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23 June 2011, 10:08

Google introduces Android native application tester

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Google Logo Google has introduced NativeDriver, a testing framework for native Android applications modelled on its web testing WebDriver framework; the company says it has an iPad/iPhone version on the way and is prototyping a Windows version.

NativeDriver allows developers to create automated tests for applications by allowing the creation of a "driver" which can control the application by pressing buttons, virtually reorienting the device, navigating between views and other user-like manipulations. The NativeDriver duplicates the WebDriver API which Google uses to perform automated tests on web applications. WebDriver was introduced in 2009 and has since been incorporated into other test frameworks. The developers believe that this will simplify things for test designers as they will only have one API to learn in order to test both web and native apps. A short video shows the NativeDriver controlling Google's Maps application on a handset.

NativeDriver in action in a video from Google

Testing an application will require it to be "Instrumented" to allow hooks to be activated that the NativeDriver API can connect to. Instructions on that process and tutorials on how to get started are available from the project site. NativeDriver is available as source in the project's SVN repository and is licensed under the Apache Licence 2.0.


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