Appium is the most popular open-source framework for testing native mobile apps. Just like Selenium is for web testing.
It’s primarily used for mobile app automation – hybrid, web and native.
It's also common for businesses to use Appium to test their mobile UI on iOS and Android, because Selenium can’t run inside a mobile device.
Appium is an open-source test automation framework. It’s developed and maintained by a community, meaning that customer support is limited.
Although limited, it’s used by testers and developers to automate the testing of mobile apps, mobile web apps, and hybrid apps.
Appium is similar to Selenium. The main difference is that Selenium only works on web applications and browsers, whereas Appium only works on mobile.
It executes test scrips on Android and iOS using the WebDriver protocol. Plus it supports most programming languages.
To be able to run tests on Appium, there are a number of prerequisites needed to be able to get mobile app testing up and running. This is the case whether you’re using Appium to script tests, or using a tool that uses Appium under the hood so you don't have to code – like Leapwork.
You can read about the prerequisites you need to use Appium here.
Like Selenium, to build and maintain tests in Appium, you have to learn how to code. For enterprises that don’t have the talent to set aside for mobile app test automation, this creates a serious problem.
Testing the mobile app manually can delay feature releases, while also increasing the chance of bugs going into a live environment undetected.
Either that, or have team members spend months learning how to code tests in Appium from scratch.
Once they learn how to code, there’s a heavy maintenance burden required to keep the tests running. It often takes more time to maintain tests than it does to manually test them, costing businesses a fortune.
So what alternatives are there for those without the dedicated resources to build Appium tests, nor the time to maintain an Appium framework? We cover this in our post on codeless Appium automation.
Or, check out our guide to Mobile App Testing with Test Automation.