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Why Choosing The Right Tool Is Critical For Testing Mobile Applications

By Author: Michael Wade
Total Articles: 65

The increased demand for developing and deploying mobile applications across device platforms, networks, and operating systems has necessitated any mobile application testing frameworks to make automation the norm rather than an exception. Implementing mobile app testing tool not only reduces the time lag in the cycle of design, development, testing and deployment – an important reason to stay in competition – but reduces the errors that can creep in inadvertently during manual testing.

A number of mobile app test automation tools are available to carry out testing, wherein each has its strengths and drawbacks. Mobile testers should choose the right one on the basis of the type, scope, and purpose of the application. The testing should encompass areas like usability, functionality, security, robustness, and device / OS / network suitability. In fact, testers can choose any mobile app testing tool in the entire testing framework.

Appium for iOS and Android OS platforms: This open source automated tool supports a slew of programming languages like Java, Ruby, JavaScript, Python, PHP and Node, and uses standard API’s across platforms. This precludes testers from recompiling the target application on other platforms. While it does not require any device specific software to be preinstalled as part of the mobile application testing framework, it makes use of web driver’s architecture to conduct testing.

Selendroid: It uses the Selenium 2 client API and Selenium based web driver while supporting JSON wire protocol. The mobile application testing process does not entail the application to undergo changes, and follows the same framework for native or hybrid iOS or Android based apps. This test can simultaneously support a number of Android based devices by plugging them in. Armed with Selenium Inspector, the test can check the state of the application’s user interface.

MonkeyRunner: Although not as dynamic as the earlier mentioned testing tools, it can control devices through programs written on its API. Its lack of dynamism is reflected in the fact that for each device and user interface a separate script is needed. Developed by using Python language, this mobile app testing tool does not require the source code for automation, and can be suitably used for functional as well as regression testing.

Robotium: Although beset with drawbacks such as not possessing a record or play function, lack of screenshots, or the inability to lock or unlock a device, this Java based mobile app testing tool can be used to write powerful test cases for Android based apps without knowing the related classes or structure. The only criterion is to know the main class library.

Frank: Tailor-made to conduct mobile application testing on native iOS based applications, this Cucumber driven mobile app testing tool containing easy to use steps can be used to test both the simulator as well as device. Also, while the test is in progress it can video graph the entire process for archival purpose.

Conclusion
The above mentioned automated tests, if not used as a part of mobile application testing framework, can cause the applications to either crash or give inaccurate results resulting in bad user experience and loss of face for the application maker.

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