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Appium vs Detox: What are the differences?


Appium and Detox are both automation frameworks that are commonly used for mobile app testing. While they have similarities in some aspects, there are key differences between the two.

  1. Programming Language Support: One significant difference between Appium and Detox lies in the programming languages they support. Appium supports a wide range of programming languages, including Java, Python, Ruby, and JavaScript. On the other hand, Detox is primarily designed for JavaScript-based applications and has better integration with JavaScript frameworks like React Native and Flutter.

  2. Platform Support: Another important difference is the platform support provided by Appium and Detox. Appium supports cross-platform testing for both Android and iOS devices, making it a versatile choice. Detox, on the other hand, focuses mainly on iOS apps and provides limited support for Android. This platform-specific approach can be a deciding factor when choosing between the two frameworks.

  3. Device Interaction: Appium and Detox differ in their approach to device interaction during testing. Appium relies on the automation APIs provided by the mobile platforms to interact with the device and its components. Detox, on the other hand, uses a direct injection mechanism called "EarlGrey" to interact with the iOS app. This approach enables Detox to perform actions faster and more reliably, especially for complex user scenarios.

  4. Synchronization and Speed: Appium and Detox also differ in terms of synchronization and test speed. Appium relies on synchronization mechanisms like waiting for elements to appear, leading to slower test execution. Detox, on the other hand, leverages synchronization features offered by EarlGrey and uses a non-blocking event loop, resulting in faster test execution times.

  5. Parallel Test Execution: When it comes to parallel test execution, Detox has a more streamlined and efficient approach compared to Appium. Detox can run multiple tests concurrently, improving overall testing efficiency. Appium, on the other hand, has limitations in parallel execution due to the shared nature of the Appium server, which can slow down the execution of multiple tests simultaneously.

  6. Community and Support: Lastly, the Appium and Detox frameworks have different levels of community support and resources available. Appium has been around for a longer time and has a larger user community, resulting in a more extensive knowledge base, documentation, and community support. Detox, being a relatively newer framework, has a smaller community, but it is growing steadily and has active contributors.

In summary, Appium provides broader programming language and platform support, while Detox excels in faster device interaction, synchronization, and parallel test execution for JavaScript-based apps, particularly on iOS. The choice between the two frameworks depends on the specific requirements, platform focus, and expertise in the respective programming languages.

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Pros of Appium
Pros of Detox
  • 12
    Webdriverio support
  • 6
    Java, C#, Python support
  • 3
    Open source
  • 2
    Great GUI with inspector
  • 2
    Active community
  • 1
    Support android test automation
  • 1
    Internal API access
  • 1
    Support iOS test automation
  • 6
    Grey box testing
  • 3
    Automated testing

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What is Appium?

Appium is an open source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid, and mobile web apps. It drives iOS and Android apps using the WebDriver protocol. Appium is sponsored by Sauce Labs and a thriving community of open source developers.

What is Detox?

High velocity native mobile development requires us to adopt continuous integration workflows, which means our reliance on manual QA has to drop significantly. It tests your mobile app while it's running in a real device/simulator, interacting with it just like a real user.

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What companies use Appium?
What companies use Detox?
See which teams inside your own company are using Appium or Detox.
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What tools integrate with Detox?

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What are some alternatives to Appium and Detox?
Selendroid is a test automation framework which drives off the UI of Android native and hybrid applications (apps) and the mobile web. Tests are written using the Selenium 2 client API
BrowserStack is the leading test platform built for developers & QAs to expand test coverage, scale & optimize testing with cross-browser, real device cloud, accessibility, visual testing, test management, and test observability.
Selenium automates browsers. That's it! What you do with that power is entirely up to you. Primarily, it is for automating web applications for testing purposes, but is certainly not limited to just that. Boring web-based administration tasks can (and should!) also be automated as well.
EarlGrey is a native iOS UI automation test framework that enables you to write clear, concise tests. With the EarlGrey framework, you have access to enhanced synchronization features. EarlGrey automatically synchronizes with the UI, network requests, and various queues; but still allows you to manually implement customized timings, if needed.
It enables developers and testers to perform automated and manual testing of mobile apps and websites on real devices. Modern DevOps and Quality environments require apps to be tested on hundreds of device/OS/browser combinations. Managing an in-house device-lab is expensive, resource intensive, restrictive and very manual. Kobiton allows for instant provisioning of real devices for testing with automated or manual scripts, and also allows current on-premise devices to be plugged in to form a holistic testing cloud.
See all alternatives