Mobile Testing - Android Frameworks

Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the present times. Each year millions of smart phones running on the Android OS hit the markets to amaze the buyers with an improved functionality and performance. With an increase in the number of mobile handset manufacturers and open-source nature of the Android OS, there is a huge diversity in the type of mobiles, screen size, ROM’s and specification of an Android smart phones. This poses a challenge for mobile app developers, as they have to ensure that their app runs smoothly on every Android mobile device despite the fragmentation.

Android mobile testing frameworks turns out to be a savior for developers, where they can perform automated tests in real time and on a large scale to ensure that mobile application is working just fine. Many cloud-based Android testing frameworks offer unlimited access for running various checks and tests, which saves the life of a promising mobile app, and that of a developer. Some of the best Android mobile testing frameworks are as follows:


One of the most mature Android testing frameworks, robotium was the star in the early phases of Android app development. Robotium is an open-source library which extends JUnit with a number of handy methods for Android UI Testing. The testing framework is equipped with automated black-box test cases which are useful for testing native and hybrid mobile apps. It also provides quality results during web testing. Robotium lets a developer to write down function, acceptance, and system test scenarios that helps in testing an application when the source code is available.

UI Automator

UI Automator boasts of a basic framework with powerful testing capabilities. The framework allows a tester to perform a various test like UI test for a native android app on multiple devices. The facility of running JUnit test cases with exceptional privileges allows performing test operations throughout an entire series of processes. The UI Automator provides five classes to a developer. These can be used to test an app under various environments.


An open-sourced test automation framework by Google, Espresso eases out the testing process for developers/testers to check out the user interface of an app. The small size of Espresso API is easy to learn and build on top of the Android instrumentation framework. The framework facilitates prompt testing of Android UI by writing concise and reliable test programs. Espresso is the latest framework which supports various levels of API’s such as Froyo, Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and much more.


Calabash is an advanced cross-platform automated framework that is used for testing of native and hybrid Android/iOS applications. The syntaxes used in Calabash are easy to understand and also makes it possible for people from non-technical background to create and execute various acceptance tests for Android and iOS apps. The framework uses a unique procedure for testing where tests are described in Cucumber first and then are converted during run time to Robotium or Frank. The framework uses various controllers (natural language commands) with a provision of implementing new controllers using Ruby or Java.


It is an integrated test automation framework which can be used to test native, hybrid and mobile web apps for Android and iOS. The framework uses JSONWireProtocol to interact with an app using Selenium’s WebDriver, internally with support for Android through uiautomator and Selendroid. IOS support is ensured by using UI Automation while web app support is ensured using Selenium Driver for Android and iOS, both. An Appium script can be written in practically by any programming language with the freedom of selecting tools and comes with compatibility across platforms. The framework frees a tester from the obligation of installing and configuring different devices for testing.