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Automation Testing

Appium Vs Espresso : Which One Should You Choose?

We pit Appium Vs Espresso and list out the key differences to help you pick you the best mobile test automation framework for your need.

Appium vs Espresso

When it comes to choosing the right test automation framework for your project, there are various important factors such as the languages it supports, the apps it supports, the type of testing you are about to do, and so on one should consider. As one of the best QA companies, we meticulously research all the available tools and use only the one that best suits our needs. So in this blog, we will be comparing Appium vs Espresso to help you choose the right one for you.

Appium

Appium is an open-source test automation framework that works on a client-server architecture. If you are looking for a framework that supports multiple languages, then Appium would be the better option as its server is written in Node.js making it compatible with many of the popular languages like Ruby, Java, Python, and so on. But in many scenarios, it will not be that easy to choose the framework by focusing on just one factor as your project needs may vary. So we will be exploring more of that once you are briefly introduced to Espresso.

Espresso

Espresso is an open-source offering from Google that is primarily focused on performing automated UI tests on Android. So being a product of Google is what sets Espresso apart as it is a part of the Android SDK that is used by the developers for native mobile app development. Espresso is very reliable when it comes to simulating user interactions for UI testing. Now that we have seen the major plus points of both Appium and Espresso, let’s take a deeper dive and explore other key factors in our Appium vs Espresso comparison.

Cross-platform Support:

Appium offers automated testing on both physical devices and virtual ones like emulators or simulators. It allows native, hybrid, web application testing, and cross-platform application testing, which means that a single API may be used to run test scripts on both Android and iOS platforms. It is not reliant on the operating system of mobile devices. (APK, iOS)

But Espresso on the other hand can run only on Android as it only supports APK. So if you wish to test in iOS as well, Appium is the way to go. We have already discussed language compatibility as well. Espresso is only available in Java.

Speed:

Execution speeds are crucial factors when you are testing with a time crunch. In general, the Execution Time of Appium is much higher compared to Espresso as the execution flow of Appium takes the long route for every single command execution. You will get a better picture of what we mean when you look at the below image that denotes the execution flow of Appium.

Execution Flow of Appium

Since Espresso doesn’t involve any server communications, it is much faster. Espresso also supports automatic synchronization of UI elements and test actions. So it will be able to automatically run test commands at the appropriate time by detecting when the main thread is idle.

Ease of use:

We have already established that Espresso is much faster than Appium. Likewise, Espresso takes the lead when it comes to ease of use as well. Espresso uses three primary APIs (viewMatchers, viewActions, viewAssertions) that are very easy to maintain and customize. You can simply user interactions by just recording the user interactions using the app as it will automatically generate the equivalent code you will be needing. But in the case of Appium, it will not be able to detect web elements automatically. So it would become a cumbersome manual task for the one who is testing.

Setup:

Even the setup process is much easier than Appium as Espresso comes integrated with Android Studio. Since Android Studio is a native Android Development environment, it doesn’t require much effort to set it up. Whereas, the Appium setup requires a high level of knowledge in programming the Appium server configuration as it operates on a client-server model as stated earlier.

The flakiness of Tests:

Appium tests do have cross-platform support, but they are also very flaky in comparison. There will be changes in the UI elements like caller dial and so much more in each and every device. So the automation scripts may fail because of this. But since Espresso is a native framework, we can achieve far more reliable results with it.

Appium vs Espresso: The Key Differences

CriteriaAppiumEspresso
LanguageMultipleJava
Supported AppsAPK and IPAAPK
Test typeBlack BoxWhite Box
Execution SpeedLowHigh
Ease of UseHardEasy
Ease of SetupHardEasy
Flakiness of the testHighLow

Conclusion:

We have tabulated the key differences to make it easier for you to choose the right framework for you. As one of the best mobile app testing companies ,our recommendation is as follows.

Espresso:
  • Used by Developer/ SDET.
  • Fast and Reliable.
  • Best used for Shift Left testing.
Appium:
  • Used by QA/Automation teams.
  • Full Coverage with better validation.
  • Best used for regression testing.

