Appium is an open source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid and mobile web apps. Native apps are those written using the iOS, Android, or Windows SDKs. Mobile web apps are web apps accessed using a mobile browser (Appium supports Safari on iOS and Chrome or the built-in ‘Browser’ app on Android). Hybrid apps have a wrapper around a “webview” – a native control that enables interaction with web content. Projects like Phonegap, make it easy to build apps using web technologies that are then bundled into a native wrapper, creating a hybrid app.
Importantly, Appium is “cross-platform”: it allows you to write tests against multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Windows), using the same API. This enables code reuse between iOS, Android, and Windows testsuites.
Appium is built on the idea that testing native apps shouldn’t require including an SDK or recompiling your app. And that you should be able to use your preferred test practices, frameworks, and tools. Appium is an open source project and has made design and tool decisions to encourage a vibrant contributing community.
Use your favorite tools
Appium aims to automate any mobile app from any language and any test framework, with full access to back-end APIs and DBs from test code. Write tests with your favorite dev tools using all the above programming languages, and probably more (with the Selenium WebDriver API and language-specific client libraries).