What automation testing frameworks are most widely used for mobile apps?

The Development and QA testing community is now finding solutions to make testing more agile and meet the industry’s growing expectations. Through the years, the app proprietors are steadily relying on automation testing in increasing testing coverage and shortening the time to market. However, there still a lot of planning involved before investing in automation testing, such as the testing tools, automation frameworks, tester’s skill, and working timeline.

A long list of requisites needs comprehensive evaluation in searching for automation frameworks- like its scalability, manageability, and user-friendliness of the app with testers.

List of the most widely used automation testing tools for mobile apps


Appium is a widely available open-source mobile application testing framework, which automates native, hybrid, and mobile web applications. Appium also accommodates testing on cross-platform application testing with a single API that applies for the test scripts of both Android and iOS platform.

Pros of Appium

  • It uses standard automation APIs on all platforms
  • Appium supports all web driver languages like Java, Ruby, PHP, C#, Python, etc.
  • The tool supports multiple frameworks
  • Not sensitive to mobile device OS as it automatically translates the Webdriver commands to OS commands highly dependent on the device type.

Cons of Appium

  • Setup and configuration settings are complex and time-consuming
  • The tool does not allow automation support for Android 4.1 or lower
  • Unavailable permission to run Appium inspector on MS windows
  • Limited support for hybrid app testing


Espresso is an automation testing framework for Android applications that enables testers to write automation test cases for User Interface (UI) testing.

Pros of Espresso

  • Espresso is known for its stability and robust performance
  • Integrated with Android Studio. Hence, minimal setup is required
  • Easy to learn as it does not require developing a new skill
  • One of the easy tools to create UI tests without coding required

Cons of Espresso

  • Only applicable to UI testing on the Android platform
  • Requires access to the application’s source code to proceed with testing in Espresso
  • Java/Kotlin are the only supported language


XCUITest is an automation framework for iOS, part of the XCode. It enables iOS developers and QA testers to conduct automated unit, UI, and performance testing on Apple platform.

Pros of XCUITest

  • Set up is easy for iOS applications
  • Execute iOS tests faster
  • The reliability of test results is higher

Cons of XCUITest

  • It does not support Android testing
  • Cross-platform is impossible in XCUITest
  • Test cases accepted are only in either Swift or Objective-C programming language
  • Only supports iOS simulators and devices that are running iOS 9.3 or higher

Robot Framework

Robot framework is an open-source automation tool that highly supports running of acceptance tests and robotic process automation.

Pros of Robot Framework

  • Easy to set up and modify for testing on both Android and iOS apps
  • Supports custom keywords
  • Provides good support for external libraries

Cons of Robot Framework

  • Only supports keyword-driven, data driven style of writing test cases
  • Manageability is low
  • Skills required to create own low-level libraries


Calabash is an open-source automation framework for UI Acceptance Tests. It supports testing in both iOS and Android platform. It can configure hundreds of iOS and Android devices and get real-time results.

Pros of Calabash

  • Easy to set up and modify for testing on both Android and iOS apps
  • Increases productivity
  • Improves predictability of quality
  • Improves consistency of output and reduce labor costs and expenses

Cons of Calabash

  • Proficiency in writing automation test scripts is required
  • Data files maintenance is difficult to manage if the scripts test more screens
  • Playback methods would incur additional costs for test maintenance

Every project requires a different testing approach based on its scope. With so many frameworks available in the market, thorough deliberation is necessary before choosing a framework to get started with. Frameworks are unique, but they work better when collaborated with the right automation platform. In MOZARK, we support and configure the platform to accommodate any automation framework.

This blog neither implies nor promotes any of the five automation frameworks introduced. Instead, at MOZARK, we aim to help app developers and testers navigate the right strategy for a more hassle-free testing journey.

Start automating with MOZARK and discover the best option to achieve your project goals. Book a demo call now!

Written By

Archana Jayappa & Lalitanand Dandge