolkit. Here are the top 5 test automation tools QA teams use to automate and execute test cases.

1. Appium

Appium is a full suite for automated mobile application testing. Here, developers can create cases for native, hybrid, and web applications. The platform supports multiple programming languages – Ruby, C#, Java, and others. 

Appium promotes high code reusability. You can use the source code of test cases on iOS and Android. 

Main features:

  • Cross-browser support (Safari, Chrome, and others);
  • Full JSON compatibility;
  • All Android versions starting 2.3 are supported;
  • Java, C#, and Ruby support;
  • A wide range of UI frameworks – WebDriver, UI Automator, and others.
2. MonkeyRunner

The tool is designed to automate mobile functional testing. The platform allows developers to test apps on multiple devices simultaneously. You can automate any functional and regression testing case via MonkeyRunner. The tool is fully developed in Python.

However, a developer does not have to be proficient in the language to automate tests since there’s no need to change the source code. 

Main features:

  • A broad range of automation tools for small- and large-scale tests;
  • Tool for running cross-platform testing;
  • Macros for recording test scripts for Android and iOS;
  • Native and hybrid app support.
Top 5 Open Source Platforms For Mobile Testing Automation
3. Robotium

Robotium is another renowned tool for automated mobile app testing. Unfortunately, the platform only supports Android – having said that, you can test both native and hybrid projects using the platform. 

The backbone of Robotium is Java-based. The tool has a built-in virtual emulator, a wide range of blackbox testing automation tools, and helps developers create testing activities in no time. 

Main features:

  • All Android versions from 1.6 are supported;
  • Java support;
  • Allows creating versatile test scenarios;
  • Concurrent Android activity handling.
4. Selendroid

Selendroid is a powerful tool for automated Android UI testing. The platform supports native, hybrid, and web apps. The tool has virtual emulators – you can plug in a physical device too and integrate it into the platform. Selendroid uses custom APIs to increase the efficiency of the testing process.

Selendroid allows testing on several Android devices at the same time. Both JSON and the wire protocol are supported. 

Main features:

  • A custom client-side API;
  • No source code changes are required to automate tests;
  • Allows managing multiple Android devices simultaneously;
  • Full JSON and wire protocol compatibility.
5. MonkeyTalk

QA teams often use MonkeyTalk to run automated functional Android and iOS tests. It’s one of the few platforms that doesn’t require in-depth technical skills – you can get the hang of it without a good command of programming languages.

The testing scripts created via MonkeyTalk are straightforward and easy to read. The tool has a range of reporting tools – you can document tests in HTML or XML. The platform captures software failures automatically by taking screenshots of app defects. MonkeyTalk supports most emulators, tethered and network devices.

Main features:

  • Adobe Flex and HTML 5 support;
  • One of the most powerful test automation tools for cross-platform testing;
  • Automatically records scripts and captures system failures;
  • Beginner-friendly.

Conclusion

All the tools reviewed above have an extensive community of open-source contributors – thus, they are constantly updated. You will always be able to ask fellow testers for help and get answers to test-automation-related questions.

You can use one of the tools reviewed above or implement several instruments. Regardless of the programming language, you feel most confident to work in, the type of the app, and the iOS it supports, it usually takes little time for QA teams to find the right test automation tools.

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