5 mobile testing tools every app developer should know about

Testing is one of the most important stages of an app’s development lifecycle.

Whether it’s to test security features, functionality or otherwise, your app won’t be successful if you don’t put it through its paces in a range of real-life and simulated environments.

Mobile testing tools can help an app developer to collect crash reports, understand how the UX/UI performs and get valuable feedback on their work – here are five of the best.

The free one

Appium is a free, open source mobile testing tool for Android, iOS and Windows SDKs. Although it works natively, Appium is cross-platform, so you can write tests across a variety of platforms whilst using the same API.

The Appium philosophy is all about inclusion and simplicity, a back-to-basics approach to mobile app testing. It uses vendor-provided frameworks too, including XCTest, UiAutomator, Instrumentation and WinApp Driver – so, the app you test is the one you ship.

The iOS one

TestFlight is Apple’s simple beta testing platform that allows you to invite up to 10,000 testers to download your app and provide real-world feedback.

It’s the perfect platform for team access too, as you’re able to invite up to 25 team members to download the app during the internal testing phase. Each person can then test the app on up 30 different devices, so you can be assured you won’t leave a single stone unturned – or device untested.

The Android one

Since its launch in 2010, Robotium has grown to be one of the world’s leading tools used for Android mobile testing. The framework supports native and hybrid applications, allowing Android app developers to write robust automatic black-box UI tests.

One of its leading features is that the person writing the test requires minimal knowledge of the application itself, making it ideal for larger teams.

The multitasker

Calabash is incredibly popular thanks to its ease of use. It’s a cross-platform framework that works with iOS and Android apps. As the tests are written in Cucumber, this makes them accessible even to non-tech folk.

So, if you need to keep stakeholders in the loop, Calabash will mean they’re able to understand the testing process without developers needing to spend hours explaining everything.

The bells and whistles one

HockeyApp is a paid platform for testing apps that’s got all the bells and whistles.

You can test iOS, Android, OS X and Windows apps using this powerful and versatile platform, but you can also distribute your app for beta testing, get accurate real-time crash reports, gather feedback on your apps and segment the distribution to key demographics.

Although it’s one of the few paid mobile testing tools out there, the support and resources available make this a worthwhile investment.