Android Mobile Application Testing With Open Source Tools

The shift towards mobile platforms is a strong trend at present and Android is the most widely adopted mobile OS. While developing a new mobile app, enterprises targeted Android platform due to its massive worldwide market share. A recent survey has shown that a larger percentage of users abandon Android apps after one time use. Hence, it becomes essential for every business to keep the users engaged and implement various app monetization techniques.
The business must test the Android app elaborately under varying user conditions to assess its user experience very precisely, but it must provide QA professionals with robust mobile app testing tools and test automation framework to repeat the tests under the varying conditions. Every business using open source test automation frameworks to test the Android app effectively without increasing project overheads.

A brief overview of widely used open source tools for mobile application testing is:


Appium is an open-source mobile automation testing tool to allow the developers to test various Android native mobile applications as well as hybrid applications. Native applications are written with the support of Android SDKs and different web application tools which can be used to perform tests or mobile users, like a built-in browser application.
Appium library functions inside the framework and makes calls to the Appium server that runs in the background with operates the connected device. It uses JSONWire Protocol internally to interact with Android apps using Selenium’s WebDriver.



The features of Appium are listed below:

  • Large community support
  • Supports Java, C#, Ruby and many other programming languages
  • Supports scrip recording on Mac
  • Supports native, hybrid and mobile web application automation
  • Cross-platform script development
  • Supports physical device as well as Emulators


This open source test automation framework for Android is designed with features that facilitate Android UI testing. The QA professionals can use Robotium app testing to test both the native and hybrid apps for Android. This further comes with features to help the users to write automated black-box UI tests efficiently. The users take advantage of these features to write function, system and user test scenarios across wide-ranging Android activities.



Following are the features of Robotium:

  • Automation of pre-installed apps is possible
  • Automation follows current activity
  • Can work without access to code or knowing implementation of app


As the name indicates, Selendroid is basically known as Selenium for Android apps. It is a test automation framework that drives off the UI of Android native and hybrid apps and the mobile web app.  The QA professionals can use this open source test automation framework to estimate native, hybrid and mobile web apps for Android. They can further use the Selendroid on both the emulators and real devices. Similarly, they can also test the Android apps without recompiling or modifying their source code.


The features of Selendroid are:

  • Can interact with multiple Android devices at the same time
  • Fully compatible with JSON wire protocol
  • Supports common gestures through Advanced User Interactions API
  • No alteration of app under test is needed to automate it

[ Worth To Read: How to perform Mobile Automation using a Framework? ]


Calabash is an open source tool to write automated acceptance test of mobile apps of mobile apps that support Android native apps. It works efficiently with Ruby, .NET, JAVA, Flex and other programming languages. It tests both the native and hybrid mobile apps and the programmers have APIs that enable native apps to run on touchscreen devices. It supports Cucumber framework.
Calabash provides a bridge that allows Cucumber tests to run and validate on Android. These tests are written as a list of statements that forms a number of test scenarios and all the statements in Cucumber are defined using Ruby.



The features of Calabash are as follows:

  • Supports all actions on screen, like pinch, rotate, tap, swipe
  • Large community support
  • Consists of libraries that allow test-code to programmatically interact with native and hybrid apps
  • Cross-platform development support i.e. same code works for both Android and iOS devices

UI Automator

It is a test framework that provides advanced UI testing of native Android apps as well as games. It is a JAVA library containing API to create functional UI tests and also executes engine to run the tests and the library comes with the Android SDK. It works with all the devices that support Android version 4.1 and others that are released after 4.1.



The features of UI Automator are:

  • Library is supported and maintained by google community
  • Simple and easy to learn tutorials are accessible
  • Also, the third party integration with cloud-based test management is easily available


There are many tools available in the market both the open source and paid. Choosing a right toll according to the project requirement can be done only by the testers. Android mobile application testing with open source tools mentioned in this article gives a small description of its features and pointers to the additional resources.

Reference: Trending open source tools to test mobile application security

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