what is appium inspector
February 29, 2024

What Is Appium Inspector & How to Use It

Mobile Application Testing

When it comes to creating and testing world-class applications, there are several prominent frameworks to choose from. From Selenium to Cypress and Playwright, choosing the right test automation framework depends on a variety of factors based on the unique needs of your team. 

Among these frameworks is Appium, a leading open-source test automation framework for use with native and hybrid mobile applications. Appium Inspector, when integrated with Appium, can further streamline the scripting process, making creating and testing apps easier than ever. 

In this blog, we will explore the ins and outs of Appium Inspector, including key uses and benefits, and provide an overview of how to get started testing with Appium Inspector. 

What Is Appium Inspector?

Appium Inspector is a tool designed to automate mobile applications using the Appium framework. Appium Inspector helps streamline the process of creating and inspecting scripts for mobile applications and provides a visual representation of the application under test.


Related Reading: Appium Testing Tutorial: From Beginners to Advanced


Key Uses of Appium Inspector

Appium Inspector is an important tool when it comes to mobile application testing and automation, especially when you are testing on the Appium framework.

Here are some of the key scenarios in which testing teams would benefit from utilizing Appium Inspector: 

Element Identification

Because Appium Inspector provides a visual representation of an app’s elements, it is a useful tool to help teams easily identify and interact with the app’s elements. This makes it easier to identify, locate, and select specific UI elements, such as text fields, images, and more. 

Automated Script Creation

Appium Inspector can help with the generation of code when writing automation scripts for your mobile application tests. Appium Inspector generates code snippets for actions, including entering text, clicking buttons, and more. 

Cross-Platform Testing

Appium Inspector provides a seamless and unified interface for inspecting elements on various platforms, including Android and iOS. Perform cross-browser testing with Appium Inspector to test your app across all platforms and browsers to ensure it runs smoothly.

Diagnostics & Troubleshooting

Appium Inspector can also help with diagnosing issues and locating bugs. Once a potential defect is located, Appium Inspector allows you to easily adjust your scripts as needed.


Related Reading: Appium iOS Framework for Automated Testing: Tutorial


Additional Benefits of Appium Inspector

While we have just covered some key uses for Appium Inspector, there are also several benefits to consider. Here are a few of the main benefits of utilizing Appium Inspector:

Code Generation

Appium Inspector allows teams to easily generate snippets of code. This streamlines the script creation process and further enhances the intuitive nature of the Appium framework. 

Property Inspection

Appium Inspector enables teams to view detailed elements and properties of an application, which allows you to gather important information. This includes accessibility and resource IDs and other elements that are necessary for creating successful automation scripts. 

XPath ID Generation

Appium Inspector also helps to maintain the stability of automation scripts by helping to generate XPath expressions and Accessibility IDs for element identification within an application. 


Related Reading: Getting Started With Appium 2.0: Overview of the Core New Features


How to Test With Appium Inspector

To create and test high-quality mobile apps with the Appium framework, Appium Inspector is a great tool to have under your belt. Launching Appium Inspector is straightforward, and you will soon be able to identify and interact with elements on your app’s interface. 

Here is a step-by-step guide for getting started with Appium Inspector:

1. Install & Launch Appium

Appium requires Node.js to run, so be sure to download that if you have not already. Then install the Appium framework

2. Connect to a Mobile Device (or Emulator/Simulator)

Next, connect a physical mobile device (or an emulator/simulator) to your computer. You will also want to enable USB debugging if connecting to a physical device. 

3. Launch & Configure Appium Inspector

Once connected, open another window and launch Appium Inspector. (You can do so by running the following command: ‘appium-inspector’). Configure Appium Inspector by selecting the platform for your device (iOS or Android), connecting the selected device, and then starting a session. 

4. Start Testing With Appium Inspector

Once launched, you can now start testing with Appium Inspector. You will now be able to identify elements that you wish to automate. You can also create and edit automation code and use code snippets generated by Appium Inspector to interact with the selected elements in your app. You will also be able to analyze your results. 


To view more detailed information on launching and testing with Appium Inspector, visit the Appium Inspector user guide or visit the following integrations page: 

Related Reading: Using Appium Desktop Inspector and Perfecto


Bottom Line

Perfecto seamlessly integrated with a wide range of open-source test automation frameworks, including Appium. When combined with Appium Inspector, teams can create, run, and analyze Appium tests on both real and virtual devices in the Perfecto cloud.

When you combine with power of Appium, Appium Inspector, and Perfecto, you can:

  • Scale your existing Appium tests across platforms.
  • Ensure enterprise-level security.
  • Support advanced automation scenarios, including image injection, biometric authentication, network virtualization, and more.
  • Find and fix bugs faster through advanced reporting. 
  • And more!

Experience the power of Perfecto and Appium together by signing up for a free 14-day trial today.

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