iOS Automation Testing Frameworks

Top 5 iOS Automation Testing Frameworks with Code Examples

Imagine you have created an exceptional iOS app with the finest user interface and advanced features. Now, how do you ensure that your app runs smoothly without glitches or hiccups? Can you be sure that your masterpiece performs flawlessly across various devices and versions? That’s when the iOS automation testing frameworks or tools come into play. 

These testing frameworks or tools will help you ensure that your mobile application is bug-free and ready to launch. However, there are various test automation platforms in the market that support iOS testing. In this blog, we will list the top 6 iOS app testing tools, their pros and cons, and more. So you can select the perfect testing tool that suits your needs. Let’s get started.

Read more about Automation testing and how it is helpful compared to manual testing.

Why iOS?

iOS is the most widely used operating system and offers n number of features with the latest update.

From AI/ML and IoT to Augmented Reality, Cloud Integrated Apps, Chatbot, Apple Pay and iOS security, it has various features and advancements that can easily make a person feel its necessity. Therefore, there are many apple users, due to which testing of the application plays a vital role in today’s lives.

As you all are aware of the fact that Android is widely used in the market, why choose iOS? The answer to the question goes as follows:

  • Software and Hardware integration is easy in iOS than in Android. The software is very refined and makes the best use of the underlying hardware.
  • It is effortless to use compared to Android as the UI is simple with fewer customizations, making it easy to adopt for new users.
  • When it comes to security, iOS is built upon Linux, and Apple has enhanced the already inherent security features available in Linux.

iOS Automation Testing

As the name suggests, iOS automation testing implies performing automated testing for iOS devices only. It is imperative for a tester to understand the technical and functional aspects before writing the test cases. You should also ensure that the performance metrics are on par with the actual and expected results of the test cases.

This testing is the same as any other automation testing involving bug detection and resolving the issue. There are 4 key aspects that should be considered while testing an iOS application. They are: Hardware, Software, UI, and functionality.

The very basic thing here is that the test cases written should be compatible across all the iOS devices based on their functional and technical aspects from all angles.

You can implement iOS automation testing with following approaches:

What Are iOS Testing Tools?

iOS testing tools are software applications or frameworks designed to evaluate the functionality, performance, and quality of iOS applications. 

They help streamline and automate the testing process and ensure that iOS apps meet the desired standards and user expectations.

They allow you to create test scripts/test cases, measure app performance, and simulate user interactions to identify and address potential issues or inconsistencies in the application.

Why Need iOS Testing Tools?

iOS app testing can be done both manually or using mobile testing tools that support iOS app testing. Manual testing involves testers manually evaluating the app’s functionality and performance to find any bugs. But, there are times when manual testing becomes repetitive or complex. At those times it is better to switch to automated testing to improve the testing speed while the manual testers can focus on other important testing activities. 

Automated testing is highly recommended for fast, accurate, and reliable testing. It uses iOS app testing tools to create and run automated test scripts that simulate user interactions and scenarios, automating repetitive, complex, and time-consuming tasks. 

You can use these tools to automate different testing types, such as 

How To Pick The Right iOS Testing Framework For You

Look into these main factors before you pick an iOS testing tool for your application,

  • Price
  • Learning curve
  • Supported platforms
  • Coding skill requirements

Price

Price is a crucial factor every business should consider based on their budget and project requirements. There are a variety of free and paid tools in the market. Choose a tool that aligns with your testing requirements and budget. 

Evaluate the price associated with each testing tool as they come with licensing fees or additional costs for advanced features. Also, choose a tool that gives you the highest test ROI because that also matters the most.

Learning Curve

Choose a testing tool that is easy to learn and use. Not every tool offers a simple and intuitive user interface for end-users. So check the learning curve of the testing tool by looking at the reviews, ease of use, and, if possible, try out free trials. 

Plus, using a codeless test automation tool will make automation testing more accessible for both technical and non-technical users in the team.

Also, the amount of time it takes to learn a tool impacts the budget and time it requires to train and onboard new users and others involved in testing. 

Supported Platforms

Make sure the testing framework supports iOS testing. Check for compatibility with different iOS versions and devices. 

Some frameworks may be limited in terms of supported platforms. Choose a tool like Testsigma that supports web, mobile (Android, iOS), desktop, and API testing in one place. 

Coding Skill Requirements

Evaluate whether a framework is entirely code-based, codeless, or a hybrid. Your decision should align with your team’s skills, too. A code-based tool requires testers to have strong coding skills to create test scripts. It can be a suitable choice if you have a highly experienced QA team with solid coding knowledge. 

If not, I would recommend using a testing tool that supports both codeless and code-based testing in one platform. It makes test automation accessible to everyone, also boosts the feedback structure, and enhances the testing process. For example, Testsigma, TestComplete, Katalon, etc.

Top 6 iOS Automation Testing Frameworks

Here is a list of some of the top iOS app testing tools that provide robust solutions for creating and executing automated tests on iOS devices.

