For any team doing research into Appium in 2022, knowing the pros and cons of Appium at a detailed level is a must. To help your team better understand the pros and cons of Appium, we’ve put together this simple guide of all the key points as of 2022, so that you can get up to speed quickly and effectively.

General Overview

An open source test automation framework, Appium can be used with a range of platforms, including native, hybrid, and mobile web applications.

Appium helps teams solve the problem of native app test automation, and uses the WebDriver protocol to drive iOS, Android, and Windows apps. Appium states that the philosophy of the project is that native app testing shouldn’t require recompiling your app or including an SDK, and your project and team should not be prevented from using whatever tools, frameworks, and test practices that you prefer.

Appium is hoping to build a community around this philosophy, as part of its strategy. Appium is also an OpenJS Foundation project, having joined in 2016 and graduated in 2017.

The requirements for Appium are quite straightforward. For iOS apps, Appium requires simply MacOSX, XCode, and Command Line Tools. For Android, Appium requires Mac OSX or Windows or Linux, and Android SDK ≥ 16.

Started in 2011 as “iOSAuto,” the project was originally written in C#, then open-sourced in 2012, and funded in 2013 by Sauce Labs. The project was subsequently rewritten using Node.js.

Pros & Cons of Appium

Pros
  • Appium is free to use, since it’s an open-source project
  • The project is mature, and has an active community with active discussions
  • In terms of test script languages, Appium supports any language that supports Selenium; you can use Java, Python, Ruby, C#, JavaScript, PHP, etc.
  • The Appium desktop user interface is simple to use
  • Appium supports iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Appium can be used to automate testing for Windows PC Desktop apps using WinAppDriver (WAD)
  • Appium supports native and hybrid apps
  • Appium runs on real iOS and Android devices, emulators, or simulators
  • Appium allows for testing across multiple devices with different operating systems simultaneously
  • Appium supports both Safari and Chrome web browsers
Cons
  • Appium test execution can be slow
  • Appium is unable to alternate between mobile app feature testing and web app feature testing within a single test script
  • Some teams have reported difficulties with set up and testing on actual devices
  • No enterprise support
  • Appium is not powered by AI-driven automation, and has not made much use of AI
  • Basic programming knowledge is needed (tests cannot be written in plain English)
  • Older Android versions are not supported

Conclusion

Appium is a mature project with a healthy community and roots. As a free open-source solution, it can be useful for small teams with a limited budget and basic needs. However, you’re not going to find enterprise-level support with a solution like this, nor advanced technologies like artificial intelligence driven testing that can realize efficiencies at scale. Any team considering Appium in 2022 should consider their size, needs, and budget when deciding whether or not to use Appium in 2022.