A Guide to Appium – Our Top 10 Appium Tutorials in 2021

Advanced Topics, Getting Started — Published July 21, 2021

In this collection of free Appium tutorials, guides and courses, find our most popular Appium articles so far in 2021 to help you improve your mobile test automation skills.

Are you looking to up your mobile test automation game? Appium is a powerful open-source testing framework that you should be acquainted with. At Applitools, we love all things test automation, and we’ve been thinking and writing about Appium for years. In this guide, we’ve collected all our best free tutorials, comparisons and courses in one place for you.

The pieces are ranked by the traffic they’ve received so far in 2021 – collectively they’ve been viewed by many thousands of you in the last six months or so.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Appium user, you’re sure to find something new and useful here. We hope you enjoy this list, and if there’s something we missed that you wish we’d cover in the second half of 2021, let us know @applitools!

What is Appium?

First, a brief introduction.

Appium is one of the most popular open-source test automation frameworks for mobile testing – the testing of native mobile apps, mobile web apps and hybrid apps for Android, iOS and Windows. It is cross-platform and compatible with numerous development languages, allowing you to write tests against multiple platforms in the language of your choice and reuse the code. It was developed in 2011 by Dan Cuellar and Jason Huggins, and today has about 14K stars on GitHub with very regular updates (the last commit was 4 hours ago at time of writing).

You can get an overview of what Appium is all about here in their docs.

Top 10 Appium Articles

10. Deep-hacking Appium for Fun and Profit

In this on-demand webinar (with accompanying slides), Applitools Senior Director of R&D, Daniel Puterman, dives deep into the internals of Appium’s code. He and his team submitted a major pull request when they added a feature to Appium, and Daniel shares his experiences doing so. This webinar took place a few years ago but it’s still a relevant and fascinating look into the structure and architecture of Appium.

9. Jonathan Lipps: Easy Parallel Visual Testing with Appium

Jonathan Lipps, who leads the Appium project (among other things), led this on-demand webinar to help you understand how to easily parallelize visual testing with Appium across all Android devices at once using Genymotion Cloud and Applitools. If you’re wondering how you can perform visual testing for mobile apps at scale, this is a great one to check out.

8. Test Automation for Android Wearable Devices with Appium

When I said we’ve been talking about Appium for years, I meant it, and this classic post is now approaching 7 years young. That this post remains among our more popular Appium posts after all that time is a testament to the enduring relevance of the techniques it describes and the topic itself. Take a look at this post and the demo video to get a sense of how wearable devices can be tested with Appium.

7. Install Appium the Easy Way

Getting started with Appium for the first time can be a little daunting, as there are many dependencies to keep track of and set up. In this post, Anand Bagmar shares a custom script he wrote to automate the process for you so that you don’t have to do each of these individually. Check it out for a simple and easy way to get going with Appium quickly.

6. Future of Testing: Mobile Recap – All About Mobile Test Automation

A few months ago Applitools hosted a great “Future of Testing: Mobile” event. In this recap, you can read about (and watch) key talks about Appium 2.0, the state of mobile frameworks generally, and much more. You can watch all the videos here (and sidenote: our next “Future of Testing: Mobile” event takes place on August 10th, so register now to catch it live!).

5. Using Genymotion, Appium & Applitools to visually test Android apps

Mobile testing can be a challenge. Android in particular can seem daunting, with its fractured nature yielding numerous devices, form factors and operating system versions that need to be tested to achieve full coverage. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how you can use Genymotion’s cloud-based Android emulation to run Appium tests rapidly on a range of Android devices, and how you can easily combine it with Applitools as well to give you full visual coverage.

4. Learning Appium Visual Testing on TAU

In this recap of a popular Test Automation University course, Automated Visual Testing with Appium, which is taught by Jonathan Lipps (who we also talked about in #9), you’ll get a crash course on visual testing with Appium. You’ll learn the basic of Appium testing and explore multiple alternatives for visual testing. This is a great written recap that is easy to follow along with, so check it today to get started with visual testing, and don’t forget to check out the full course if you’re curious for more.

3. Visual Testing with Applitools, Appium, and Amazon AWS Device Farm

Remember back at #5 when we talked about the challenge of testing on mobile across all devices, form factors and operating system versions? In this popular article, you’ll learn another way to tackle the issue using Amazon’s AWS Device Farm. The solution is cross-platform too, so it goes beyond just Android. This tutorial is on the technical side, and you’ll find a number of helpful and detailed code samples and screenshots to guide you through the process step by step.

2. Getting Started with Appium 2.0 Beta

Appium 2.0 is coming soon, and the betas have been coming out quickly as the official release draws closer. If you’re looking to get started with Appium 2.0 early, this guide is for you. You’ll find tips for installing the Appium 2.0 server, working with the newly decoupled drivers, incorporating the latest plugins and more. Though things move fast and a beta version or two has been released since it was published in February, it’s still extremely relevant and one of our most popular Appium posts for a reason.

1. Appium vs Espresso vs XCUITest – Understanding how Appium Compares to Espresso & XCUITest

Appium, Espresso and XCUITest logos next to a trophy

Our most popular post around Appium, this one seeks to answer a question that’s been around since the dawn of mobile apps: What mobile test automation framework should I use for my app? This article compares Appium (cross-platform, open-source) with two of the most widely-used test automation frameworks in Espresso (just Android, developed by Google) and XCUITest (just iOS, developed by Apple). It provides a detailed overview of the pros and cons for each of these frameworks. If you’re looking to understand these frameworks better or just to figure out how to test your own app, this highly-visited post is for you.

Bonus! Top 3 Free Courses ?

Looking to expand your knowledge around Appium but want something more in-depth than an individual article or tutorial? Why don’t you take a free course at the Test Automation University? Here are the top three courses you may want to consider:


Appium is a popular open-source framework for mobile test automation. It’s a powerful and versatile tool, and definitely one that we’re watching closely as it develops. How do you use Appium today, and what are you looking forward to in the next release? Let us know @applitools.

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