Appium is an open-source automation tool that tests mobile apps across various platforms. It can help software developers streamline their testing process, ensure performance, stability, and reliability, and aid them in delivering high-quality mobile applications to today’s most demanding audiences.
This review will break down the Appium testing tool in terms of its features, pricing, advantages, and disadvantages to help determine if it is the right fit for your development needs. We will also reveal some of the top Appium software alternatives to give you flexibility when shopping for automation testing tools that can help you save time and increase productivity.
Overview of Appium
Appium is a widely used open-source tool in software test automation. Mobile developers can use Appium to tell if an app’s functionality is working as intended in a real-world simulation, and its automation brings added consistency, speed, and scalability to the table. Appium is ideal for developers seeking a mobile app testing automation tool with support for multiple programming languages, platforms, and third-party integrations.
Features of Appium
Some of the top features of the Appium testing tool include:
- Support for multiple languages
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Native/hybrid app support
- Testing environment flexibility
- Works with various testing frameworks
- Third-party integrations
- Accessibility testing
- Parallel testing
- Large ecosystem
Appium lets developers write a single set of test scripts in C#, Python, Java, Ruby, or other programming languages and conveniently run them on iOS and Android devices without making any major changes. It lets you test native mobile applications and hybrid apps, plus automate tests in different environments (physical devices, emulators, and simulators). Appium also works with various testing frameworks, such as TestNG, JUnit, etc., and integrates with popular CI/CD pipelines (CircleCI, Jenkins, etc.), cloud testing services (BrowserStack, Sauce Labs, etc.), test reporting tools (Allure, TestRail, etc.), DevOps tools, performance testing tools, and more.
Appium has accessibility testing to ensure mobile apps work as intended for users with disabilities. It also has time-saving parallel testing to allow you to run tests on multiple devices simultaneously. You can spot and troubleshoot problems with Appium’s tracing and debugging capabilities and enjoy added functionality with its large ecosystem of tools, libraries, and extensions.
The Appium testing tool is open-source and free to use. This is great news for developers seeking a no-cost solution to automate their mobile app testing. However, while Appium is free, you may incur other costs when testing your mobile apps via the framework.
If you want to test apps on different mobile devices, you will have to pay to purchase, rent, or lease them if you do not already own them. If you use a cloud testing service to test your mobile app on multiple devices and operating systems for convenience, that is another additional cost you may have to consider. If you want to integrate Appium with other tools or services for advanced reporting, analytics, or other benefits, that will also cost you extra. And if you find Appium’s configuration/setup and advanced features too much to handle on your own, you may want to hire a professional to help you get started or troubleshoot issues, which will add to your overall testing costs.
Advantages of Appium
Some of the advantages Appium provides as a mobile automation testing tool include:
- Easy to use (once you get started)
- Supports multiple platforms/languages
- Large community
- Plenty of integrations
One of Appium software’s biggest advantages, especially for developers with limited budgets, is that it is open-source and free to use. Besides that, Appium is easy to use once you have it up and running. Its support for multiple platforms gives developers the convenience of writing a single set of tests and automating them on Android and iOS to save time and effort. Its support for multiple programming languages lets developers write tests in the language they are most familiar with. Throw in support for native/hybrid apps, real devices, and emulators/simulators, and you have a versatile automated testing tool.
Another Appium strength is its large community of users who have contributed to its longevity by combining automation testing experiences with the software to grow a massive knowledge base. Appium’s integrations are quite helpful, too. Developers can connect the software to popular continuous integration and delivery systems, test frameworks, cloud testing services, reporting tools, and more to optimize their mobile app testing processes.
Disadvantages of Appium
Appium’s disadvantages as an automation testing tool for mobile apps include:
- Not beginner-friendly
- Time-consuming setup
- Lack of documentation
- Requires coding knowledge
- Slow performance
- Technical support could be better
While Appium is easy to use once it is finally set up and running, the testing tool’s configuration is not beginner-friendly. Appium’s setup takes time due to unclear documentation and the need to configure the tool to work with different platforms, app types, and devices. Once you complete the setup, Appium requires coding knowledge to write tests, which can be another obstacle for newer users. When it comes to speed, Appium software is noted for being slower than some competing mobile testing automation frameworks. Although it has a large community and a robust knowledge base, some users have said getting technical support from others when problems appear is a challenge.
Alternatives to Appium
Appium has several advantages that make it an attractive choice as an automation tool for testing mobile applications. It is open-source, free, flexible with support for multiple programming languages, platforms, app types, and devices, has a large community, and integrates with many popular tools. Unfortunately, Appium also has disadvantages, such as a complex and time-consuming setup, limited documentation for getting started, the need for coding knowledge, and slow performance.
If you find that the automation testing tool’s cons are too much to overcome, the following Appium software alternatives may be a better fit.
Katalon Studio is a versatile test automation platform for mobile, desktop, API, and web applications. It is free and open-source, easy to install and set up, supports a wide variety of programming languages and environments, integrates with popular third-party tools, and has a large community. The Appium alternative has an intuitive interface, offers a low-code experience for beginners, and is also suitable for developers seeking advanced testing. Katalon Studio is ideal for developers looking for an automated solution that covers a wide range of testing needs beyond just mobile.
Kobiton is an Appium alternative that offers automated, manual, and exploratory testing for mobile. Since it is cloud-based, developers can control Kobiton remotely and test mobile apps on real devices in the cloud without having to invest in physical hardware. And since it supports popular testing environments like Appium, Katalon, and Selenium, developers can save a ton of time writing test scripts. Another Kobiton highlight worth mentioning is its user-friendly interface that offers seamless navigation. Kobiton’s Startup plan starts at $75 per month.
TestSigma is a cloud-based mobile and web test automation platform that leverages machine learning for increased efficiency. The user-friendly, low-code, and customizable Appium alternative lets developers test mobile apps via graphical user interfaces and instantly switch from manual to automation testing without having to learn programming languages. Beginners can easily use the tool’s drag-and-drop functionality to create test cases, and it also comes with several pre-built test templates. TestSigma is a paid product with custom pricing plans designed to fit your needs.
Final Thoughts on Appium
Many developers use Appium software to automate their mobile testing because it is free, supports many platforms and programming languages, has several integrations, has a large community, and is easy to use once configured. Others pass on Appium, however, because it has a complex setup that is not beginner-friendly, requires coding knowledge, and is slower than the competition. If you feel like you are part of the second group, pick one of the Appium alternatives listed above to fulfill your mobile automated testing needs.