Top 4 UI Frameworks For Android Automation Testing

Top 4 UI Frameworks For Android Automation Testing

Only an exemplary user interface is capable of delivering a good user experience. And people love user-friendly experiences — it’s a no-brainer. Android developers and testers perform mobile tests to provide apps that drive a high user retention through an excellent user interface. For applications that have made a place in the market and have some superior loyal users, they must keep their UI upbeat, always.

In such scenarios, checking the UI on every build is imperative. An excellent way to ensure this is via UI Testing Frameworks. While mobile automation tests are performed for Android, iOS, and Windows devices, we’ll dive into the UI frameworks for Android automation in this post.

The Importance Of UI Testing 

Let’s ask ourselves: what’s the first thing users come in contact with when they open our app? We don’t even have to blink our eyes twice to answer because it’s the interface.

Developers put in a lot of effort to build an app, but it’s the users who interact with the end product, and in most cases, they have zero clues about what goes into the development. What matters to them is a seamless interface.

Imagine having an end product with a missing icon or faulty navigation, or other joint issues like font sizing, websites only optimized for desktop screen size, breakage of layout styles for different screen sizes, and the incompatibility of JS scripts across specific browsers.

That defeats the whole purpose of making the app. For that reason, UI testing is essential and should be integrated throughout the development process.

UI testing importance

Challenges While Performing UI Testing

Here are some common challenges faced by testers while performing UI testing:

  1. User Interface Changes: User Interface (UI) elements like as buttons, text fields, and menus can often change, making it challenging to maintain automated tests. UI changes might cause automation tests to fail or generate false results, making troubleshooting time-consuming.
  2. Browser Compatibility: UI testing necessitates evaluating the programme across multiple browsers and devices. It might be difficult to ensure the application is compatible with multiple browsers and versions, and it can be time-consuming to set up and maintain.
  3. Synchronization Issues: User interface events are used by UI testing tools to identify when to conduct the next step in the test. The test may fail or generate incorrect results if there are synchronisation issues, such as sluggish loading times.
  4. Test Data: To imitate user behaviour, UI tests require test data. Creating and managing test data can be challenging, especially if the application needs complicated data.
  5. Repetitive Tasks: UI testing can be time-consuming and repetitive, particularly if the application has many screens or workflows. This can make it challenging to maintain the interest and focus of testers, leading to potential errors.
  6. Maintenance and Updates: UI tests must be updated as the programme evolves to reflect new features and changes in functionality. Updating and updating automated tests can be difficult, especially if they were built with an out-of-date tool or framework.
  7. False Positives and Negatives: Due to synchronisation issues or erroneous test data, UI testing can yield false positive and negative findings. This can be aggravating for testers and necessitates extra effort to troubleshoot and resolve.
  8. Test Environment: A stable and consistent test environment is required for UI testing. If there are problems with the test environment, such as network connectivity or insufficient resources, tests may fail or generate erroneous findings.

What is a UI Testing Framework?

A UI testing framework is a collection of tools, libraries, and standards that provide a structure and technique for developing and running UI tests. It aids in automating testing an application’s user interface, allowing testers to test application functionality and user experience more rapidly and efficiently.UI testing is the process of testing any visual elements of the apps that the users interact with. UI testing frameworks are a tool that lets us check if our app’s UI performs uniformly across a wide range of devices. The main aspects tested in this process are the visual design, functionality, usability, and performance.

Testers perform a series of operations to validate these aspects using an automated UI testing framework. These frameworks also ensure a bug-free UI. Besides, the primary benefit of using an automated android testing framework is eliminating errors the human eye may miss.

It is known that fixing these errors at later stages is expensive. Automation testing also allows us to run and reuse our tests reliably.

Before proceeding, we recommend looking at this blogpost where we’ve written about how to perform a mobile automation UI test.

4 UI Testing Frameworks for Android Automation Testing

Here are four popular UI testing frameworks for Android automation testing,


Testsigma’s automation mobile app testing tool is a tool you should check out for your Android UI automation needs. We’ve got thousands of real devices with various Android versions available for you to perform tests on.This is highly beneficial if you’ve got to test your app on older devices. Since older devices come with different screen resolutions, you can check out how the app’s UI looks and interacts in real-time with our repo of devices. This tool also takes screenshots and video recordings to report any bugs and unusual behaviour wherever necessary.


The test cases can be written in simple English, and you don’t have to install anything on your device or desktop because our tool runs tests on a highly secure and scalable cloud. In this post, we’ve discussed automating mobile apps using TestsigmaAutomating Mobile Applications.

Testsigma Pros

  • It’s a code-less testing tool that lets us write our test cases in simple English; beginners and intermediate testers with no prior experience in coding can quickly start automating test cases on this tool
  • The testing happens on a cloud, and based on the project requirement, it can be scaled up or down without any hassles to the user.
  • It offers more than 1,000 Android and iOS devices with several browser-OS-version combinations.
  • It can be seamlessly integrated with CI/CD tools.
  • Supports parallel test execution.
  • Offers automatic bug reporting so you can collaborate with the team and fix the errors
  • Supports unlimited users
  • Even complex workflows can be automated

Testsigma Cons

  • It’s offers a 21-day free trial to experience the tool. Besides, unlike other tools, there are no hidden costs with Testsigma. For example, you can look at this comprehensive comparison between Testsigma and other tools – Testsigma vs Selenium, Tricentis Tosca, Micro Focus UFT


An open-source framework with a rich open source community, Appium is perhaps the most commonly used framework for automation testing mobile UI – Android andopen-source iOS. It can be used to test native and hybrid apps, and as it’s a cross-platform tool, the same test can be performed on various platforms. Appium allows us to write scripts in any language we choose, like Java, Ruby, C#, Javascript, PHP, and Python.

