Can a non-developer create tests for a cordova/phonegap/webiew app

Hi guys,

I’m new to Appium and am looking for clarity on whether it’s useful as part of a toolchain to be used by a non-developer to generate tests to be run against a cordova app running on devices.

I’ve read a bit about uiautomator and I’m not clear if it can inspect webview elements. It seems it might be possible if some accessibility features are enabled on a device running some versions of android but I’m having trouble seeing the bigger picture.

Is appium with uiautomator the way to go? Are there better options out there?


I have no experience with Cordova.

Uiautomator is simply a tool mostly used for automating UI tests on Android devices (API 17 and newer only). It can retrieve information for some web elements, mostly text and images, but it can not tell you much other information, so it’s rather limited.

For hybrid applications (AKA, you have an Android app that contains a webview), there is a Chrome driver packaged with Appium to connect to the WebView to perform web UI tests. Unfortunately, you can not do this if the WebView was not set into a debug mode, but it looks like you can toggle a flag to set the views into debug mode (see section on Chrome Remote Debugging). If you’re not a developer and you don’t have access to the manifest file, you’ll have to unpack your APK, modify the manifest file in the unpacked contents, repackage the modified application contents, resign, and re-zipalign.

I think Appium would help as a blackbox, UI test tool. I would use it as a part of a suite of tools to use for testing. I work nearly completely with native applications, so my tools are Appium, Espresso (built-in to Android), Uiautomator itself, and some custom unit tests for our applications themselves. The tools are probably different for mobile web, but there should be a suite of tools available there as well. Just beware of the old adage, “If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Don’t expect Appium to solve all your problems, but don’t think Appium as being useless either.

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