Cross-Platform Mobile Testing With Appium: Best Practices And Strategies

Charlotte Miller

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With the ever-changing mobile app landscape, the need for apps that work across multiple platforms and devices is growing day by day. As a result, developers often have to develop mobile apps for several platforms, such as iOS and Android, to meet this demand. But with multiple platforms comes multiple challenges, and testing is one of them.

Mobile app testing is an essential part of the mobile app development process. It ensures that your app works seamlessly across multiple operating systems, screens, and devices.

One of the most popular open-source tools for mobile testing is Appium. Its versatility and compatibility make it a go-to tool for mobile testing across all platforms.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top tips and tricks on how to use Appium for mobile cross-platform testing.

Understanding Appium

Appium is one of the most popular automation frameworks out there, and it’s perfect for mobile app testing. It’s open-source, so developers and testers can use it to automate mobile app testing on any platform, from iOS to Android to Windows apps. It’s so popular because it’s so versatile, easy to use, and supports multiple programming languages. It’s a must-have for developers and QA pros.

Key Features of Appium

Cross-Platform Support

One of the most important features of Appium is the cross-platform testing capability. Appium allows you to create a single suite of test scripts, which can be run on multiple operating systems, such as iOS and Android, without having to make any changes. This saves you time and effort since you can reuse the same test suite for different operating systems.

Unified API

Appium makes it easy to write tests for different mobile platforms since it has a single API that takes care of the differences between them. All you have to do is write the test scripts once and Appium will take care of the details that are specific to each platform. This makes testing easier and more consistent.

WebDriver Protocol

Appium is based on WebDriver, which is based on the same WebDriver protocol that Selenium uses for Web automation. This means that Appium can take advantage of the expertise and experience of existing Selenium testing teams. This means that the same web automation skills can be applied to mobile testing with Appium and the learning curve will be significantly reduced.

Best Practices and Strategies for Cross-Platform Mobile Testing with Appium

  • Embrace the Device Cloud

Mobile app testing necessitates a wide variety of devices, operating systems, and screen sizes in order to provide comprehensive test coverage. Managing an on-premise device lab with such a wide range of configurations can be time-consuming and resource-consuming. That’s where a “Device Cloud” comes in.

What is a Device Cloud?

A device cloud is a cloud service that offers access to a wide variety of real devices and simulated/emulated devices hosted remotely.

Embracing the Device Cloud for mobile testing offers numerous benefits that can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your cross-platform testing efforts:

Device Diversity

The Device Cloud provides a wide selection of real devices, ranging from OEMs to OS versions and screen sizes, ensuring that your mobile application is tested across a wide range of devices that may be used by your target audience. Testing on real devices yields more precise results than emulating or simulating devices, as it accurately reproduces user experiences in the real world.


The Device Cloud enables you to expand your testing infrastructure with ease. Whether you require testing on multiple devices or hundreds of devices simultaneously, the device cloud can accommodate the demand, allowing you to run parallel tests and accelerate test cycles.

Cost Savings

Installing and running an on-site device lab can be pricey because of hardware, upkeep, and upgrades. With the Device Cloud, you don’t need to worry about physical infrastructure, so you can save money on capital and operating costs.

Time Efficiency

The Device Cloud offers immediate access to a broad variety of devices, eliminating the time-consuming process of sharing physical devices between team members. This enables testers to begin testing as soon as possible, resulting in faster feedback and more accurate bug detection.

  • Choose the Right Programming Language

Appium offers support for a variety of programming languages, allowing developers and testers to select the language that is most compatible with their expertise and project needs. Choosing the appropriate programming language is an essential choice that can have a significant impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of your mobile cross-platform testing efforts.

Some factors to consider when making this decision:

Team Expertise

The proficiency and knowledge of the development and testing teams in a particular programming language is an essential factor in choosing the appropriate language for the Appium testing process. If the team is already proficient in a specific language, it is beneficial to use this knowledge for mobile testing as it will facilitate the learning process and increase efficiency.

Community Support

One of the most important things to consider is the language’s popularity among the testing community. A language that is widely used by developers and testers offers access to a large library of knowledge, as well as libraries, frameworks and plugins. With such a large pool of community support, it can be extremely useful when troubleshooting and finding solutions for issues that may come up during testing.

A language with a large and active community offers access to large libraries of knowledge, along with frameworks and plugins. The vast pool of community support gives a language’s developers and testers access to a large pool of knowledge and libraries, as well as any challenges that may come up while testing.

Framework Compatibility

Certain testing frameworks may be more compatible with particular programming languages. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the chosen programming language is compatible with your chosen testing framework. Such compatibility will enable you to take advantage of the full potential of Appium and the selected testing framework to construct robust and effective test automation suites.

  • Implement Page Object Model (POM) Design

                                                                                                POM stands for Page Object Model, and it’s a popular design pattern for test automation that helps make your tests easier to maintain, easier to read, and more reusable. When you’re using POM to test Appium, it helps you and your testers create more powerful and flexible test suites by keeping your test code separate from the UI components of your mobile app.

This is how implementing POM in Appium testing can benefit your testing efforts:

Clear Separation of Concerns

POM promotes a separation of concerns between test code and the user interface elements (UI elements) or locators that interact with the mobile application.

