Android Automation Testing With Espresso
August 4, 2016

4 Benefits of Using the Espresso Android Test Automation Tool

Mobile Application Testing

Many testers are leveraging Espresso Android test automation. Here we cover what it is — and the benefits of using Espresso for Android automation testing.

What Is Espresso Android?

Espresso is a test automation framework for Android, developed by Google.

Espresso is open source, so it's very easy for developers to use and extend within their working environment (Android Studio IDE).

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

Why You Need an Android Automation Testing Tool

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 testing.

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Benefits of Android Espresso Testing

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

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

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

Espresso Android 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

Espresso Android 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 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 skillset 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. 

Espresso Android Cheat Sheet

Here's an Espresso Android testing cheat sheet:

Expresso Cheatsheet


Espresso Android Automation Is Even Better With Perfecto

Espresso 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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