Comparing Appium to Other Mobile Testing Tools: Pros and Cons

Have you considered why people consider Appium over other mobile app testing automation tools? 

Read this blog to learn about the pros and cons of Appium over other testing tools. 

Mobile app testing has become a critical aspect of a robust system of mobile software development. It testifies that the entire process will develop top-quality solutions while adhering to time and budget constraints. 

Appium is a prominent automated testing tool for executing tests on mobile platforms such as Windows, iOS, and Android. The tool monitors and analyzes multiple devices before the launch. Furthermore, Appium offers cloud automation that benefits from mobile app testing. 

What is the Appium Test Automation Tool?

Appium is an open-source mobile automation tool that has gained considerable popularity. The tool leverages the Selenium WebDriver API. Appium stands out as a universal choice for app testing as it supports multiple platforms, including Windows, iOS, and Android. Further, it uses WebDriver, permitting testers to craft tests utilizing a variety of programming languages, such as Python, Ruby, Java, and C#. 

Appium supports different mobile automation frameworks, including Espresso and Calabash. This versatility appeals to testers and developers proficient in these testing languages, making it a cinch to grab and use. Appium leverages the JSON wire protocol and supports both native and hybrid applications. Native applications are specifically tailored for platforms like iOS or Android, while hybrid applications combine native and web elements. The ability to support both application types makes Appium versatile and eradicates the need for different tools.

The most crucial quality of Appium is its client-server nature. Comprehending the tool could be leisurely with the help of Appium architecture:

Server: As scripted in Node.JS, Appium executes communication between mobile devices and clients. It eradicates the requirement to install the server again.

Client: In Appium, the client indicates client libraries, such as JavaScript, Java, Ruby, Python, and PHP. A client creates a session with a JSON-preferred capabilities object. A link is made between the client and the server.

Pros and Cons of Appium

On the positive side, Appium is a cross-platform tool that enables testers to write a script once and then run it on iOS and Android devices. This implies no separate testing framework is required, and time and energy are saved. Moreover, Appium supports multiple popular programming languages, allowing testers to use their favorite language and increasing productivity and efficiency. The open-source nature of Appium means that it benefits from many developers who contribute to its enhancement, ensuring timely updates and bug fixes.

However, Appium does have some drawbacks. One of the key issues when using Appium is its steep learning curve, particularly for beginners or testers with limited programming experience. The complexity of the configuration and the setup can be overwhelming as it calls for a substantial understanding of various tools and technologies. 

Appium offers numerous advantages to developers and testers, such as cross-browser compatibility, seamless integrations, compatibility with various programming languages, low memory consumption, and open-source community support. Nonetheless, the tools also have drawbacks, such as complex setup, flaky tests, and problems with locating elements. It is important for testers to carefully evaluate their specific needs and constraints before deciding if Appium is the right mobile testing tool for their projects.

Essential Factors Why Appium is Preferred Over Other Mobile Testing Tools

Appium is recognized as a robust tool for conducting comprehensive mobile testing, offering versatility and being open-source. Here are a few pivotal factors that differentiate Appium from other mobile testing tools: 

Cost-effective: Scalability offered by Appium cancels the need to set up various platforms during the integration. Additionally, customers can leverage the application without recomputing or recording, which is more cost-effective.

Support of Multiple Languages: Appium supports a wide range of programming languages, such as JavaScript, Java, Python, Ruby, C#, Perl, and more, that are compatible with the Selenium WebDriver application programming interface. It assists Appium in performing competently across various frameworks and platforms.

Cross-Platform Compatibility: Appium is an outstanding cross-platform mobile test automation tool. It can operate on Android and iOS devices. The tool leverages the JSON wire protocols to interact with Android and iOS devices with the support of Selenium WebDriver. In iOS application automation, Appium utilizes the libraries provided by Apple, leveraging an instructional program to facilitate this process. The same methods are leveraged in Android, where Appium uses a proxy to deliver the automation command to the UI Automator test case running on the device. 

You can use cloud tools like LambdaTest to scale your Appium automation testing. LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform designed for running manual and automated tests at scale. This platform enables you to conduct real-time and automation testing across 3000+ environments and real mobile devices. It offers a flexible testing environment. It allows users to perform both real-time and automated tests across a wide range of setups. 

Standard API: Appium does not require recompilation or any code change because it utilizes the standard API across various platforms. It makes jotting tests more leisurely for iOS and Android platforms that use the same API. Nevertheless, a user will still need separate iOS and Android test scripts due to the different UI elements on both platforms.

Open-Source Testing Tool: The biggest reason customers go for Appium over other mobile test automation tools is its open-source nature that encourages testing on real devices, simulators, and emulators. Apium offers easier test automation for novices thanks to its sizable open-source community.

