10 mistakes you can make while choosing a mobile test automation framework
Automation Best practices
8 mins read
November 22, 2023

12 mistakes you can make while choosing a mobile test automation framework

When developing for iOS or Android, it is extremely important to choose a mobile test automation framework that suits your solution best. Mobile development simply has too many variations in configurations to test everything manually. Read to find tips that will help you nail automated QA and not let it derail the entire project.

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Denis Matusovskiy
Tania Zhydkova

What is a mobile test automation framework?

Mobile test automation frameworks are the environment to run automated tests for your iOS and/or Android solution. They are used to save time on all the manual inputs and also achieve higher consistency than a human tester would. The time savings are enormous as long as you are managing the testing process right

It’s common knowledge that you should choose the best mobile app development framework for your project from the start. Migrating somewhere else can be painful, especially if you have to maintain the product and/or release updates regularly at the same time. It is less of a problem in QA, but you would still be wise to avoid the common mistakes while choosing mobile test automation framework. 

Mistake 1: Having the wrong automation mindset

Test automation is really powerful, but not every company takes the right approach to it. You can’t use test automation as your saving grace to avoid setting manual QA straight first. You can’t use test automation as a way to break up the testing routine. Set some reasonable goals and how they will materialise in deliverables before you consider even choosing a simple mobile test automation framework. 

Mistake 2: Not centralising your tests

When you adopt test automation, one challenge that immediately comes up is how it will mesh with your manual tests. Ideally, you are already using a software test tool that can store manual and automated tests. If not, you should immediately find a test management solution that does that. You start missing nuance and significant issues by splitting the effort between multiple tools.

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Mistake 3: Not exploring pricing enough

It is no secret that software for making software can get pretty expensive. It gets so even faster when you’re talking about cutting-edge solutions and a high number of users. You will need licences for at least test automation engineers (if not all testers) and devs. Apart from great functionality, the lack of any fees is what makes Appium a really popular mobile test automation framework.

Mistake 4: Not preparing for cross-platform challenges

Your mobile test automation framework should be able to handle things according to where your software may have come from or will be ported to. A good example here could be mobile games. While some games support keyboard & mouse and will be even better to play on them, KBM inputs are not universal functionality found in all mobile frameworks.

Mistake 5: Not looking into the framework’s future

Your project may have been unusual enough to warrant extra research into frameworks. You have finally found the perfect one, except it does not seem to be getting much support from devs. Do you still go ahead and pick it? Unless you really can’t avoid it, the answer is no. It is no coincidence that hobby devs pick Python as their go-to programming language or that QA specialists default to Selenium for web test automation. Community support is often what keeps popular solutions going, and our advice is for you to consider if there is a driving force behind the framework.

Mistake 6: Not considering adoption challenges

Mobile test automation frameworks all come with different learning curves. For instance, Appium is a lot about applying Selenium concepts to mobile solutions. Detox is a JavaScript framework that is super easy to integrate into modern apps but requires that your engineers know the programming language. Then there are solutions like Espresso that are designed to be very accessible.

Mistake 7: Not accounting for redundancy

Ideally, test automation is where you do most of the work once and then keep refining it to save time. Unfortunately, picking the wrong framework will mean you are almost looking at more trouble than it’s worth. One example here would be using Espresso to test software released on both Android and iOS. The solution does not support cross-platform tests, meaning you would have to write the same test twice. 

Mistake 8: Not studying scope limitations

Both iOS and Android have been running apps in a sandbox for a while, but apps still interact with the outside. You may even be running a setup where the app is essentially a way to access the web application available at your company’s URL. If that is the case, you should probably decide against XCUITest and other frameworks that are limited to application testing only.

Mistake 9: Not looking at performance

Test automation makes running tests faster, but even that takes time. If you have a lot of automated tests (and you did have too many tests to run then manually), even automated test runs can start to take 30+ minutes. You can cut down on that by picking a framework that provides the highest speed relative to how your product was developed. Espresso, for example, is lightning-fast when testing React Native applications.

Mistake 10: Not asking around

Like with most solutions in IT, it takes reviews and feedback of real people to pick the right tool. Spend some time to see what people say on reviews websites. Look at the kind of questions and challenges that users of various frameworks raise on forums. This is the best way to get a fair(er) impression as well as spot less obvious red flags.

Mistake 11: Overlooking the significance of framework selection

Failing to recognise the importance of choosing the right mobile test automation framework can lead to significant bottlenecks in your testing processes. When you hastily choose a framework without careful deliberation, you might overlook its compatibility with your app’s architecture, resulting in complications during the testing phase. Skipping a thorough assessment might lead to an ill-suited framework that could harm your progress and introduce unnecessary complexities in your automation strategy. Hence, taking the time to choose a mobile test framework thoughtfully is crucial for a seamless testing experience.

Mistake 12: Ignoring the evaluation of potential mistakes

The final mistake in the list of mobile test automation framework choosing mistakes involves overlooking the possible issues that may arise without thorough evaluation. Neglecting a thorough evaluation of the mobile test automation framework and choosing mistakes can harm your testing endeavours. Understanding the common pitfalls or potential issues associated with different frameworks is essential. Without acknowledging these critical points, you might repeat common mistakes, select a framework that doesn’t cater to your specific testing needs, or fail to anticipate challenges that could impede your testing process. By not evaluating these aspects, you risk facing avoidable hindrances during the selection process and, consequently, in your testing activities.

Consider a scenario where a team chooses a mobile test automation framework in a rush without carefully examining its compatibility with cross-platform applications. In doing so, they overlook essential compatibility features for their multi-platform app. As a result, the chosen framework doesn’t adequately support cross-platform functionality. Consequently, the team encounters difficulties in handling tests for their iOS and Android applications, leading to redundancy, inefficiencies, and the need to rewrite tests for each platform separately, consequently hampering the overall testing process.

Conclusion

There are plenty of mistakes to avoid when choosing mobile test automation framework. You can avoid most of them if you do some research as well as think hard about why you’re doing test automation and what resources you have for it. Trust us, following these rules is worth the effort.

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FAQ
What is a mobile test automation framework?

Mobile test automation framework is a set of guidelines, tools, and processes for automating the testing of mobile applications. It provides a systematic approach for designing, executing, and maintaining automated tests for mobile applications, reducing manual testing efforts and increasing the speed and accuracy of testing.

A mobile test automation framework can include a variety of tools and technologies, including scripting languages, test management tools, and device emulators. The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of automating testing processes, thus ensuring that mobile applications are high quality and free of significant defects.

Which framework is best for mobile app testing?

The best framework for mobile app testing is one that meets the specific needs and requirements of the project, has a strong community support and comes with good documentation.

Which tool is mostly used for mobile test automation?
  • Appium: An open-source tool that supports both Android and iOS platforms
  • Robotium: An open-source framework for Android app testing
  • Espresso: A framework for native Android app testing developed by Google
  • XCUITest: A framework for iOS app testing developed by Apple
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