We hope you have found our Appium vs Espresso blog to be informative. Though these are our recommendations, always pick the right tools for your project based on the specific needs.

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When it comes to choosing the right test automation framework for your project, there are various important factors such as the languages it supports, the apps it supports, the type of testing you are about to do, and so on one should consider. As one of the best QA companies, we meticulously research all the available tools and use only the one that best suits our needs. So in this blog, we will be comparing Appium vs Espresso to help you choose the right one for you.

Appium

Appium is an open-source test automation framework that works on a client-server architecture. If you are looking for a framework that supports multiple languages, then Appium would be the better option as its server is written in Node.js making it compatible with many of the popular languages like Ruby, Java, Python, and so on. But in many scenarios, it will not be that easy to choose the framework by focusing on just one factor as your project needs may vary. So we will be exploring more of that once you are briefly introduced to Espresso.

Espresso

Espresso is an open-source offering from Google that is primarily focused on performing automated UI tests on Android. So being a product of Google is what sets Espresso apart as it is a part of the Android SDK that is used by the developers for native mobile app development. Espresso is very reliable when it comes to simulating user interactions for UI testing. Now that we have seen the major plus points of both Appium and Espresso, let’s take a deeper dive and explore other key factors in our Appium vs Espresso comparison.

Cross-platform Support:

Appium offers automated testing on both physical devices and virtual ones like emulators or simulators. It allows native, hybrid, web application testing, and cross-platform application testing, which means that a single API may be used to run test scripts on both Android and iOS platforms. It is not reliant on the operating system of mobile devices. (APK, iOS)

But Espresso on the other hand can run only on Android as it only supports APK. So if you wish to test in iOS as well, Appium is the way to go. We have already discussed language compatibility as well. Espresso is only available in Java.

Speed:

Execution speeds are crucial factors when you are testing with a time crunch. In general, the Execution Time of Appium is much higher compared to Espresso as the execution flow of Appium takes the long route for every single command execution. You will get a better picture of what we mean when you look at the below image that denotes the execution flow of Appium.

Execution Flow of Appium

Since Espresso doesn’t involve any server communications, it is much faster. Espresso also supports automatic synchronization of UI elements and test actions. So it will be able to automatically run test commands at the appropriate time by detecting when the main thread is idle.

Ease of use:

We have already established that Espresso is much faster than Appium. Likewise, Espresso takes the lead when it comes to ease of use as well. Espresso uses three primary APIs (viewMatchers, viewActions, viewAssertions) that are very easy to maintain and customize. You can simply user interactions by just recording the user interactions using the app as it will automatically generate the equivalent code you will be needing. But in the case of Appium, it will not be able to detect web elements automatically. So it would become a cumbersome manual task for the one who is testing.

Setup:

Even the setup process is much easier than Appium as Espresso comes integrated with Android Studio. Since Android Studio is a native Android Development environment, it doesn’t require much effort to set it up. Whereas, the Appium setup requires a high level of knowledge in programming the Appium server configuration as it operates on a client-server model as stated earlier.

The flakiness of Tests:

Appium tests do have cross-platform support, but they are also very flaky in comparison. There will be changes in the UI elements like caller dial and so much more in each and every device. So the automation scripts may fail because of this. But since Espresso is a native framework, we can achieve far more reliable results with it.

Appium vs Espresso: The Key Differences

CriteriaAppiumEspresso
LanguageMultipleJava
Supported AppsAPK and IPAAPK
Test typeBlack BoxWhite Box
Execution SpeedLowHigh
Ease of UseHardEasy
Ease of SetupHardEasy
Flakiness of the testHighLow

Conclusion:

We have tabulated the key differences to make it easier for you to choose the right framework for you. As one of the best mobile app testing companies ,our recommendation is as follows.

Espresso:
  • Used by Developer/ SDET.
  • Fast and Reliable.
  • Best used for Shift Left testing.
Appium:
  • Used by QA/Automation teams.
  • Full Coverage with better validation.
  • Best used for regression testing.

We hope you have found our Appium vs Espresso blog to be informative. Though these are our recommendations, always pick the right tools for your project based on the specific needs.