Selenium And Mobile Test Automation – Will Selenium Make The Cut?

Selenium and Mobile Test Automation - Can Selenium Be Used for Mobile Testing?

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Can Selenium Be Used for Mobile Testing? The answer would be “No”; we cannot directly use Selenium for automated mobile application testing. However, we have frameworks supported by Selenium to automate mobile application testing.

Selenium-supported frameworks for mobile test automation are:

1. Selendroid

2. Appium

Should You Automate Mobile Application Testing Using Selenium?

Now we understand that directly we cannot use Selenium to write automated test scripts for mobile application testing. Hence, we need to use Selenium-supported frameworks like Appium and Selendroid.

The testing process for using Appium and Selendroid has the below steps:

Test Script Development

This step means writing the automated test scripts in programming languages. If you know Selenium, writing the test scripts will not require learning new skills. However, we know well that writing automated test scripts ourselves is time-consuming, and to receive ROI(Return On Investment), we need to wait longer.

Test Management

We understand that Selendroid and Appium are open-source automation tools. For this reason, the test management they provided is not so impressive. 

Selendroid records the element clicked and then saves the locator and command. Appium also has a recorder that works only for iOS mobile applications. 

Hence, we only receive the test locators and commands; in any case, test scripts are not recorded. Therefore, if we are using any of these two frameworks, then we need to add a third-party test management tool ourselves. 

Backward Compatibility

Appium works on Android devices with Android 4.0 and above. To solve this problem nowadays Appium comes integrated with Selendroid to provide backward compatibility.

However, this is not as effective as the original Selendroid framework. So to provide backward compatibility for Android devices with lower API versions(API 10-17), we should use Selendroid.

Gestures Testing

Mobile device applications work on hand gestures, and therefore Appium and Selendroid must recognize these gestures efficiently. The happy news is that they both do it effectively via dedicated APIs. Selendroid is a winner in this case because it provides ‘Advanced User Interactions API’ which is useful for complex gestures as well.

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Moreover, Testsigma cloud – supports the inspection and execution of mobile test cases without any setups. It automates mobile application testing without coding and allows us to write test cases in plain English. The platform covers parallel and compatibility testing, making it ideal for various testing requirements. With Testsigma, you can redefine what’s possible in QA and achieve improved efficiency, coverage, and team collaboration while ensuring a high ROI.

Therefore, when deciding whether to automate mobile application testing, it is crucial to consider the specific requirements of your testing project and your team’s expertise. By doing so, you can make an informed decision that will improve the quality and speed of your testing process. If you are interested in learning more about Testsigma and how it can benefit your mobile application testing, feel free to reach out to our team for a demo

Let’s now learn about Selendroid and Appium tools in detail.


Also known as ‘Selenium for Android’, this is used to test mobile applications for Android. It uses JSON Wire protocol and provides backward compatibility with the older Android versions. However, by using an iOS driver it can be used to test iOS mobile applications as well.

Features of Selendroid:

  • Works on Android applications (Native, Hybrid)  and Mobile web applications.
  • Used for parallel testing of a mobile application on multiple devices simultaneously with the help of Selenium Grid.
  • It is open-source, hence free to use.
  • ‘Hotplugging’ is a feature where Selendroid can detect and recognize new devices plugged into it. Hence, we can remove and add new devices on the go, i.e., while tests are running.
  • It can inspect the elements on the UI with the help of a built-in inspector.
  • It supports Selenium WebDriver compatible programming languages- Java, C#, Python, etc.
  • Provides a built-in Android Driver Webview App to test mobile web applications.
  • Supports testing of gestures on the mobile device via the Advanced User Interactions API. Example- single tap, double-tap, down, up, etc.
  • Selendroid can be used on emulators and real mobile devices for automated testing.
  • Supports ‘Dynamic Extendability’, which means that the test script can be added, edited, or modified while the tests are running.

Components of Selendroid:

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

Read detailed architecture here.


It is a more popular choice for mobile automation testing because it supports iOS, Windows desktop, and Android mobile applications. Appium has a built-in Selendroid mode for testing older versions of Android applications. It also uses the JSON Wire Protocol like Selendroid.

