I have been working as Android developer and been presenting about Android testing with the main SDK tooling, Robotium and Robolectric and running builds on Hudson. It looks like there is a lot of interest but not many people are doing this yet.

So if you are doing any automated Android testing. What are you using? What are your pain points? What would you love to see?

And if not, why not (yet). What is holding you back? How do you QA otherwise?

Any pointers on what people in the field are doing would be great.

Remark/Edit 2011-11-27:

At this stage the question is sort of open ended (could be a community wiki like on stackoverflow). I presented a 4 hour workshop about testing at AnDevCon 2 and found out about some new development and available tools as well.


5 Answers 5


The tricky part of testing any Mobile application is mobility. Although it seems unrelated at first, moving your mobile device can affect running applications. I've seen offline applications crashes when the phone went out of cellular coverage or a call was incoming. What's the solution ? do at least some field testing on real device.


We build our own automated testscripts partially using Robotium and Android's MonkeyRunner we found that this was the best way to maximize the kind of tests we could automate.

One thing that is a pain of course is the time it takes to run our tests. We integrated it into our build server, but we run the tests overnight. Running all these tests for every release (esp. when a deadline is v. near) isn't practical we found.

A further limitation are tests for apps which require hardware drivers like FM radio. Here we can't use an emulator and need a dedicated device. We can't of course test things like app behaviour with / without headphones inserted.

I still think there's no replacement for manual testing, <blatant_plug>my company has developed a tool called apphance which aims to streamline mobile test development </blatant_plug>

  • Hm interesting. How many tests do you have that it takes so long. I am aware that it is slow, but it should still not take more than 1 hour or so. Or are you running all tests against lots of different devices/emulators? Commented May 11, 2011 at 19:29

You might be interested in TestDroid, I've seen it demoed at Droidcon London and was not the only developer there blown away by the service they are offering. I haven't used it personally as I'm currently too small time to justify the license fees, but if I was in a larger team or dealing with a larger client it seems a no brainer.


N.B no affiliation whatsoever, infact I'm currently using roboletric but this was covered by your original question :)

  • I met the team of testdroid at andevcon 2. See my blog post about more testing related news. simpligility.com/2011/11/news-about-testing-android-apps Commented Nov 27, 2011 at 4:14
  • if you're not still looking for an answer maybe you should accept one as correct, that way people are less likely to contribute answers, alternatively edit your question to suggest it is open ended and include a link to your blog post in the question.
    – Luke
    Commented Nov 27, 2011 at 15:19

I have used a couple of tools for Android App testing which I would like to mention:

  1. TestObject: This basically provides browser based simulators for testing your app and you can automate those apps. Its very simple to use as you just have to record your script and play back it. This site provide a number of simulators with all possible configurations. You can also carry Stress Testing on your app in which TestObject applies 10000 events per min and then show you the results. You can test Native and Web apps but Hybrid apps are not supported.
  2. Little Eye: This is a performance testing tool for Android apps and simple to use. You just have to install the Little Eye on your machine and connect device to the machine and then a usual testing with all possible scenarios. The tool records all your actions and check the performance of the app in terms of Battery usage, Network usage, warnings and errors etc.

You may be interested in nativate test framework from Google - UIAutomator:

  • Does not need source code of apps
  • Possible to work with pre-installed app
  • Possible to work with several apps in one test
  • Work faster than Robotium
  • Easy UI viewer where you may see structure of app

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