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August 22, 2021

4 Benefits of Espresso Mobile Testing

Mobile Application Testing

Many testers are leveraging the Espresso framework for Android test automation. In this blog, you'll get an overview of Espresso testing — and you'll learn the benefits of using Espresso for Android test automation.

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What Is the Espresso Framework for Mobile Testing?

Espresso is an Android-specific UI test automation framework. Espresso is open source, so it is very easy for developers to use and extend within their working environment (Android Studio IDE). Developed, led, and maintained by Google, Espresso is consistently up to date with recent Android OS features.

Espresso uses Junit underneath the hood, so it is easy to use within leading IDEs. Espresso for Android provides useful testing annotations and assertions. It's also fully integrated within the leading Google Android IDE – Android Studio.

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Espresso Framework is Critical to UI Testing in Android

Espresso testing is important because it enables you to write reliable user interface tests for Android. Espresso Android automatically syncs your test actions with the user interface of your application. 

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Why Use Espresso Framework for Android Testing

Validating your Android application (APK) throughout the build/dev/test workflow can be challenging. That's because:

  • Each build needs to be validated after code changes are made.
  • Dependencies on remote servers and other workstations for testing slow down the process.
  • Unit and functional tests need to be easy to execute from both an IDE and continuous integration perspective.
  • Apps need to be tested using the latest Android OS APIs that support new platform features and OS versions.
  • Testing needs to occur on both emulators and real devices.

In light of these challenges, it's clear why so many adopt the Espresso automation framework for Android mobile testing.

[Related Content: Mobile Testing Basics]

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Benefits of Espresso Android Testing

Android Espresso testing has many benefits to both developers and Android automation testing engineers. Here are the 4 biggest benefits of using Espresso testing on Android

1. Easy to Use

Espresso testing allows developers to build a test suite as a stand-alone APK. This APK can be installed on the target devices alongside the application under test and be executed very quickly.

2. Fast Feedback

Android Espresso gives developers fast feedback on their code changes. So, they can move on to the next feature or defect fix faster. 

Android Espresso test automation does not require any server (like Selenium Remote WebDriver) to communicate with. Instead, it runs side-by-side with the app and delivers very fast (minutes) test results to the developer.

3. Stable Testing

Android Espresso test automation offers a synchronized method of execution. So, the stability of the test cycle is very high.

There's a built-in mechanism in Espresso Android that, prior to moving to the next steps in the test, validates that the Element or Object is actually displayed on the screen. This keeps test execution from breaking when confronted with "objects not detected" and other errors.

4. Espresso Development Is Easy, Too

Developing Espresso test automation is quite easy. It is based on Java and Junit. This is a core skill set for any Android app developer.

Because Espresso works seamlessly within the Android Studio IDE, there's no setup or ramping up and no “excuses.”

There is, of course, the large community powered by Google that pushes the Espresso test automation framework. This gives newcomers a fast and easy ramp-up.

Android plus Espresso is a powerful combination in test automation. 

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Disadvantages of Android Espresso Mobile Testing

Like any tool or framework, Espresso has its drawbacks too. Here are a few.

  • Espresso is only for UI testing. Given the scope of what you have to test, this can be limiting.
  • Espresso is only for testing Android apps. If you need to test iOS apps or other platforms, you are out of luck.
  • You have to have access to the app's source code in order to test with Espresso.
  • You have to have some base knowledge of testing Android apps in order to use Espresso.
  • You could get too comfortable with Espresso's built-in synchronization and struggle with other frameworks.

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you start using Espresso for testing.

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Espresso Android Cheat Sheet

Get tips to get started with Espresso testing on Android faster. Here's an Espresso Android testing cheat sheet:

Espresso Android test automation cheatsheet


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Espresso Android Automation Is Even Better With Perfecto

The Espresso framework is great for Android test automation. But this open-source framework can't do everything.

That's where Perfecto fits in. It integrates with frameworks like Espresso to:

  • Accelerate test execution.
  • Scale as you grow.
  • Boost test coverage with a mobile device cloud.

Perfecto offers support for both Android Studio IDE and the Espresso test suite (APK). See for yourself the power of the world's only end-to-end continuous testing platform. Try it for free today.



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