share

ENGINEERING

6min read

The perfect recipe for iOS app automation

A couple of weeks ago we shared with you our selection of the best Pods which have been used in Polidea during the past year. But we know that having pods is surely not enough to build a functioning app, you have to test them too (and no you are not more of a male, if you wait production to do so). Having that in mind, today I would like to present in this post useful tutorials to implement iOS functional test automations. Because the automation of testing procedures free staff and resources, which in return maximize your productivity and minimize errors, you better start soon. So let’s get started!

Testing like a User

The main ingredient is an open-source testing framework, KIF which stands for Keep It Functional. KIF aims to operate on the app and attempts to imitate factual users actions and inputs on a touch screen. KIF localizes apps elements on the screen based on accessibilityLabels and accessibilityIdentifiers attributes - in most cases accessibilityLabel matches the visible text label. The most common actions in KIF are waitForViewWithAccessibilityLabel: and tapViewWithAccessibilityLabel:, but if you want to find out more what KIF is capable of, then take a look for a whole bunch of available test methods. Every test methods are accessed by using tester which is an instance of the main class KIFUITestActor to drive the app UI and make inputs and asserts:

- (void)enterUserCredentialsWithEmail:(NSString *)email
                          andPassword:(NSString *)password {
    [tester enterText:email intoViewWithAccessibilityLabel:kEmailTextField];
    [tester enterText:password intoViewWithAccessibilityLabel:kPasswordTextField];
    [tester tapViewWithAccessibilityLabel:kLoginButton];
}

To run KIF tests you don’t have to go outside Xcode IDE - tests are written as Apple’s XCTest subclasses and you can trigger them using Xcode’s test navigator. Unless you are a terminal fan or want to stick your test suite into a continuous integration - then no extra infrastructure is needed, because KIF uses command line xcodebuild or xctool tools to build and run tests:

xctool
 - workspace TestProject.xcworkspace
 - scheme TestProjectKIF
 - sdk iphonesimulator 9.2
 - destination 'name=iPhone 6'
 test

Pixel perfect checks

KIF is super cool in terms of accessibility base functional testing of the application, but: 1. What if there are UI artifacts and glitches on the application’s screen? 2. What if a screen does not match the particular iOS device screen size?

Then you still need testers to manually verify, check and compare with the wireframes every screen in the app, because KIF does not tell you if app views have changed visually.

Here comes along with help another ingredient which is Lela framework. Lela stands for “Less Eyeballing Large Apps” and is a library which helps KIF if apps screens appear different from expected. To make it work during your tests, after checking if all elements with accessibilityLabel are on the screen, include additional Lela’s assert:

[tester expectScreenToMatchImageNamed:@"LoginScreen"];

Then test will fail and Lela will take a screenshot:

Test failed: Could not find expected image for LoginScreen.
Actual result: /Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/6D74A6B4-46BF-42EB-9007-106C0601AD24/data/Containers/Data/Application/6D74A6B4-46BF-42EB-9007-106C0601AD24/Documents/Lela Tests/2016-02-14T19:23:14/LoginScreen-414x736@3x-iphone,iOS9.2/LoginScreen-414x736@3x-iphone,iOS9.2.png

Add image to your test bundle, re-run the test and here you are - PASSED result. In case the reference image differs from the expected one, Lela does all the work - test will fail and in the log output you will be served with a snippet which contains expected, actual and differences between images:

