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How to Test Your Mobile App


NOTE: This post is outdated. I've written a more current series of getting started posts for mobile testing with Appium. You can find them here.

Use Case

Mobile is kind of a big deal. And if you haven't needed to test a mobile app yet, it's only a matter of time. But where do you start? And how do you do it in a way that is complimentary to your existing automation and experience?

A Solution

Give Appium a try. It's open source, works for both iPhone & Android, and works through the use of the Selenium WebDriver API (without having to recompile the app in order to test it).

That is to say -- you can write tests pretty much the same way as you do now, there are just some additional things to think about -- like new functionality (e.g. pinch, swipe, etc.) and setup (e.g. serving your app, running simulators and a server locally, or sending things off to the cloud).

To simplify things, let's step through 2 examples using Sauce Labs to test native apps -- one for iPhone and another for Android. If you need a primer on what Sauce Labs is and how to use it, check out this tip.

NOTE: These examples were borrowed from the Appium project and modified for simplicity.

About The Author

Dave Haeffner is the original writer of Elemental Selenium -- a free, once weekly Selenium tip newsletter that's read by thousands of testing professionals. He also created and maintains the-internet (an open-source web app that's perfect for writing automated tests against).

Dave has helped numerous companies successfully implement automated acceptance testing; including The Motley Fool, ManTech International, Sittercity, and Animoto. He is also an active member of the Selenium project and has spoken at numerous conferences and meetups around the world about automated acceptance testing.

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