With approximately 3.5 billion smartphones users and 1.35 billion tablet users, it’s no surprise that the mobile application industry is thriving with 204 billion apps downloaded in 2019, and projected to increase by 25% between 2020 and 2022.
Such volumes of demands, in addition to the constant influx of software sophistication and operating systems, give way for automated mobile testing to prosper in popularity. Automated mobile testing tools offers a win-win solution for all parties involved:
- For developers, it allows the reproduction of potential issues on various devices and OS in real-time, then viewing logs, data, recording for immediate bugging and adjustment, thus improving test cases and efficiency.
- For businesses, mobile app testing tools reduce costs and time-to-market, increasing profit and competitive edges.
- For users, it increases quality, thus ensuring a smooth experience.
From there, we can see the importance of choosing the right automated mobile app testing tools for developers and companies. Amid such rising appeal for automation, there are hundreds of mobile testing tools for teams to choose from since technology companies are vying for market shares.
However, such availability of mobile testing tools can confuse organizations when looking for the best fit for their mobile apps. To give testing teams some clarity, I’m using my humble personal experiences in software testing to create this list of 15 best automated mobile testing tools in the industry. Teams can use this list to get some good understanding of all the available software, and compare each software’s distinct features; therefore, determine which tool best caters to their apps.
This is a no-brainer when it comes to choosing a testing tool for mobile application projects. As one of the most-searched mobile app testing tools, Appium has long been the leading software in the mobile testing industry.
- Appium is a free, open-source mobile testing tool that supports a wide range of languages, test frameworks, and OS.
- It offers various integrations with third-party tools, enabling cross-platform testing using the same API, and tests reusability between iOS, Android, and Windows.
- Support all kinds of apps with no modification required, making it among the most robust and flexible mobile testing tools.
In conjunction with its advanced features, Appium requires extensive coding experience to create tests, which can be problematic when users require training before use. There’s no official support but rather a community of users sharing information.
There’s a reason why over 65,000 companies worldwide adopted Katalon Studio as their testing solution. Utilizing the robust Appium and Selenium frameworks as its foundation, Katalon Studio is an all-in-one testing solution for companies and teams at any scale. It offers codeless testing for all testing needs (Mobile testing, Web testing, Desktop application testing, API testing) without the steep learning curves of Appium and Selenium. For mobile testing specifically, Katalon supports iOS and Android testing platforms and extends other OSs like Windows and Linux.
- Supports most testing capabilities offered by Appium, but easier: simple setup; effortless test script creation using keywords, images, objects; test execution locally and remotely on real devices, simulators or custom cloud-based devices, and flexible test reusability across mobile platforms, API, and Web.
- Offers powerful utilities to accelerate the automation process: Mobile Object Spy to quickly populate the project’s object repository and Mobile Recorder to generate automation scripts from recorded actions with built-in modifications and actions when recording tests.
- Integration with all the commonly used third-party tools (Jira, Git, Jenkins, etc.) and mobile platforms (Sauces Lab, Lambda Test, etc. )
- Comprehensive documents, tutorials and official support from both the Katalon teams and community.
Price: Free — $839 per year
Formally TestPlant, Eggplant is an AI-powered software test automation for desktop, web, and mobile apps. For mobile testing projects, Eggplant supports all standard platforms: Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Symbian. Although the community for Eggplant isn’t as prominent as other mobile testing tools, its recent merge with Keysight Technology hints a promising expansion may be on the horizon for Eggplant.
- Test cases can run from the command line without supervision.
- AI-powered tools to ensure the continuity of tests while you’re doing remoted works on Cloud.
- Eggplant’s Digital Automation Intelligence platform can test any technology on any device, operating system, or browser at any layer, from the user interface (UI) to application programming interfaces (APIs) to the database.
Price: Commercial — Contact Sales
TestComplete is an AI-integrated automated testing tool for UI tests in web, desktop, and mobile applications. Aside from some difficulties in updating test cases, this tool is flexible and easy-to-use with the options of both script and scriptless test generation.
- For mobile app testing, TestComplete allows testing on both native and hybrid mobile apps on emulators, real devices or virtual machines.
- User-friendly UI with supportive documents and customer services.
Price: From $6095 per year
Striving to be an all-in-one testing solution, Ranorex promises to deliver high-quality desktop, mobile, and web applications testing. It’s a natural choice for beginners with a codeless click-and-go interface, helpful wizards, and powerful automation experts with a full IDE.
- Support iOS and Android testing, including native mobile apps and mobile web apps with detailed summary reports.
- Run cross-device tests in parallel or use Appium WebDriver for mobile web tests.
- Support limited languages but does offer powerful integration.
Price: Perpetual licenses, from €2,890
Another new player in the field, Kobiton markets itself as a mobile experience platform. From building device labs, instant health-check to run manual and automated tests on native, web and hybrid Android/iOS apps with real devices, Kobiton strives to deliver seamless access to testing regardless of testers’ needs.
- Built on top of the Appium open-source framework, Kobiton opens for integration with all frameworks (Appium, XCUI, Espresso, etc.)
- Pioneering Intelligent Test Automation and Appium Anywhere technology allows for a codeless mobile testing experience based on one manual test script and a seamless text script adaptation across devices.
- Providing the latest real, cloud-based devices, centralized testing history and data logs to support extensive collaboration between teams.