1. Testsigma 

Testsigma is a robust, low-code, cloud-based test automation tool that allows the automation of web, mobile, and desktop apps and API tests in one place. It is one of the top iOS app testing tools that allows you to create automated test cases in simple English using NLPs. 

iOS Testing Frameworks - Testsigma

Advantages

Let’s take a look at the benefits it offers the users,

  • A unified test automation platform that supports web, mobile, desktop, and API testing in a single tool
  • Automate even complex workflows using plain English statements
  • Has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface
  • It supports parallel testing, so run multiple iOS tests simultaneously.
  • Supports over 3000+ real devices/tablets and 1000+ OS/browsers for testing purposes
  • Perform both Android and iOS app testing on the same platform
  • Supports codeless and code-based testing
  • Makes your automation 5x faster, saves up to 70% of your total testing cost, and boosts the time-to-market by 8x faster rate.
  • Use the Record feature to record user interactions and run them as automated tests on the cloud.
Top iOS app testing tools
  • Provides self-healing capabilities and built-in test case review management
  • Offers 24X5 extended customer support via call, email, chat, and community
  • Integrate your automated tests into DevOps and CI/CD pipeline
  • Seamlessly integrates with various product management, CI/CD, collaboration, and bug-tracking tools like Jira, Azure DevOps, Jenkins, etc.
  • Get detailed and custom test reports and analytics.

Pricing

Testsigma provides various pricing plans that cater to different business needs: Pro and Enterprise. 

Sign up now to get the 21-day free trial of Testsigma Cloud.

Appium

According to the official documentation, Appium is an open-source tool for automating native, mobile web, and hybrid applications on iOS mobile, Android mobile, and Windows desktop platforms. Native apps are those written using iOS, Android, or Windows SDKs. For Example – Appium supports Safari on iOS and Chrome or the built-in ‘Browser’ app on Android.

It is platform-independent, meaning there is no difference in how you write your test cases for different platforms. Regardless of the browsers or the type of devices you use, the Appium tests remain the same.

Advantages

  • Free of cost and open-source.
  • Offers supportive community.
  • Supports various programming languages such as Java, Python, etc.
  • Enables cross-platform testing on real devices, simulators, and emulators.

Limitations

  • Lack of detailed reports and limited gestures.
  • Comparatively time-consuming and very slow at times.
  • Provides full control over the test cases, which might be difficult to manage.
  • Limited support for hybrid apps.

Use Case Scenario

In the below code, let’s understand how to write first test in Appium using the locators available to click on the buttons and enter the text.

driver.findElement(By.id("com.test.myfirstapp:id/button0")).click();
driver.findElement(By.id("com.test.myfirstapp:id/button1")).click();
driver.findElement(By.name("com.test.myfirstapp:id/editText1")).sendKeys("Appium First Test");
driver.findElement(By.name("Result")).click();
driver.findElement(By.id("com.test.myfirstapp:id/button1")).click();

Calabash

Calabash is an automation framework for Android, iOS native and hybrid applications. This mainly supports cross-platform and cross-browser testing. It has an easy-to-understand syntax like English statements, allowing individuals with zero coding knowledge to create and execute automated test cases for iOS apps.

Here, you write the test cases in Cucumber, similar to Gherkin language. You then convert these tests to Robotium in the run time environment for better comprehension.

Advantages

  • Increases productivity by improving the robustness of product.
  • Provides consistency of output.
  • Limits the efforts and expenses due to its cross-platform relevance.

Limitations

  • Debugging test scripts is a major issue.
  • Test data maintenance is costly for playback methods.
  • Restricted to support latest Operating systems.

Use Case Scenario

The below code is similar to the one in Cucumber Gherkin language text used by Calabash. It tells the system to Sign-in using the username and password and view the message.

Feature: Signin feature
Scenario: As a guest user I can log into the application
And wait for the text "Welcome?"
Then I press view with id "Sign in"
Then I enter text "username" into "login_username"
Then I enter text "password" into "login_password"
Then I press view with id "Message"

Quick Read: iOS App Automation Testing

Detox

Detox is a gray box end to end testing framework that is built into the application for React Native apps.

Detox supports the following:

  • It can be connected to any Continuous Integration system and popular cloud testing services.
  • It provides quick feedback on E2E test cases.

Advantages

  • React Native developers particularly use Detox framework as it is faster, debuggable and can be easily integrated with any test runner like Jest or Mocha.

Limitations

  • It doesn’t offer support for real-time testing for iOS.
  • It doesn’t offer support for views of web applications and hybrid applications.

Use case Scenario

In the code below, all that you have to do is to display the message Welcome Back. The script below shows how to display the message by invoking certain functions.

