7 iOS Testing Tools You Need to Know

As mobile app development is growing day by day as the number of users are increasing dramatically, therefore there is a need to move away from manual testing to test automation by using iOS testing tools. There are many tools available in the market that could help in testing iOS-based apps. In this article, we are going to discuss on 7 keys testing tools which are frequently used to automate and test iOS applications.


XCTest – iOS testing tool

XCTest iOS testing tool

XCTest is a testing framework which is used for unit testing. This framework is designed and developed by Apple Inc. It integrates well with IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and enables us to write test cases, and execute those test cases irrespective of using TDD workflow. OCUnit was used for unit testing prior to iOS 6 which has now deprecated and replaced with XCTest unit testing framework.

More information: XCTest


UI Automation – iOS testing tool

UI Automation iOS testing tool

It is framework provided by Apple Inc. for functional testing of UI based iOS applications. It supports black box testing and helps to simulate and automate end-user navigation on UI (User Interface) for the app under test. The UI Automation tool requires “instruments” to be used that comes with Xcode. In UI Automation tool, test scripts are written in JavaScript whereas the actual iOS code is written in Swift or Objective-C which are different programming languages.

The problem with the tool usage is that it does not have sufficient documentation and forum support. If the tester is stuck with error, then he has to deal with hit and trial methodology to troubleshoot the problem. Apple does not release the XCODE version very frequently and issues with the framework are rarely addressed. This Apple’s tool obeys Apple standard and does not support customization. If this tool does not meet our testing expectations, then there are a couple of third-party tools which can work in a better way than the UI Automation tool.

More information: UI Automation


APPIUM – iOS Test Automation

appium iOS testing tool

APPIUM is a well know, open source, free, cross-platform mobile automation framework for UI (User interface) testing. It delivers features which allow a tester to write automation UI test scripts for any mobile apps to automate testing. It not only supports iOS-based apps but also Android-based apps. Through APPIUM, you can use Selenium JSON writer and leverage its features. The robust automation features of Appium tool is promoting it towards an industry-wide standard for mobile testing just like Selenium WebDriver for browser-based Web application automation testing.

Appium test scripts for iOS-based applications are reusable and very easy to maintain. The tool has enough documentation maintained by APPIUM team and vast forum support which helps in easy troubleshooting of issues. It does not have a wide learning curve as other iOS automation tools. Also, this tool is the best match when it comes to testing an app which is developed across iOS, Android, and other OS supported by Appium tool.

Download: Appium


KIF (Keep It Functional) – iOS testing tool

Keep It Functional - iOS testing tool

KIF is another well known UI Automation tool for iOS-based applications testing. KIF stands for “Keep It Functional” which is also known as UI Automation ++. It is supplied by a third party vendor. It is an open source iOS Automation testing tool where the testers can write automation test scripts in a similar way as Apple’s UI Automation tool. The tester can simulate a user by simply tapping through App by defining access levels. It allows defining an application, that allows access to people which may access the application through audio messages or by other different means.

KIF operates in a much similar way as UI Automation in terms of defining the access level of the App under test. But KIF has an advantage over UI Automation is that it supports Objective-C language for writing test scripts and the learning curve to use KIF is very small when it comes to switching programming languages between Objective-C and JavaScript.

We can execute KIF tests with the same type of target where unit tests are getting executed but in case of UI Automation, we have to rely on another tool known as Instruments (i.e. profiler tool). GUI based tests are executed much faster in case of KIF than UI Automation.

Download: Keep It Functional (KIF)


OCmock– iOS testing tool

Ocmock iOS testing tool

It is a very good mock object framework which helps us to create stubs and mock objects of the utilities under test such as remote API (Application Programming Interface), web service, etc. This tool is heavily used to test UI objects which cannot be instantiated very easily with the help of unit tests.

Download: OCmock


FBSnapshotTestCase – iOS testing tool

FBSnapshotTestCase iOS testing tool

It is an automation tool provide by Facebook which helps us to verify the UI code by comparing the visuals against the existing saved screenshots. The difference comparison is far more granular than a full screenshot of the device. It allows picking a small UI view as well as a small piece of text to complicated images to compare against saved screenshots. Snapshot test cases can be isolated from UI view subclasses.

Download: FBSnapshotTestCase


FRANK – BDD for iOS Test Automation

frank iOS testing tool

If your testing requirement involves an end to end testing of the iOS-based app and you want to use Cucumber and BDD (Behaviour Driven Development) then FRANK is the best match as an iOS test automation tool. The tool allows us to create acceptance tests as well as requirements as feature files through Cucumber. The FRANK test automation tool delivers an ability to execute our BDD test cases against our iOS-based application as it behaves as an adaptor to connect the iOS app to cucumber framework. Cucumber can easily integrate with Frank tool and helps to automate test scenarios to compete for BDD requirements.

Download: Frank



There is an increased demand for iOS-based mobile apps and at the same time, there is a competition in the market to deliver the defect free mobile app. It has increased the need for iOS-based testing tools dramatically. The iOS testers are no longer relying on test automation tools supplied by Apple but they are looking forward to exploring other third-party iOS automation tool that caters to their testing need in the best way like using Cucumber and BDD, etc.

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