Features of Appium:

  • Appium works on a client-server architecture.
  • It has an HTTP server written in Node.js and helps communicate between clients and mobile devices. The clients are Ruby, PHP, C#, Python libraries, which provide commands to the mobile device.
  • Provides automated testing for iOS and Android (Hybrid, Native, and Web applications). Also, it can be used for testing Windows desktop applications.
  • Since it works on iOS, Windows, and Android, it is used for cross-platform testing.
  • The same test scripts using the same API can be used for iOS, Windows, and Android. Hence, it allows code reusability.
  • Appium is more popular; hence it has a large and active user community.
  • If there is a small code change in the application, then we are not required to re-install the application for testing with Appium. The reason is that it does not access the application’s source code. Other automation tools such as Selendroid and Robotium require reinstallation/rebuild when any small changes are made to the application under test(AUT).
  • Appium also supports parallel testing of test scripts on multiple devices.

Components of Appium:

  • Appium client– The automation test scripts written in Java, C#, Ruby, Python, etc. are clients for Appium.
  • Appium server– It is written using Node.js. It receives connection and command requests from the client written in JSON. After receiving the requests, it executes them on the mobile devices. Appium server creates sessions to communicate with the devices on which the mobile application is installed.
  • End device– These are the mobile devices (real or emulator), the automated test scripts are executed on the end device.

Now we know that Appium and Selendroid have their share of benefits and usage. They are used according to the specific project testing needs. Appium is a good choice for automating functional, regression, compatibility, and integration testing of Android and iOS applications.

If we are testing Android version 10-17, we should use Selendroid since it provides backward compatibility. Also, if we need better community support, better would be Appium.

If you are looking for an end-to-end automation tool for mobile testing with a stable mobile inspector, you may try Testsigma. You need not write the test scripts in programming language and will have many environments to choose from!

3000+ real devices to test in real-time – on the cloud

How to Automate Mobile Application using Selenium

To automate mobile applications using Selenium, the following points should be kept in mind:

1. Install the Appium server: Appium is an open-source test automation framework that allows developers to automate mobile applications. To use Appium, you need to install the Appium server on your machine.

2. Install the Selenium client library: The Selenium client library is a set of libraries that allows developers to write scripts in their preferred programming language. These scripts can then be executed on the Appium server.

3. Set up the environment: Set up the desired capabilities for the mobile application that you want to test. Desired capabilities are a set of key-value pairs that define the properties of the mobile application that you want to test.

4. Write test scripts: Write test scripts using the Selenium client library. These scripts can be written in your preferred programming language and can be executed on the Appium server. The test scripts can interact with the mobile application and perform actions such as clicking buttons, entering text, and navigating through different screens.

By following these steps, developers can automate mobile applications using Selenium and ensure that their applications are thoroughly tested before their release

While Selenium is a powerful testing framework, it can be challenging for beginners to set up and use. Additionally, maintaining the test scripts can be time-consuming and require significant effort. Testsigma is a cloud-based testing platform that provides an intuitive interface for test creation and execution.

It uses natural language processing to convert test steps into automated test scripts, making it easier for beginners to get started with test automation. Testsigma also offers advanced features such as cross-browser testing, parallel testing, and integrations with popular tools such as JIRA and Jenkins.

With its ease of use, advanced features, and cloud-based architecture, Testsigma is a reliable testing solution that can help developers ensure that their mobile applications are of high quality..

Frequently Asked Questions

Can We Automate Mobile Device Testing?

We can automate mobile devices using frameworks such as Appium. Using the WebDriver protocol, developers can automate the testing of native or hybrid iOS and Android apps. Or the easiest and most efficient way would be to use a unified automation testing platform like Testsigma, where you can automate your mobile devices in simple English with 3000+ devices to test on.

Which is the Best Automation Tool for Mobile Testing?

The best automation tool for mobile testing is Testisgma, which supports API and Mobile testing with ease of setup, seamless integration with the CI/CD tools, and a scriptless option for test creation.

What is the Difference Between Appium and Selenium?

Appium is a mobile, web, and hybrid application testing automation tool. It is free and open-source software written in the C# programming language. Selenium is an open-source browser automation tool licensed under Apache License 2.0 that includes numerous libraries for web application testing. It can automate practically all web browsers.

What is Mobile Testing in QA?

QA engineers test the mobile app’s behavior against particular performance requirements and scenarios. QA specialists ensure that an app works under varying but expected load conditions.

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