Appium UI framework

The Appium UI Inspector helps testers identify UI elements and how they align with each other. Testers can also leverage the UI Automator framework or Instrumentation to test the Android app; its framework interacts with Selenium WebDriver and Node.js applications.

Appium Pros

  • Easy set-up process, but it’s important to note that setting up Appium is easy for programmers only because it requires solid programming skills for configuring the server.
  • Cross-platform and cross-language support
  • Appium UI Inspector for scanning and analyzing various UI components within the app
  • No additional device installations

Appium Cons

  • Speed matters, and its architecture makes the Appium framework relatively slow. Besides consuming time to start the server, it also takes time to trigger actions.
  • Appium doesn’t support testing Android devices older than Android 4.2, a predicament because it cannot cover many devices.
  • Testers must manually enter element locations as Appium doesn’t fully locate elements or identify images automatically.

2. Espresso:

Most Android developers across the world argue that Espresso is the best UI framework that there is! This open-source framework is developed by Google for Android, which makes it super convenient for writing solid and reliable Android UI tests.

Test logic can be written close enough to the Android app’s logic, and the framework can be customised as per the developer’s need. Plus, it has a simple API. On the API level, it supports Android 8.0 onwards.

With a dependency on the Hamcrest library, it supports Matchers from it, which most developers are familiar with. Using this library, developers can add custom actions for simplifying the testing process.

Espresso Pros

  • Light, easy to learn, and compact API that is open for customizations. Managing Android UI tests is effortless.
  • It can be easily integrated with Android Studio — native Android development studio.
  • Simple set-up process and offers synchronization capabilities which means we don’t have to write any extra code for waiting until activity/fragment are loaded or completed.
  • Test cases are executed fast.

Espresso Cons

  • Espresso supports test cases that are written in Java and Kotlin. This limited tech stack is a disadvantage for many, especially for people with React-Native or Flutter app framework.

3. UI Automator:

Google’s testing framework — UI Automator allows us to practically test any app that’s installed on the device. But what makes this framework effective is it allows writing test cases without fully knowing the implementation details of the apps.

It can interact with various Android apps and its APIs help us perform tasks like rotating the screen on a test device or open Settings (or other menu items). The following piece of code is an example of how it can manipulate or trigger actions on devices.

UI Automator

The test cases can be written in Java or Kotlin, and the framework comes with two sets of APIs — UIAutomator APIs and  Device State APIs. The UI Automator API lets us manage the app’s UI components while the Device State APIs gives us access to operate the device. Plus, this framework has a UI Automator Viewer option that lets us study and analyze UI components in mobile devices.

UI Automator Pros

  • Supports testing on devices starting from Android version 4.1. 
  • Simple API framework

UI Automator Cons

  • Supports only Java and Kotlin
  • Doesn’t support web view
  • The API is complex while working with lists

Which UI Testing Framework Should You Choose?

Several considerations must be addressed while selecting a UI testing framework for automation testing. First, evaluate the platform or technology on which your application is developed, as certain frameworks are designed to work only with specific platforms or languages. It’s also vital to examine the complexity of your application and the framework’s level of support and documentation.

Another important consideration is the extent of automation required. Some frameworks include more advanced automation features, such as continuous integration and visual testing, while others are more basic and may necessitate more manual intervention.

Finally, evaluate the framework’s pricing and licencing requirements, as certain frameworks may be more expensive or require specific licencing agreements.

When selecting a UI testing framework for automated testing, it’s critical to analyse your demands and select a framework that fulfils those objectives while providing essential capabilities and support.


Selecting the correct UI Testing Frameworks is critical for assuring the dependability and efficacy of your automation testing. You can choose a framework that best meets your goals and helps improve your application’s quality by considering platform, automation level, support and documentation, and pricing criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is Selenium a UI Testing Framework?

Yes, Selenium is a popular UI testing framework that allows testers to automate web-based UI testing.

What is UI testing Framework?

A UI testing framework is a collection of tools, libraries, and guidelines that give a structure and technique for developing and performing UI tests, thereby helping to automate evaluating an application’s user interface.

Is UI testing Black Box Testing?

Yes, UI testing is black box testing in which testers evaluate an application’s functionality and user experience without knowing anything about its underlying code or architecture.

Is UI testing a part of Functional Testing?

Yes, user interface testing is a sort of functional testing that seeks to assess an application’s functional needs and capabilities, including its user interface and user experience.

Start automating your android UI tests the easy way

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Suggested Reading

IOS Testing Frameworks

Device Farms Test in IOS & Android

IOS Automated Test

IOS Emulators for Windows and MAC

Appium for IOS

iPhone Simulators on Windows

Mobile Testing Lab

Mobile Usability Testing

Testing a Mobile Application

Device Farms Test for IOS and Android

5 Types of Automated IOS Test

Android UI Testing

Integration Testing of your Android

Linux Android Emulator

How to Inspect Element on Android

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