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I am currently working on planning a test strategy for test automation for our mobile apps. The problem is that all the automation frameworks I've seen utilize a slightly different context than what the application really uses.

For example, I am evaluating SeeTest. To run automation tests on an non-jailbreak device the developer needs to add some frameworks to the project and actually build a different app the release app. So, when testing an instrumented iOS app with SeeTest, the app under test is not the same as the released app, which means that a full regression should be made on the released build.

This is the same of every framework I have seen.

How did others solve this issues?

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I worked at a highly-respected mobile development shop for 6 years. We did not trust automation or emulators as acceptable tools to finalize a build. Each build was manually tested on the actual handset it was targeted for before the build was sent to the customer.

That's the problem with mobile development. Unless you find a framework that will run automation using the actual device, you won't have 100% confidence in your build, as you will never really test the deliverable build.

  • Both Android and iOS have automation frame work that runs on the actual device. – Guy Dec 18 '12 at 8:06
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If you are talking iOS, you should look into the automated testing support supplied by apple in their tool called instruments.

  • I know about instruments and iOS automation FW. Android also has such FW. The problem is that both tests in a slightly different context then the real world. it is like the schrodinger's cat paradox... – Guy Dec 18 '12 at 8:10
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Have you looked into Device Anywhere and Perfecto Mobile? They are both services for testing against real devices. A warning: These aren't cheap solutions.

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