Vast Support System: Appium has a vast support system from its open-source community. Leveraging Appium for mobile test automation can deliver an extensive online community supporting budding experts, bug fixes, and regular version updates.

Compatible with Testing Frameworks: Appium supports most testing frameworks across different platforms. It facilitates the developers and testers to run automation in their preferred framework. 

Comparing Appium with Other Mobile Testing Tools

Regarding mobile application automation testing, numerous tools are available for testers and developers. We will compare Appium with other popular mobile application automation testing tools: Robot Framework, Espresso, and Calabash. Comprehending the strengths and limitations of each tool can assist in making an informed decision on which testing tool best suits the testing requirements.


Appium’s server is compatible with major client libraries like Ruby, Python, Java, and others. Appium allows users to automate any mobile application from any language and testing framework while delivering complete access to DBs from test code and back-end APIs.

Here’s what is good about Appium:

Strong, Active Open Source Community: Appium is the leading open-source test tool for cross-platform native and hybrid test automation. Additionally, Appium is consistently supported by a large and dynamic community, with commits, steady support, and more.

Supports Multiple Languages: Appium supports multiple development languages, including Java, Perl, Python, C#, JavaScript, etc., through Remote WebDriver language bindings. The tool can also cover black box end-to-end test flows, incorporating outside-the-app scenarios, such as sending a text message or initiating a call. 

Seamless Integrations: Appium can be used efficiently with external applications like Selenium WebDriver and Selenium Grid. Besides, the tool does not limit developers in choosing the technology stack, as it supports numerous tools. Appium testing permits developers to select their underpinning framework for unit testing, like XCUITest or XCTest.

Low Memory Consumption: Appium’s architecture is an intermediary between the automation toolkit and the test machine, effectively optimizing memory consumption.


Espresso is a widespread testing framework that allows developers to write automation test cases for UI testing. Developed by Google, Espresso offers a simple yet powerful framework. It is one of the most prevalent Android application testing frameworks utilized extensively by QA.

Here are a few key advantages of Espresso:

Automatic Synchronization: Espresso allows developers to synchronize the test actions and UI elements automatically. It is authorized to detect automatically when the primary thread is inactive and run the test commands accordingly at relevant times. This makes Espresso faster and more stable than other automation frameworks and does not involve server communication. 

Simple Workflow and Faster Feedback: The framework permits developers to collect automated Android UI tests into separate APKs. This implies that the test suite will execute next to the application on the device, making it convenient. Furthermore, Espresso helps deliver quicker feedback as it does not require server communication. 

Easy to Use: Espresso is the preferred option for most Android developers as they can create UI tests for Android apps without requiring advanced programming skills. The QA teams and developers can record user interaction with the app, and consequently, the code will be developed automatically. 

Concise API: Espresso provides a simple API with three components: viewActions, viewMatchers, and viewAssertions. As Espresso does not require server communication, it delivers developers with feedback faster.

Robot Framework

Robotium is one of the first automation testing tools for Android. As Robotium is utilized for black-box testing, there is no need for additional data regarding the structure or executed classes of the application. All that Robotium needs to function effectively is knowledge of the primary class name and the method to establish a connection with it. The preferred language for composing Robotium tests is Java. 

Here are a few pros of using the Robot framework:

Architecture: Robot is a generic open-source automation framework that permits testing of various application types, such as mobile, desktop, web, etc. It utilizes test libraries and keywords to automate test cases.

Platform Support: Robot is a platform-independent framework used for testing different platforms, including mobile applications, web browsers, desktop applications, and more.

Test Case Organization: The Robot organizes test cases utilizing a hierarchical keyword-driven method. Test cases are documented as keywords grouped to form test suites.

Ecosystem and Community: The Robot Framework has a rich community and an extensive ecosystem of tools and libraries that can be efficiently integrated into the test framework. This permits a wide range of abilities and support for different technologies. 

Programming Language: The Robot framework uses its DSL (domain-specific language) for automation testing based on human-readable syntax and keywords.


Calabash is an open-source mobile application testing framework. It is utilized to test iOS and Android applications. The framework provides good community support and maintenance. Calabash is used mainly for functional testing in agile development. 

Here are a few pros of Calabash: 

Community Support: Calabash has extensive community support necessary for any widespread open-source project.

Seamless Integration: The DevOps integration of CI/CD can be done effortlessly with Calabash. This implies that the test code can be moved into production when test cases are passed.

Interactions with Application: Calabash interacts with mobile apps utilizing Cucumber, permitting more human-readable test cases.


Appium offers flexibility in language choice and cross-platform support. Espresso is more appropriate for Android apps, where execution speed is essential. Robot Framework is perfect for a keyword-driven technique and clarity. Finally, Calabash delivers human-readable syntax with cucumber integration. Choose the tool that best aligns with your project requirements and team skill sets. 


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