By creating separate classes/files for each page/screen of the application, logic for interacting with the elements is separated from the real-world test scenarios. This separation of concerns makes test code easier to read and easier to maintain.

Improved Test Readability

Test scenarios written with POM are composed of high-level methods representing actions and interactions with UI elements. This abstraction allows testers to focus on the high-level aspects of the test, such as finding elements on a page or managing complex interactions. As a result, test scripts are written in a cleaner and more legible manner, making them easier to read and maintain.

Easy Updates and Maintenance

When the user interface (UI) of the mobile application is altered, the effect on the test scripts can vary significantly. In the case of POM, the user interface locators are separated into distinct classes or files. Therefore, the update of the locators only requires changes in one place, thus simplifying maintenance and reducing the time and effort required to update the test scripts, particularly when the application is subject to frequent changes.

  • Handle Platform-Specific Behaviors

As mobile apps are often developed for both iOS and Android platforms, testers must consider the distinct behavior patterns and functionalities of each platform during the testing process. Appium recognizes the importance of addressing platform-specific behaviors and offers platform-specific capabilities that help testers efficiently handle these differences. By tailoring tests to accommodate platform-specific interactions, you can ensure consistent behavior and optimal user experiences across different OS environments.

This is how Appium supports handling platform-specific behaviors:

Platform-Specific Capabilities

Platform-specific capabilities are features in Appium that let testers interact with specific platform-specific features and capabilities. Platform-specific capabilities let testers set preferences and set up test environments based on the platform they’re testing on. For instance, using features like “platformName”, “platformVersion”, and “deviceName”, you can specify the mobile device’s platform and version to test on.

Handling Native Elements

iOS and Android have distinct UI components and different types of elements. Appium’s platform-specific features allow testers to work with native elements on both platforms using the same testing script. For example, on Android you can use features like “appPackage” and “appActivity” to launch a particular activity in the application. On iOS you can use “bundleId” to launch the application with a particular bundle identifier.

Dealing with Gestures and Interactions

It is important to note that gestures and interactions can be different on iOS and Android. Appium’s platform-specific features enable you to perform gestures that are specific to each platform, such as tapping, swiping, pinching, and scrolling. This ensures that your tests replicate user interactions on both platforms. For instance, on Android, the “mobile:scroll” feature allows you to scroll to certain elements, while “mobile: scrollGesture” is used on iOS for the same.

  • Implement Robust Error Handling

The mobile application testing process involves real-world interactions with devices and networks. As a result, it is vulnerable to a wide range of issues that could result in a false test failure or an inaccurate test result. Therefore, it is essential to implement reliable error handling mechanisms in order to guarantee the robustness of the Appium tests.

Rigorous error handling enables your tests to smoothly manage unexpected scenarios and overcome errors, resulting in more precise test results and fewer false positives.

This is how you can implement robust error handling in Appium testing:

Explicit Waits and Timeouts

The network fluctuation and slow response time can cause timing-related problems in the execution of tests. By adding explicit wait and timeouts to the test scripts, Appium allows you to wait for the presence or availability of certain elements or conditions. This helps to prevent tests from failing early due to delayed element loading or network congestion.

Retry Mechanisms

Short-term network connectivity problems or the app’s sudden lack of response can lead to test failures that can’t be replicated. By implementing retry mechanisms, tests can retry failed actions, improving the likelihood of successful execution. Repeating a test several times before marking it as failed helps to reduce transient issues and false positives.

Handling Network Interruptions

With Appium, you can configure network connection settings to simulate different network environments, like 3G network, 4G network, Wi-Fi network, etc. Defining network connection profiles allows you to proactively test your application’s behavior under different network conditions and make sure that the app is able to handle network interruptions smoothly without crashing or causing any false test failures.


Cross-platform Mobile Testing with Appium is a must-have process for providing users with an excellent mobile app experience across multiple platforms. By following best practices and effective strategies, your developers and testers can deliver seamless functionality and improved user experience.

By taking advantage of Appium’s flexibility and the benefits of real device testing via a device cloud, you can reduce your team’s time, effort and resources while delivering high-quality mobile apps. Follow these best practices and techniques to simplify your cross-platform Mobile testing and prepare your app for success in today’s dynamic mobile market.

How does lambdatest bolster Cross-Platform Mobile Testing with Appium?

LambdaTest, an AI-powered test orchestration and test execution platform offers mobile app testing platform that integrates with Appium to enable cross-platform testing across all platforms. It offers a comprehensive device cloud with a wide selection of real mobile devices as well as simulators and emulators that can be remotely accessed for testing.

Here’s how LambdaTest works for cross-platform mobile testing with Appium:

  • Test Configuration

LambdaTest for Cross-Platform Mobile Testing requires the configuration of the Test Environment by configuring the Appium Test Scripts. The Language Support of LambdaTest allows for the selection of the language that is most suited to the expertise of the team. The programming languages supported by LambdaTest are Java Language, Python Language, JavaScript Language, Ruby Language and C# Language.

  • Appium Integration

LambdaTest integrates seamlessly with Appium, so you can run your Appium tests directly on LambdaTest’s device cloud. Utilize the desired LambdaTest capabilities to specify the target devices, platforms, versions, and other settings required to run your cross-device mobile tests.

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