Test Automation using Selenium and Appium for Mobile Apps

Last updated on April 4th, 2024 at 06:49 pm

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Without smartphones, modern life would be difficult to imagine. They have undergone a significant transformation to become the central center of communication and information essential to modern life. People utilize mobile applications because they are easily accessible and may be used for a variety of tasks, including online payment, bill tracking, online shopping, and many more. Briefly, mobile devices are used to access the majority of business resources.

A wide variety of devices, platforms, operating systems, and screen resolutions have entered the market as a result of the growth of mobile phones. With the rise in mobile device usage and the number of applications, there is a significant demand for mobile application development.

It implies that quality testing is crucial to an app’s success. Hence, testing experts are under pressure to adapt their testing methods to keep up with the pace of the mobile market without compromising the quality of their mobile apps.  Automated mobile testing has become essential for well-established applications. The secret to continuously deploying applications is automation testing tools. Selenium and Appium are the two most frequently suggested options when choosing the finest mobile testing solution.

This article describes the use of the two most popular automation tools, Selenium and Appium, to test automation for mobile apps. We will begin with an overview of mobile automation testing before moving on to explore each tool in detail, including its architecture and functionality. We will eventually discover how to employ them for automating mobile testing.

An introduction to testing mobile automation

Automation has made testing more efficient and accurate. Automation testing is a useful method of finding errors in new mobile applications. This testing is carried out to confirm many testing-related factors, including usability, security, performance, quality, and functionality. Also, it evaluates a new application’s capacity to communicate with other applications.

Using automation technologies to test new mobile applications before they are usable is known as mobile automation testing. This kind of testing is carried out to see how effectively mobile applications function on various mobile operating systems and devices.

Also read: AI and Machine Learning in Test Automation

Appium test automation

Appium is an open-source mobile automation testing solution that enables the testing of native and hybrid applications on Android and iOS devices. It is a strong choice for automating mobile app testing because it makes use of the Selenium WebDriver API to manage devices and interact with apps. Automated scripts using Appium can be written in a variety of programming languages, such as Java, PHP, Perl, Python, etc.

The reason Appium is so widely used is also due to its powerful ability to write tests against popular mobile platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows, which enables it to be incorporated into the current CI/CD pipeline.

It enables the same structure and language to be used to develop tests for mobile apps as for websites, making it simple to learn and use. It is widely used to verify how well mobile browsers and applications work with different mobile devices and how quickly they respond


The most extensively used open-source test automation framework for automating web browsers is Selenium. It provides a single interface that enables testers to write test scripts in a variety of programming languages, including Ruby, Java, NodeJS, PHP, Perl, Python, and C#.

Browsers including Chrome/Chromium, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, Opera, and Safari are supported by Selenium. Moreover, Selenium aids in the integration of continuous testing into development. Cross-browser testing is made incredibly simple for teams by its user-friendly API and compatibility with numerous client libraries.

Selenium Grid, Selenium WebDriver, and Selenium IDE are the three parts of this tool suite. QAs may automate the cross-browser compatibility testing of their web applications using the Selenium tool suite on both desktops and mobile devices.

Mobile Automation Testing using the Appium and Selenium Frameworks

Test automation is a crucial step in the creation of apps. The effectiveness of automated testing can be crucial in maintaining the quality of mobile apps. Flexibility and accuracy are two factors that many people take into account when choosing a mobile app testing automation solution like Selenium.

Although there are many other, more effective tools available for the job, there is a reason why selenium automation is considered.

Due to the widespread use of mobile phones, testing on mobile devices has become an increasingly important necessity. Selenium is a very well-liked automated testing solution for desktop and web applications.

However, it must be made clear that Selenium only provides frameworks for testing mobile apps; it does not directly provide testing of mobile applications. Appium and Selendroid are two frameworks that Selenium supports for automating the testing of mobile apps.


Selendroid, commonly referred to as “Selenium for Android,” is a mobile testing framework built on Selenium that enables organizations to execute automated tests on Android devices. It communicates with iOS and Android apps via the JSON Wire protocol and supports older Android versions. But, it may also be used to test iOS mobile applications by using an iOS driver. Though the choices were still constrained here. So the developers of Selenium mobile testing turn to Appium for assistance.

Components of Selendroid

Web Driver Client- It is a Java client library that is installed on the machine where test scripts will be created.