Screen does not match expected image for LoginScreen.
Expected result: /Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/6D74A6B4-46BF-42EB-9007-106C0601AD24/data/Containers/Data/Application/52E86D74-D96E-4024-8EB2-FCC273F4430D/Documents/Lela Tests/2016-02-11T19:28:00/LoginScreen-414x736@3x-iphone,iOS9.2/Expected.png
Actual result:   /Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/6D74A6B4-46BF-42EB-9007-106C0601AD24/data/Containers/Data/Application/52E86D74-D96E-4024-8EB2-FCC273F4430D/Documents/Lela Tests/2016-02-11T19:28:00/LoginScreen-414x736@3x-iphone,iOS9.2/LoginScreen-414x736@3x-iphone,iOS9.2.png
Difference:      /Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/6D74A6B4-46BF-42EB-9007-106C0601AD24/data/Containers/Data/Application/52E86D74-D96E-4024-8EB2-FCC273F4430D/Documents/Lela Tests/2016-02-11T19:28:00/LoginScreen-414x736@3x-iphone,iOS9.2/Difference.png

For each iOS device screen size, density and OS version Lela distinguishes separated images so you can validate as many types of devices as you need.

Hacks & tricks

Have you ever experienced an issue when the system alert view requested you to grant an access to the address book or photo album during your tests? It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel as long as you have a JPSimulatorHacks . You can hack iOS Simulator without a need to run any additional scripts which handle clicks and dismiss system alert views. Just simply give an access from your test suite setUp() to your current application:

[JPSimulatorHacks grantAccessToPhotos];
[JPSimulatorHacks grantAccessToAddressBook];

If you need a specific image in the gallery for further tests simply add it:

NSURL *assetURL = [NSURL URLWithString:@"https://www.polidea.com/img/polidea-new-logo.png"];
[JPSimulatorHacks addAssetWithURL:assetURL];

Then during the test use KIF method to grab it:

[tester choosePhotoInAlbum:@"Camera Roll" atRow:(NSInteger) column:(NSInteger)]

What’s more while using to JPSimulatorHacks is that you can test your application with various keyboard parameters and change those settings on the fly:

[JPSimulatorHacks editApplicationPreferences:^(NSMutableDictionary *preferences) {
        [preferences setValue:@NO forKey:@"KeyboardAutocapitalization"];
        [preferences setValue:@NO forKey:@"KeyboardAutocorrection"];
        [preferences setValue:@NO forKey:@"KeyboardCapsLock"];
        [preferences setValue:@NO forKey:@"KeyboardCheckSpelling"];
    }];

Network stubs

Most of our applications are using networks and communicate with the API services. Our automation test suites contain correct user login, correct submitting and receiving data and a lot of other “happy” paths. But the devil is in the “non-happy” path scenarios when it comes to the communication between application and API. Applications should handle errors and invalid API responses properly to ensure good user experience in all (especially bad) conditions.

By using Nocilla framework you can simulate and trick your network data very easily, right from the tests:

 [[LSNocilla sharedInstance] start];

stubRequest(@"POST", http://api-staging.com/user/login").
             withBody(@{  @"email" : @"test@polidea.com","
                          @"password" : @"qwerty1234"}).
             andReturn(400).
             withBody(@{  @"status": @"error",
                          @"message" : @"Wrong email or password."});

[[LSNocilla sharedInstance] stop];
[[LSNocilla sharedInstance] clearStubs];

Don’t forget to test how your app behaves against long API response time as well - simply add .withDelay() with appropriate time interval into your stub.

I hope you found this recipe helpful. A great advantage of our selection of testing frameworks and helpers is that you can combine them to work together in order to boost test automation efficiency. And what about you? What is your approach and toolbox for a perfect iOS functional test automation?

share


TomekLead Test Engineer

LEARN MORE

Contact us if you have any questions regarding the article or just want to chat about technology, our services, job offers and more!

POLIDEA NEWSLETTER

Sign in and expect sharp insights, recommendations, ebooks and fascinating project stories delivered to your inbox

The controller of the personal data that you are about to provide in the above form will be Polidea sp. z o.o. with its registered office in Warsaw at ul. Przeskok 2, 00-032 Warsaw, KRS number: 0000330954, tel.: 0048 795 536 436, email: hello@polidea.com (“Polidea”). We will process your personal data based on our legitimate interest and/or your consent. Providing your personal data is not obligatory, but necessary for Polidea to respond to you in relation to your question and/or request. If you gave us consent to call you on the telephone, you may revoke the consent at any time by contacting Polidea via telephone or email. You can find detailed information about the processing of your personal data in relation to the above contact form, including your rights relating to the processing, HERE.