Price: Free trial — $2004 per year
Monkey Talk, another open-source mobile testing tool, is a user-friendly tool that doesn’t require jailbreaking. It automates functional, real interactive tests for both Android and iOS — catering from basic smoke tests to data-driven test suites.
- Testers can generate XML and HTML reports with this mobile testing tool.
- Automatically take screenshots when error or failure happens.
- For continuous integration needs, Monkey Talk also has inbuilt support for Jenkins and Hudson.
Created as an extension of the Android framework, Robotium is an open-source Android-only mobile testing tool that supplies robust automatic black-box test cases for Android applications.
- Unlike many other Android testing tools, Robotium also allows the automation of multiple Android activities and creates solid test cases in minimal time.
- Supports Java as the main programming language.
- Robust integration with Maven and Ant.
- An extensive library of unit tests.
Another prominent open-source tool on this list, iOS Driver, is a Selenium-integrated mobile testing tool for iOS native, hybrid and mobile applications using Selenium/WebDriver API. This tool runs efficiently on an emulator rather than devices, some of its recent versions run on devices but are comparatively slower than on the emulator. As it’s built upon two different frameworks from Apple, testers should check the system requirements for compatibility.
- Once compatible, testers can utilize some features of the Apple-developed X-code.
- iOS Driver makes it easy for testers as they don’t need to jailbreak, change any app code or load any additional app for testing the app on devices.
- iOS Driver can be used as a Selenium Grid Node; thus tests can be run parallel on the same architecture as the web, decreasing the feedback time for GUI test.
Test IO is a leading SaaS platform for software crowd testing: the continuous testing of web and mobile applications by skilled human testers using real devices. To test your software, you need to upload your mobile app or share the website URL with test IO, then the team at test IO will securely distribute across the interested testers all over the globe. You will get the initial test results within one hour after starting the test run.
- From waterfall to continuous delivery, test IO tests when you need to: from prototype to UAT, regression, and even production.
- Integration with Jira, Github, Asana, etc.
- Remove QA bottleneck with on-demand, flexible testing that scales up to your needs.
Price: Commercial — Contact Sales
Selendroid is among the leading testing tools for Android-based hybrid and native mobile apps. It addresses most setbacks presented by other Android mobile testing apps with its powerful integration of WebDriver API and Selenium System.
- An open-source framework for Android that can simultaneously interact with multiple devices, emulators, and simulators.
- Powerful recording features, UI testing, and flexibility with hardware devices.
- Testers are not required to alter their AUT for automation.
Recognized by Forrester Wave as a 2020 strong performer, Perfecto is a cloud-based testing software that supports mobile and web testing. It delivers a hassle-free testing experience, made possible by the very extensive platforms and testing devices through which teams can perform tests on. Although the speed on mobile testing is reported to be relatively slower than web, it boosts a reputation for its collaborative capabilities with screen-sharing options for teams while testing.
- Support real user simulators and large-scale remote testing.
- Extensive test failure analysis with dashboard and detailed artifacts (images, videos, crash logs, vitals, etc).
- Wide availability of framework and testing platforms integrations.
Price: From $3,600 per year
Testdroid is a cloud-based software for mobile app testing that helps developers save development costs, eliminate the unpredictable operational cost, and improve time-to-market. Now Testdroid is under development at SmartBear, a leading provider of automation solutions.
- One of the best platforms to test your iOS and Android devices with different screen resolutions, OS versions, and HW platforms.
- Limit the risks of testing with real devices and agile practice.
- Allows remote access to more than 300 genuine gadgets running in Android.
Price: From $1,908 per year
Developed by Xamarin, Calabash is an open-sourced mobile app testing tool for iOS and Android. Although it lacks a recording function, it makes up for being one of the few mobile testing tools that support Cucumber, the foundation that enables writing codes in English.
- Using Xamarin Test Cloud, testers can run test cases on more than 1000 devices with real-time feedback and validation across many different form factors, OS versions, OEM customizations, and hardware specs.
- Aside from essential integration with CI/CD tool integrations, Calabash also has separate libraries for iOS and Android that allows testers to interact with native and hybrid apps programmatically.
- Supports Ruby, Java, and C# as programming languages.
21 is a self-learning test building and analytics platform for iOS and Android apps. Incorporating major tech innovations like AI, 21 promises an almost full implementation of automation into your testing plan.
- Fast and intelligent authoring for users to create automated functional and UI tests in minutes.
- Automating test maintenance to ensure test reliability across all testing platforms, reduce flaky tests.
- Fully SaaS, requires no installation or devices to create or execute tests.
- Price: Free demo, contact Sales for more information.
Price: Commercial — Contact Sales
By combining the two booming industries of mobile apps and automation testing, there is no doubt that the automated mobile testing industry has a bright future ahead. These 15 tools represent the most innovative, the most flexible products in the industry. With such collections of powerful distinctions and features, it’s no doubt that a few of these apps would be great candidates for your projects and companies.
With that being said, the definition of the best mobile testing tool depends on your product and team. Your testing tool choice should be a software that fits into your team, not software for your team to fit in. Remember to consider your budget, expertise, and needs, then combine with the potential development trends of your app and the mobile application industry to optimize long-term financial gain from the chosen mobile testing tool.
- Top Software Test Automation Software of 2020 — Gartner Peer Insights
- Best Automation Testing Tools for 2021 (Top 10 reviews)
- Top 10 API Testing Tools (Details & Updates Done for You!)
- The original article is previously published on Medium.