During the initial years of the internet, computers were the only way to access the web. This process seemed satisfactory for quite some time until people realized the need for portability.
The busy schedule of modern people made it impossible to keep any task constraint to a particular place. Therefore, people were quickly looking for an alternative that would allow them to access the internet on the go.
The rising capabilities of Smartphones made it sensible to access the internet on these highly powerful pocket-sized devices. The expansion of the smartphone industry completely revolutionized the browsing segment. According to a recent survey, more than 50% of the total internet traffic is dominated by mobile users.
All these factors made it viable for web developing companies to consider the mobile segment as an important industry. This is because, in this competitive market, a company cannot afford to alienate any segment of the user base due to device incompatibility. Appium is one of the most famous frameworks to develop mobile applications.
With the passage of time and the advancement of technology, the mobile Development Industry has become a curious factor for many enthusiasts. So, in this article, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about the future of mobile application development. We will also discuss everything that Appium test automation has to offer in the coming years.
Let us Learn More About Appium
Appium is one of the most popular open-source automation frameworks for performing mobile testing. Using this framework, the developers can verify the functioning of hybrid, native, and mobile web applications. Native apps are those applications that you can access on a particular platform or operating system.
On the other hand, Hybrid applications are developed for multiple platforms and operating systems at the same time. Recently Google changed its algorithm for Search Engine Optimization. The recent algorithm prioritizes those applications that can be accessible on mobile and desktop platforms.
This means that you have to ensure that your web application maintains peak performance on mobile devices so that you can achieve better search rankings. This is one of the main reasons for using Appium to test the performance of mobile web applications.
The Advantages of Appium
Appium offers various unique features to help developers while performing mobile test automation. These features have played a significant role in the popularity of this open-source test framework. Now let’s take a quick look at some of the Unique advantages of Appium:
- Due to its open-source nature, Appium is available for free to all software developers and web developing companies.
- Appium is well supported by various Google groups. It has multiple groups of active Google users.
- Appium is almost in the same caliber as Selenium 3. So, there should be no issue regarding the future of mobile testing with Appium.
- Using Appium, the developers can create mobile web applications for both Android and iOS platforms.
- With Appium, the developers do not have to download and install any third-party applications on their computers. They also do not have to perform any form of software or code changes.
The Drawbacks of Appium
As we all know, nothing in this world is completely perfect. Appium is also no exception to this rule. As a developer, you must remember all the major drawbacks of the test automation framework. Let us quickly analyze some of the major ones:
- Presently, Appium does not have any support for intelligent waits.
- While using Appium for iOS app development, you can only create one application at a time per Mac.
- Appium has very limited support for Gesture controls. Thus, the developers have very little room to add innovative features to the application.
- Appium has very limited support for mobile devices that run on Android versions older than 4.1. This means that you can provide very little support for your users who are running on older Android devices.
During the initial years of software development, manual testing was the only way to perform all the test scenarios. This means that the developer had to test the functioning of web applications manually one by one. They also had to repeat the test cases for every new version of the same Browser.
The development team had to go back to the drawing board every time an error or bug was detected in a core framework of the application. This was an exhausting process in terms of time, resources, and company budget.
Manual testing also played a critical role in slowing down the production phase and ultimately delaying the delivery of the application. Companies were desperately looking for an alternative to substitute this form of testing.
With the advancement of Technology, test automation came into existence. Automation Testing allowed the developers to verify the functioning of the web application with automated test cases. Using test automation, the developers can perform all the redundant test cases automatically and save a lot of time.
They can in turn use this extra time to focus on other innovative and important areas of the app development project. Modern test automation tools and frameworks also help the testers to reuse massive portions of the existing test cases. Lastly, you should remember that it can be quite expensive to initially introduce test automation in your company environment.
Factors to Consider During Test Automation
Test automation can be a complex process if not properly implemented. Many new automation testers are still doubtful about the areas that they should automate. Let us take a look at some of the factors that can help in this decision-making process:
- Consider the possibility of whether the test automation tool can provide you with the desired results after the completion of the process.
- Verify whether the test automation tools and automation processes are compatible with other delivery channels in your test environment.
- Perform a thorough research on the discipline of the mobile application testing environment. In this process, you have to verify whether the automation environment can automatically factor in all the changes into the core framework.
- Considering all the expenses involved in test automation, you should have a proper idea about the possibility of return on investment.
- Lastly, analyses whether the subsequent usage of the mobile application has a role in playing back the investment.
Role of Tools in Test Automation
A human tester can’t perform all the Automation Testing processes on his own. On the other hand, a proper tool can easily simplify this Automation Testing process. However, a developer must remember that he cannot simply integrate any random tool in the test environment.
This is because every tool is unique and is meant to serve a specific purpose. So, the developers should perform thorough research on various factors before performing the tool selection process.
During this process, they should also consider the requirements of the application development project and their preferences. It is also a great idea to keep an eye on the present test automation market trends. Let us discuss Lamdatest to have a better understanding of the role of tools in test automation:
Lamdatest is a platform to perform cross-browser compatibility testing on web applications. Using this platform, developers can verify the functionality of the web applications on a Safe and Secure online Selenium grid. Cross-browser compatibility testing ensures that the web application retains its peak performance irrespective of the browser or browser version.
The parallel testing feature is one of the most attractive features offered by Lamdatest. Using this, a developer can verify the functioning of the web application on thousands of different browsers, devices, and operating systems at the same time.
Millions of companies all around the world use Lamdatest to verify the functioning of their web applications. Lamdatest also maintains an interactive activity log to store all the final test reports.
Importance of Manual Testing
One of the common misbeliefs related to automation testing is that it can eliminate manual testing. This thought pattern is illogical because it is nearly impossible to perform automation testing on every test case.
Certain test cases cannot be performed without the intervention of a human tester. For instance, it is impossible to perform Automation Testing to test the visual aesthetics of a web application.
The developers cannot use Appium test automation to verify the proper placement of elements such as pictures or videos on a web application. Similarly, it is also impossible to perform exploratory testing with test automation.
Exploratory testing is completely dependent on the experience and knowledge of the human tester. Using this testing process, the developers find all the errors in the web application that was undetected with automated test cases.
Companies should maintain an optimal balance between automation and manual testing. This process will help them to utilize the full potential of the testing environment. Various test automation frameworks like Lamdatest also help the developers to verify the test results of manual testing with automation testing.
The New Version of Appium
The upcoming version of Appium is Appium 2.0. The test automation industry is waiting for this new version with high anticipation. With the present version, the developers have to install a large number of drivers while introducing Appium in a test environment. They also have to install drivers that they will never need during the testing process.
Appium 2.0 changes this practice and will require installing only the essential drivers. Bug fixes are another important area that Appium 2.0 is destined to improve.
Various fixes were already introduced in the beta version. However, most people do not install betas and miss out on these improvements. The company has decided with the stable version of Appium 2.0, they will attach the fixes with individual drivers before rolling them out.
Lastly, the latest version will have improved docs. It will be easier for the developers to create their plugins for Appium testing.
The Final Verdict
So, we can easily conclude that Appium test automation has a bright future in the coming years. The latest version of Appium also comes with a handbook that will help the new developers solve various common issues related to this testing framework. The primary goal of this process is to simplify the testing process so that more and more companies can get onboard.
As a developer, you must remember that a perfect balance between various factors can help you to achieve your full potential. These factors include manual testing, automation testing, the right tools, and frameworks. This balance will also play a vital role in ensuring the growth of your company in the coming years.