Data controller:

The controller of your personal data is Polidea sp. z o.o. with its registered office in Warsaw at ul. Przeskok 2, 00-032 Warsaw, KRS number: 0000330954, tel.: [0048795536436], email: [hello@polidea.com] (“Polidea”)

Purpose and legal bases for processing:

 

Used abbreviations:

GDPR – Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016
on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement
of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)

ARES – Polish Act on Rendering Electronic Services dated 18 July 2002

TL – Polish Telecommunications Law dated 16 July 2004

1)        sending to the given email address a newsletter including information on Polidea’s new projects, products, services, organised events and/or general insights from the mobile app business world |art. 6.1 a) GDPR, art. 10.2 ARES and art. 172.1 TL (upon your consent)

Personal data:name, email address

2)       statistical, analytical and reporting purposes |art. 6. 1 f) GDPR (based on legitimate interests pursued by Polidea, consisting in analysing the way our services are used and adjusting them to our clients’ needs, as well as developing new services)

Personal data:name, email address

Withdrawal of consent:

You may withdraw your consent to process your personal data at any time.

Withdrawal of the consent is possible solely in the scope of processing performed based on the consent. Polidea is authorised to process your personal data after you withdraw your consent if it has another legal basis for the processing, for the purposes covered by that legal basis.

Categories of recipients:

Your personal data may be shared with:

1)       authorised employees and/or contractors of Polidea

2)       persons or entities providing particular services to Polidea (accounting, legal, IT, marketing and advertising services) – in the scope required for those persons or entities to provide those services to Polidea

 

Retention period:

1)       For the purpose of sending newsletter to the given email address – for as long as the relevant consent is not withdrawn

2)       For statistical, analytical and reporting purposes – for as long as the relevant consent is not withdrawn

Your rights:

 

Used abbreviation:

GDPR – Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016
on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement
of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)

According to GDPR, you have the following rights relating to the processing of your personal data, exercised by contacting Polidea via [e-mail, phone].

1)       to access to your personal data (art. 15 GDPR) by requesting sharing and/or sending a copy of all your personal data processed by Polidea

2)       to request rectification of inaccurate personal data
(art. 16 GDPR) by indicating the data requiring rectification

3)       to request erasure of your persona data (art. 17 GDPR); Polidea has the rights to refuse erasing the personal data in specific circumstances provided by law

4)       to request restriction of processing of your personal data (art. 18 GDPR) by indicating the data which should be restricted

5)       to move your personal data (art. 20 GDPR) by requesting preparation and transfer by Polidea of the personal data that you provided to Polidea to you or another controller in a structured, commonly used machine-readable format

6)       to object to processing your personal data conducted based on art. 6.1 e) or f) GDPR, on grounds relating to your particular situation (art. 21 GDPR)

7)       to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority,
in particular in the EU member state of your habitual residence, place of work or place of the alleged infringement if you consider that the processing
of personal data relating to you infringes the GDPR
(art. 77.1 GDPR)

No obligation to provide data:

Providing your personal data is not obligatory, but necessary for Polidea to provide you the newsletter service

Refusal to provide the above data will result in inability to receive the newsletter service.

Profiling

In the process of providing the newsletter service, we make decisions in an automated way, including profiling, based on the data you provide.

 

“Profiling” means automated processing of personal data consisting of the use of your personal data to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to you, in particular to analyze or predict aspects concerning your personal preferences and interests.

 

The automated decisions are taken based on the analysis of clicked and viewed content. They affect the targeting of specific newsletter content to selected users registered to receive the newsletter service, based on the anticipated interests of the recipient.