Selendroid Server- Operates on the actual or virtual mobile device where the application under test (AUT) is installed.

Android Driver Webview App- It serves as a built-in driver for testing the mobile web.

Selendroid-Standalone- This utility is used to install Selendroid Server and AUT.

Key features of Selendroid

  • It is open-source, thus using it is free.
  • Supports both native and hybrid Android applications, and comes with a built-in Android Driver Webview App for testing mobile web applications.
  • Utilized in combination with Selenium Grid to test a mobile application simultaneously across several devices.
  • Selendroid has an inbuilt function called Hotplugging that allows it to detect and identify new devices connected to it, allowing one to add and remove devices live, that is while tests are ongoing.
  • It also features an integrated inspector that can look over UI elements.
  • It supports Java, C#, Python, and other programming languages that Selenium is compatible with.
  • Uses the advanced User Interactions API to support testing of gestures on mobile devices. Example: Down, up, single tap, double tap, etc.
  • Selendroid may be used for automated testing on both real mobile devices and emulators.
  • Support “Dynamic Extendability,” which enables adding, editing, and changing the test script as the tests are being performed.


Appium is a robust mobile automation testing framework that leverages the same WebDriver API as Selenium to drive mobile browsers on both Android and iOS. For testing older Android application versions, Appium has a built-in Selendroid mode. Similar to Selendroid, it too employs the JSON Wire Protocol.

Additionally, it provides support for various platforms and technologies. It enables building a single test code using Selenium and Appium for both Android and iOS. As a result, Appium facilitates mobile testing with Selenium for individuals or organizations with prior Selenium development experience.

Appium architecture

Appium uses a client-server architecture to operate, and it primarily consists of three parts:

Appium client- This is where the automation scripted code is located. The scripted code is written in a particular programming language, such as Java, Python, Ruby, or Perl. Information about how the application and mobile device are configured is contained in the script. It is used to execute the test cases for the applications.

Appium server- This is an HTTP server that accepts JSON-formatted command requests from the client component. A Node.js server is used by this server. Following that, mobile devices carry out the commands. Between the Appium Client and the end device, the Appium server serves as a middleman. It is connected to operating systems including Windows, iOS, and Android.

End device- In this context, a real-time mobile device or an emulator that is linked to the Appium server and receives instructions from the Client to run the test is referred to.

Key features of Appium

Here are a few of the important characteristics of the Appium that make it a great option for automated mobile app testing.

  • Appium may be used to test apps on both Android and iOS devices because it is cross-platform compatible.
  • Supports testing web applications automatically on mobile devices. This means that Appium may be used to test web apps that are accessed through a mobile browser.
  • It is free to use and open source. For developers and testers searching for an affordable method of automating mobile app testing, this makes it a tempting choice.
  • It has a strong community of developers and users. Hence, in the case that something goes wrong while using Appium, it offers assistance and community support.

Using the LambdaTest platform, to test mobile applications

Teams can find any flaws that a user would run through in real settings by testing applications and websites on actual iOS and Android devices. This guarantees that websites and apps have undergone extensive testing and can deliver a faultless user experience.

LambdaTest is a secure, scalable, and reliable, cloud-based automation testing platform. To execute manual and automated testing of online and mobile apps, it empowers teams with access to a Cloud Selenium Grid of more than 3000 real devices, browsers, and operating system combinations. Also, it enables hassle-free parallel testing as well as browser compatibility testing on chosen mobile devices (Android or iOS).

To deliver a smooth user experience, LambdaTest also offers integrations with well-known frameworks like Appium and Selenium on a single platform. As a result, testers are guaranteed a thorough mobile testing experience on the platform.

Moreover, LambdaTest enables QA engineers and mobile app developers to work in the language and environment of their choice and perform automated tests on the framework of their choice. that they are most comfortable in, thereby maximizing productivity and improving testing efficiency.


A wide range of automation testing solutions are available, however, due to their versatility and scalability, Appium and its integration with Selenium are the most popular option for test automation. Testers can use the Selenium functionalities using both Selendroid and Appium. But, because of its adaptability and quickness, many people favor Appium.

Appium is open-source, supports all three categories of mobile applications, makes use of the Selenium interface, and enjoys strong community support. I hope the information presented here will give you a better understanding of Appium and Selenium-based mobile app automation testing.

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