Appium Inspector Vs. UIAutomatorViewer

Appium Inspector Vs. UIAutomatorViewer: A Comparative Analysis

When performing mobile app testing, it is essential to use efficient and reliable resources and tools that help maintain the quality of the mobile apps and ensure better performance. For instance, automation testing will help the developers verify the performance of the mobile apps on multiple devices and software configurations automatically. This process also helps improve the quality of the application currently being developed.

Two of the most prominent apps in the mobile application testing segment include Appium Inspector and UIAutomatorViewer. Using these tools, developers can inspect and analyze the user interface elements of modern mobile applications. They can also verify the proper placement and functioning of all the elements irrespective of the device size or other hardware configurations.

With this article, we are going to compare Appium Inspector with UIAutomatorViewer. This comparison will explain both tools’ features, advantages, capabilities, and limitations. We will also discuss some of the most critical factors developers must consider while choosing their preferred tool.

Introducing Appium Inspector and UIAutomatorViewer

Before diving deep into the comparison process, let us develop a basic idea about Appium Inspector and UIAutomatorViewer.

●      Appium Inspector

It is an open-source automation framework for verifying the performance of mobile applications. It supports the Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems and provides cross-platform application development.

The graphical interface allows testers to inspect and interact with the elements in mobile apps. It is beneficial for developers and testers who are automating mobile app test cases. It will enable them to identify the user interface elements and generate the automation test scripts.

●      UIAutomatorViewer

UIAutomatorViewer is a tool developed by Google and a component of the Android SDK. It is specifically designed to inspect the user interface elements present in modern Android applications. Using UIAutomatorViewer, testers can capture detailed information about the user interface hierarchy and attributes of the elements.

This testing approach will help the developers and testers understand the structure of the application’s interface and implement dedicated test cases accordingly.

Read Also: Mobile App Testing Best Practices: A Functional Approach

Comparative Analysis of Appium Inspector and UIAutomatorViewer

Let us compare Appium Inspector and UIAutomatorViewer based on some of the most critical parameters.

1.    User Interface

Appium Inspector

  • It has a user-friendly GUI that allows users to inspect and interact with all the elements in mobile apps.
  • It offers a tree-like structure representing a hierarchy of all the user interface elements. This process makes it easy to navigate and locate specific elements depending on the requirements of the testing project.
  • While using this tool, the users can interact with the elements directly within the Inspector. This approach facilitates real-time testing and validation of all the components.


  • UIAutomatorViewer also provides a graphical interface for inspecting user interface elements. However, this tool has a more practical design compared to Appium Inspector.
  • This tool represents the user interface hierarchy in a tree format similar to Appium Inspector. Thus, it also allows users to explore the application’s structure.
  • UIAutomatorViewer does not allow users to interact directly with elements. Therefore, users need to rely on the information gathered to write automation test scripts.

2.    Platform Support

Appium Inspector

  • Appium Inspector supports both iOS and Android platforms. Thus, it provides a versatile environment for cross-platform mobile app testing.
  • This tool integrates seamlessly with the Appium server. So, the users can inspect and automate the test cases for applications on various devices and platforms.


  • UIAutomatorViewer is designed to inspect only Android applications and is a part of the Android SDK.
  • This tool does not support iOS applications. Thus, it provides limited usability support for executing cross-browser testing scenarios.

3.    Element Inspection

Appium Inspector

  • Appium Inspector captures detailed information about user interface elements, including class name, resource ID, and text content.
  • While using this tool, the users can quickly identify and locate elements using various locating strategies such as class name, XPath, ID, and many others.
  • Appium Inspector’s interactive inspection mode allows testers to highlight elements on the device screen and view their properties in real-time during the testing process.


  • UIAutomatorViewer provides comprehensive information about all the user interface elements, including text content, resource ID, and content description.
  • This tool also offers a screenshot of the device screen with highlighted elements, which makes it easier for users to visualize the UI hierarchy.
  • However, UIAutomatorViewer does not support interaction with elements. So, users need to rely on the previously captured information to create the automation test scripts.

4.    Script Generation

Appium Inspector

  • It can generate automation test scripts depending on the inspected elements.
  • The testers can record actions performed on the application interface and generate corresponding test scripts in their preferred programming languages, including Python, Java, and others.
  • This feature also helps speed up the test automation process and simplify script creation for automation testers.


  • UIAutomatorViewer does not provide built-in support for generating the automation test scripts.
  • Therefore, the testers must manually write the scripts using the information gathered. So, it is a time-consuming and error-prone process compared to Appium Inspector’s script generation abilities.