Here, the system should wait for the method, locate the welcome screen using the standard locator id, output the message and then output the Detox screen.

describe('SimpleTest', () => {
beforeEach(async () => {
await device.reloadReactNative();
});
it('should have welcome screen', async () => {
await expect(element(by.id('welcome'))).toBeVisible();
});
it('should display Welcome Back after tap', async () => {
await element(by.id('WelcomeBack_react')).tap();
await expect(element(by.text('React!!!'))).toBeVisible();
});
it('should display Detox screen after tap', async () => {
await element(by.id('detox_button')).tap();
await expect(element(by.text('Detox!!!'))).toBeVisible();
});
});

XCTest

This popular iOS testing framework smoothly integrates with XCode’s testing workflow. Apple developed XCTest, and it turns out to be well-supported. This is also kept in sync with the iOS application framework as it comes with Apple’s suite.

Advantages

  • XCTest is relatively simple to integrate into an app as it comes with XCode by default.
  • Unit, UI, regression and performance testing are possible.

Limitations

  • It is necessary that testers should have developer skills because  XCode is a complex software that needs technical expertise.
  • Object-C and Swift are the only programming languages supported with XCTest.

Use case Scenario

In the below scenario, to test the time taken by your code, call the measure(_:) inside your test method, and execute the application code inside the block argument. To measure performance using other metrics, including memory use and amount of data written to disk, call measure(metrics:block:).

class PerformanceTests : XCTestCase {
func testCodeIsReliable() {
self.measure() {
// performance-related code
}
}
}

Src: Apple Documentation

EarlGrey

EarlGrey is an open-source native test framework for iOS UI test automation developed by Google. The main motto behind Google developing this framework is to test their native iOS apps such as YouTube, Google Translate, Google Calendar, Google Photos, etc.

The EarlGrey framework has an Enhanced synchronization option that synchronizes with the UI, server and client network requests, and multiple queues automatically. You can write the test cases both in Objective C and Swift.

Advantages

  • This open source framework is flexible and has reliable internal component synchronization.
  • It is easily clubbed with XCode.

Limitations

  • It might be necessary to add some extra code to your app to support certain APIs.
  • Even though setup is simple, people without developer skills may find it difficult.

Use Case Scenario

Below code depicts the script written using Objective -C for EarlGrey functional test case.

import EarlGrey
import XCTest
@testable import EarlGreyExampleSwift
class EarlGreyExampleTest: XCTestCase {
func earlygreytest() {
//This is an example of functional test case
//You can use XCTAssert or other functions to output the test results
}
}

Comparison Between iOS Testing Frameworks

This table depicts the quick comparison of the above-discussed top 6 iOS testing frameworks. 

ParametersTestsigmaAppiumCalabashDetoxXCTestEarlGrey
Supported LanguagesJavaJava, Python, Ruby, JavaScript with NodeGherkin, CucumberJavaScript and Objective-CObjective- C and SwiftObjective-C and Swift
Scriptless test automation supportYesNoNoNoNoNo
PricingPaid offers a 21-day free trialFreeFreeFreePaid VersionFree
Cross Browser/Cross Platform SupportYesYesYesYesNoNo
CommunityHighly ActiveHighHighHighHighHigh
Ease of Setup and UseCloud-basedAverageEasyAverageEasyAverage
Open SourceYes, availableYesYesYesNoYes

Which iOS Testing Framework Should I Use?

Before we debate on which iOS testing framework you should use, let’s keep in mind the core factors that play a crucial role when you want to select the best iOS testing tool – cost, ease of use, learning curve, alignment with the business requirements, skills required, etc.

Whatever business needs you have, there is a testing framework out there that will meet your requirements. That is how diverse the market is. Whether your goal is to automate iOS app testing or do parallel UI tests across various web and mobile platforms, a suitable tool is available. So, choose the perfect tool that aligns with your project needs and testing goals.

Conclusion

As discussed above, iOS testing frameworks are crucial to delivering reliable and high-quality iOS applications. Test automation tools not only accelerate your testing processes but also help identify bugs early in the development cycle and contribute to the overall success of your iOS projects.

The choice of an iOS automation testing framework for your business depends on your specific project requirements, testing needs, team expertise, and development environment. So, carefully evaluate your needs and pick the tool that aligns with these factors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to use a specialized testing tool for iOS apps

A specialized testing tool may be required based on the app requirements and the testing goals. Different tools cater to different testing needs like functional testing, cross-browser testing, performance testing, etc.

Which is the best tool for mobile app testing

The best tool for automating mobile app testing will be the one that best suits your needs. So, it is always recommended that you do your research and take a trial before you decide. 

That said, Testsigma is a test automation tool that lets you automate mobile app tests for iOS and android, from the same place, in simple English. You can also automate your web, desktop and API tests with Testsigma.


Test automation made easy

Start your smart continuous testing journey today with Testsigma.

SHARE THIS BLOG

RELATED POSTS


performance testing tools_banner image
Test objects in software testing | Types & How to Create it?
How To Write Calculator Test Cases With Sample Test Cases
How To Write Calculator Test Cases? With Sample Test Cases
Why Test Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Why Test Artificial Intelligence (AI)?