The stats don’t lie: mobile devices account for half of web page views around the world. This shouldn’t surprise us, since more than 75% of Americans own a smartphone with one in five American adults opting for a smartphone-only lifestyle.
That’s why product developers are adopting a mobile-first strategy. And since Android dominates the mobile OS market, it only makes sense for QA testers to become fluent in Google’s digital language.
On the surface, including Android automation testing within your QA processes should be an obvious solution. However, any lack of plan when implementing Android application automation testing in your development cycle can quickly create slowdowns for your developers and QA engineers, especially if your team isn’t familiar with the volume and complexity of testing for Android applications.
Fortunately, these unexpected, and costly, slowdowns can be avoided. All it takes is selecting the right Android testing framework, choosing the best Android testing tools and implementing best practices designed to increase efficiency in Android app testing.
Why Automate Android Testing?
There’s no question about performing Android testing. As the largest operating system in the world, it is essential to confirm that your software application maintains functionality, performance and security across Android versions and devices.
Manual testing for Android compatibility is possible. But, for teams wanting to avoid slowdowns and ensure product quality, Android automation testing is the more cost-effective solution. In fact, an effective Android application automation testing strategy that integrates Android testing tools can deliver these results:
- Simplify and speed up test execution
- Save time and money, including maintenance cost of testing
- Increase test coverage
- Improve reliability and accuracy of tests
- Reducing time of development cycles
Automation Tools for Android Applications
Automating Android app testing starts by having the right automation tool in place. To do this right, your team must first know what to consider when choosing a test automation tool
Once your team is committed to including Android automation testing within your QA strategy, we recommend considering these Android testing tools for your Android testing framework.
- 21: This sophisticated, self-learning automated testing solution can run test automation for Android. 21’s AI-assisted authoring enables testers to create UI and functional Android test cases in minutes. Its seamless algorithmic locators system guarantees stable results across all frameworks.
- Apptim: QA testers can fully review their mobile app and analyze product performance with this tool. Evaluate the performance of native Android while running tests on real devices, then receive generated reports on performance metrics and detected defects. Apptim features an easy-to-use interface with an out-of-the-box JIRA integration.
- Selendroid: This test automation tool can interact with multiple Android devices simultaneously as well as hot plugging of hardware devices. Selendroid allows testers to find UI elements via different locator types. This tool supports writing tests with Selenium 2 client API and integrates with Selenium Grid for parallel testing.
- Kobiton: Full control on real Android devices during automated testing is possible with this mobile testing platform. Testers can enjoy its centralized management interface that combines cloud and local devices. Kobiton features scriptless automation and automatically generated activity logs.
Recommended Android Test Automation Frameworks
Understand how each Android testing framework performs and integrates with each automation tool for Android app testing before deciding which setup is right for you. We suggest reviewing the following frameworks for your Android application automation testing strategy.
- Appium: This open-source test automation framework is designed for running high-level, flow-type tests on Android apps that replicate end-user scenarios. Appium allows QA engineers to write scripts in almost any programming language. This framework shares many similarities to Selenium and uses JSONWireProtocol to interact with Android apps by using Selenium’s WebDriver.
- Espresso: Recently open-sourced by Google, this framework appeals to dev-focused teams with little to no previous experience in test automation. Espresso is known for its speed into app insights and its backward- and forward-compatibility across Android devices. QA testers can write concise, reliable UI tests as well as reuse mocks and helpers created for unit tests.
- Robotium: This open-source framework is as widely used today as it was in the early days of testing Android. Robotium supports function, system, black box and acceptance test cases as well as test applications with available source code. Because of its library extending Junit, testers can complete comprehensive UI testing across Android devices.
- Calabash: As a cross-platform test automation framework, Calabash makes it easy for non-technical testers to create and execute Android automation testing. This framework features an intuitive syntax and access to the Xamarin Test Cloud. Calabash supports Cucumber automation as well as around eighty natural language commands.
5 Tips to Avoid Slowdowns
Deciding how to navigate the testing phase of your project can maximize the speed of Android automation testing. Get the most efficiency out of your Android testing tools and framework by following these tips designed to eliminate any bottlenecks within the Android application automation testing process.
Outsource Test Management
Your QA experts are your partners in product development. They should be an experienced hand who can guide you through test design and selecting every automation tool for Android app testing. Your QA team plays a key role in communication workflows and parallel execution of development and testing.
They should be able to shoulder responsibility for automating the full range of test services required to take an Android app to release, including:
- Functionality testing
- Performance testing
- User interface testing
- Interruption testing
- Requirements testing
- Over-the-air (OTA) testing
- Sound/vibration testing
- Carrier-specific testing
The right QA experts allow you to scale up testing quickly and efficiently when needed. So if your internal team doesn’t have enough resources to support Android automation testing effectively, consider outsourcing your test management to prevent delays in product deployments.
Maximize Agile Processes
Collaboration leads to faster results, especially in Android automation testing. The Agile method dominates software development because it anticipates change by building the necessary primary and regression testing into the production workflow. The purpose of Agile is to reduce your automation backlog through efficient development cycles.
No longer does development slow to a halt while the product is under testing, only to return a long list of bugs and faults. Agile leverages the process of continuous iteration for innovation and ongoing improvement.
Automate Wherever Possible
Automation takes over where planning ends. Once the right Android testing framework is in place and the test cases are written, Android automation testing can churn through test sprints in a fraction of the time it would take an engineer.
There is always a place for manual testing in Android app development, especially when testing in real time and simulating the user experience. But a team of QA experts can plan your test phase to maximize the speed of automation without sacrificing quality.
Employ the Right Testing Tools
Automation testing is the faster approach to testing that can also deliver valuable analytics. Every automation tool for Android app testing is designed to help teams meet the demand for timely Android software applications.
That being said, your team should be selective on which tools should carry out your Android automation testing. Rely on your QA experts or your QA services provider throughout the tool selection process in order to employ the right platform for testing your software application.
Stay Up to Speed
Your team needs to keep up with Android’s most dynamic mobile operating system. Because it is constantly evolving its application delivery, languages and conventions, your dedicated QA team must always be in the know on the latest Android updates, from industry forecasts to testing trends. Your QA services provider should offer state-of-the-art automation test facilities designed to meet the latest demands of the mobile market while encouraging research and development within the field.
By implementing an Agile test environment, knowing how and when to automate, selecting the right testing tools and seeking resource advantages, you can maximize the speed of automation testing and continue to deliver a quality product.
Sometimes, that can be easier said than done. Fortunately, you can choose to partner with a professional QA services provider like QASource to avoid slowdowns in development. Our team of testing experts are skilled in mobile QA testing with years of experience in delivering quality automation testing services. We can help streamline your testing practices so that you meet the demands of the mobile market faster. Get in touch with a QASource expert today.