5.    Flexibility And Extension

Appium Inspector

  • Appium Inspector is highly flexible and extensible, allowing users to customize automation test scripts according to their requirements.
  • It supports a wide range of testing frameworks and programming languages and enables integration with existing tools and test suites.
  • Therefore, the users can use the power of Appium Inspector’s rich ecosystem of plugins and extensions to enhance functionality and address specific testing concerns.


  • UIAutomatorViewer mainly focuses on UI inspection and does not offer extensive customization or extensibility options.
  • This tool’s functionality is limited to capturing UI hierarchy information, and the testers have limited scope for extending its capabilities beyond this approach.

Read Also: Functional Testing vs. Traditional Manual Testing: Pros and Cons

Best Practices for Mobile App Testing

To improve the efficiency and quality of the mobile app testing environment, we have mentioned some of the best practices that can help in this regard:

●      Defining The Testing Goals

Before beginning the testing process, the developers and testers must clearly outline the test cases’ requirements, objectives, and scope. It is also essential to implement specific backup measures that will help the smooth execution of the testing infrastructure in case of any unwanted obstacles.

●      Use of Multiple Devices and Platforms

The modern mobile application development industry is flooded with multiple devices with different hardware and software specifications. For reference, only in the Android segment are more than 1000 devices released annually. So, to improve the application’s compatibility, the developers must integrate multiple devices within the test bench.

However, setting up and maintaining a physical device testing lab is expensive and hectic. Alternatively, developers can execute these test instances on real devices and browsers through remote servers. These servers provide access to outdated browser versions and older devices for improved application compatibility.

Moreover, cloud platforms can be accessed from anywhere in the world without any geographical restrictions. One such cloud-based platform is LambdaTest. LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that lets you run manual and automated tests at scale with over 3000+ real devices, browsers, and OS combinations. This platform allows developers to execute mobile test cases with Appium on hundreds of real devices simultaneously. It also uses comprehensive test reports and live activity logs to improve test reporting and troubleshooting.

●      Implementing Experience Testing

The testers must evaluate the user interface, navigation, and overall user experience to ensure ease of use and intuitive design. It is important to remember that all the user interface elements will be responsible for helping the users navigate through the website and perform their goals. Therefore, UI elements are one of the most essential components of modern mobile apps.

●      Use of Performance Testing

The testers must verify the performance of all the mobile applications under various parameters, such as different network conditions, including 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi. This process will help ensure the smooth execution of the application irrespective of latency issues or unstable bandwidth.

●      Integrating Parallel Testing

Since modern mobile applications consist of thousands of elements requiring thorough testing, it would take several months to complete with individual test cases. Instead, the developers can integrate parallel test execution to run multiple test instances on different configurations and devices at the same time. This process will help them execute automated cross-browser testing on various devices and browser versions.

●      Use of Security Testing

The testers must identify and fix vulnerabilities to protect user data and prevent unauthorized access to the mobile application. This process becomes even more helpful when the developers work with sensitive applications like health and banking apps, which store user information, including transaction details.

●      Use of Regression Testing

Modern applications undergo frequent changes that add new features and fix the functioning of existing ones. So, developers must implement regression testing to ensure that all these new additions do not harm the functioning of the app’s existing elements. Moreover, by integrating regression testing with automation testing, the system can automatically initiate the test instances whenever it detects a code change.

●      Use of Load Testing

Evaluating the mobile application’s performance under heavy user loads, including unusual traffic, is crucial. These parameters will help the testers understand the scalability and reliability of the application infrastructure.

●      Documentation and Reporting

Finally, the testers must document all the crucial details, including test cases, results, and any issues encountered during the testing process. This data will help prevent known errors and provide future references and improvements within the application development process.

The Bottom Line

Both Appium Inspector and UIAutomatorViewer are valuable tools for inspecting and analyzing the user interface elements in mobile apps. However, these tools have slightly different features and capabilities depending on the changes in the use cases. Appium Inspector excels in its user-friendly interface, script generation capabilities, cross-browser support, and customization flexibility.

On the other hand, UIAutomatorViewer is tailored explicitly for inspecting Android apps and providing detailed information about user interface elements. Although it lacks some advanced features compared to Appium Inspector, it is a reliable tool for Android UI inspection within the Android ecosystem.

Selecting between Appium Inspector and UIAutomatorViewer depends on the specific requirements and user preferences. The nature of the mobile app development project will also play a decisive role in this process. Both of these tools are crucial in ensuring the reliability and quality of modern mobile apps in this competitive generation of app development.