Can Selenium be used to test apps on mobile phones? 

No, Selenium can’t be used directly to test mobile apps automatically. 

But Selenium supports frameworks that make it possible to automate the testing of mobile apps. 

Selenium supports the following frameworks for automating mobile test runs: 

1. Selendroid 

2. Appium 

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This is used to test mobile apps for Android. It is also called “Selenium for Android.” It works with the JSON Wire protocol and is compatible with older versions of Android. But if an iOS driver is added, it can also be used to test iOS mobile apps. 

Selendroid has these features: 

  • Works with both native and hybrid Android apps and mobile web apps. 
  • With the help of Selenium Grid, a mobile app can be tested on multiple devices at the same time in parallel. 
  • Selendroid has a feature called “Hotplugging” that lets it find and recognise new devices that are plugged into it. 
  • So, we can remove and add new devices on the fly, i.e. while tests are running. 
  • With the support of a built-in inspector, it can look at the parts of the UI. 
  • It works with programming languages like Java, C#, Python, etc. that are compatible with Selenium WebDriver. 
  • Offers an Android Driver Webview App that can be used to test mobile web apps. 
  • The Advanced User Interactions API can be used to test gestures on mobile devices. 
  • For example, one tap, two taps, up, down, etc. 
  • Selendroid can be used to test both emulators and real mobile devices. 
  • Supports “Dynamic Extensibility,” which means that the test script can be added to, edited, and changed while the tests are running. 

Selendroid is made up of: 

  • Web Driver Client is a Java client library that is installed on the computer where test scripts will be written. 
  • Selendroid Server – Runs on the mobile device where the application under test (AUT) is running (either the real device or an emulator). 
  • It is a built-in driver for testing the mobile web on an Android device. 
  • Selendroid-Standalone is used to install AUT and Selendroid Server.

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It is the best pick for mobile automation testing because it works with iOS, Windows desktop, and Android mobile apps. It has a Selendroid mode built-in, so you can test older versions of Android apps. The JSON Wire Protocol is also used, just like Selendroid. 

Appium Features: 

  • A client-server architecture is what makes Appium work. 
  • It has a Node.js HTTP server that helps the client and mobile device talk to each other. 
  • The clients are libraries in Ruby, PHP, C#, and Python that tell the mobile device what to do. 
  • Offers testing that is done automatically for iOS and Android (Hybrid, Native, and Web applications).  
  • It can also be used to test desktop apps for Windows. 
  • It is used for cross-platform testing because it works on iOS, Windows, and Android. 
  • It is also free to use because it is Open-Source. 
  • The same API can be used to run the same test scripts on iOS, Windows, and Android. 
  • So, it makes it possible to reuse code. 
  • Since Appium is more well-known, it has a large and active group of users. 
  • If there are only small changes to the code in the app, we don’t have to reinstall the app to test it with Appium. 
  • The reason is that it can’t get to the application’s source code. 
  • When tiny modifications are made to the application being tested, other automation tools like Selendroid and Robotium need to be reinstalled or rebuilt (AUT).  
  • Appium also lets you test scripts on multiple devices at the same time. 

Appium Components are: 

Appium client: Appium clients are automated test scripts written in languages like Java, C#, Ruby, Python, etc. 

Appium server: Node.js is used to write it. It gets requests from the client to connect and give commands. These requests are written in JSON. 

When it gets a request, it carries it out on mobile devices. Appium server sets up sessions so that the mobile app can talk to the devices where it is installed. 

End device: These are the real or simulated mobile devices running the automated test scripts. 

We now know that both Appium and Selendroid have their own uses and benefits. They are used based on the needs of the project testing. Appium is a good choice for automated testing of Android and iOS apps for functionality, regression, compatibility, and integration. 

If we want to test Android versions 10–17, we should use Selendroid because it works with older versions. Also, if we need better help from the community, Appium would be a better choice. 

Having said that, you could try Testsigma if you want a complete automation tool for mobile testing with a stable mobile inspector. 

You don’t have to write the test scripts in a programming language, and you can choose from a wide range of environments.

So far we have discussed selenium mobile testing. To gain comprehensive knowledge in mobile automation testing using selenium, fetch yourself with Selenium Training in Bangalore at FITA Academy which offers top-notch training sessions under the guidance of real-time professionals.

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