Appium vs Selenium: Choosing the Right Test Automation Tool

Organizations must stay up with the rapidly advancing technology and take advantage of every available tool to boost production, cut expenses, and increase efficiencies. To make sure an application is reliable and provides the best user experience, it must undergo extensive testing.

Due to the higher possibility of error, manual testing may take longer to complete. Since several builds must be released under very strict schedules, test teams must now adopt test automation to stay up with the fast-paced environment. Automation testing is a wonderful fit for today’s continuous development processes because modern application development involves a high level of automation, from source code analysis to testing and deployment.

Faster feature releases for mobile and web apps are made possible through automation testing. There are several test automation frameworks and technologies available on the market to assist QA specialists in conducting automated testing. They help to minimize the need for human interaction while enhancing the testing process’ speed, dependability, and efficiency.

But to quickly deliver a trustworthy application, it’s critical to use the appropriate testing framework. The two frameworks that are currently most frequently suggested in this field are Selenium and Appium. Although both of their capabilities are similar, there are significant differences in what they can and cannot achieve. Testers will have an advantage when selecting them if they understand the details of how and what they work on.

To assist the test team in making an informed choice, this article compares the two most widely used automated testing platforms and highlights their major characteristics. So let’s start with the definition and then go a little deeper to grasp the advantages and disadvantages of Selenium and Appium.


Selenium has been around in the field of automation for a while, and it is widely acknowledged as the foundational framework for all subsequent automation testing tools. It is a browser automation framework for test automation. It has many built-in libraries for automating web application testing. Nearly all online browsers, including Mozilla, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and Firefox, can be automated with it, and they function well on various operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.

Functional and regression test scenarios are best tested using Selenium. It has a variety of tools in its toolbox that work with the majority of current web browsers. The ability to write functional test cases using a variety of programming languages, including Python, JavaScript, Ruby, Java, C#, etc., makes this a crucial component for web developers.

Components of Selenium

Selenium is a collection of tools that addresses various testing requirements. With the use of these technologies, testers may automatically verify the cross-browser compatibility of their web apps on desktop computers and mobile devices. Selenium WebDriver, Selenium IDE, and Selenium Grid are its three components. Selenium Remote Control (Selenium RC), which was formerly a part of the suite but has since been deprecated because of some serious drawbacks, Let’s quickly explain each component.

Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver is a group of free and open-source APIs. It is especially useful when running Selenium tests on various browsers. Without using JavaScript, the framework interacts with browsers directly by taking commands and passing them to a browser. As WebDriver supports the headless HtmlUnit browser without a GUI, the test execution cycle can be sped up without having to wait for page elements to load.

Webdriver is compatible with a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Linux, MacOS, and browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. It also supports a variety of programming languages, including Java, Phyton, PHP, and others.

Selenium IDE

The recording tool Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment),  is a Firefox and Chromium plug-in used to capture and replay tests. The tool used to create and edit Selenium test cases for web applications. Even beginners can use it because there are no special setup requirements other than adding the extension for the tester’s particular browser.

Selenium Grid

With the aid of Selenium Grid, testers may execute several tests concurrently on various workstations, operating systems, and browsers. It’s a huge relief for heavy test loads, allowing QA to manage massive test suites more quickly and cut down on the overall time needed to do a parallel-testing complete pass. It executes the test scripts in parallel using the hub-and-nodes design principle. Each node connected to the hub receives Selenium commands from the hub as a central source.

Selenium key features

  • The cost of licenses is reduced by the open-source nature of Selenium and its ease of use.
  • Offers compatibility with a variety of operating systems, including Mac, Linux, and Windows.
  • Allows programmers or quality assurance specialists the freedom to construct scripts in any programming language of their choice, including Java, Ruby, Python, etc.
  • Leading web browsers including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are supported by selenium scripts.
  • Provide Selenium Grid’s parallel test execution functionality, which shortens the time it takes to run tests.
  • Provides reliable documentation assistance.
  • It permits integration with a variety of third-party plug-ins and packages that are available on the market.
  • Has broad community support because it is widely used by QAs worldwide.
  • Simple to use and learn.
  • Mobile testing is possible with the Selenium framework.

Limitations of Selenium

Without a doubt, Selenium is the most widely used tool on the market for test automation and provides a wide range of resources that could be helpful for automation testing. When there is a large application and a mix of new and old technologies, it is the ideal option. Selenium is probably chosen if the organization needs an automation framework that can be integrated with both browsers and mobile devices. But, employing selenium has certain drawbacks as well.

  • Selenium has a potentially challenging learning curve. Setting up a solid framework can be challenging for someone new to automation testing. The greatest use of the Selenium Framework necessitates specialized knowledge and excellent coding skills.
  • Because Selenium only functions with browser-specific drivers, it is dependent on Webdriver. For instance, a chrome driver is required to perform tests on Chrome. As a result, test execution takes longer, and it might occasionally be challenging to match browser and driver versions.

Let’s look at Appium right now


The most well-known open-source framework for automating mobile testing is called Appium. It was created to test mobile web, hybrid, and native applications. They are all driven by the mobile JSON wire protocol, which is an extension of the Selenium JSON wire protocol. Programming in several languages, including Java, PHP, Perl, Python, etc., is possible with Appium.

The comprehensive ability of Appium to write tests across several mobile platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows is the reason for its popularity.  Appium makes mobile app automation testing simple with its robust cross-platform capabilities and other unique features.

Appium architecture

The Appium architecture consists of three components

  • Appium Client – This term describes the automatic scripting codes that contain the configuration information for the mobile application and device.
  • Appium Server- The Node.js programming language is used to script the Appium server. It performs signal and command requests that are sent to mobile devices in JSON format from the Appium client libraries. The server communicates with several operating systems, including iOS and Android.
  • End Device – This mimics a real-world mobile device or an emulator. Receiving commands from the user enables the Appium server to run automated scripts.

Appium key features

The following are some of the key characteristics of the Appium mobile testing tool that make it a fantastic option for automated mobile app testing.

  • Because Appium is cross-platform compatible, testers can test apps on both iOS and Android devices and many platforms.
  • Appium makes it possible to test mobile web applications automatically. It can therefore be used to evaluate web applications that are accessed through a mobile browser. Thus making it popular with teams who want to test their mobile apps efficiently and rapidly.
  • Developers and testers seeking an affordable method for automating mobile app testing may find it to be an appealing choice due to its open source and free usage policies.
  • It aims to automate mobile apps regardless of the testing framework and programming language, with complete access to back-end APIs and databases from test code.
  • Appium is supported by a large user and development community that may offer assistance and support if any issues arise while using it.
  • Additionally, Appium allows for simple test execution on physical devices and is compatible with well-known CI/CD technologies like Jenkins and Travis CI.

Choosing between Appium and Selenium

The mobile application automation tool Appium was created specifically for testing mobile apps. It offers the capability to automate testing and supports a wide range of programming languages and frameworks. Using NodeJS, Appium was developed as an HTTP server. A tester must first install NodeJS on the PC to launch and use the Appium server. Appium is a superior option if one wants to automate the testing of native and hybrid mobile applications.

On the other hand, Selenium is a popular tool for automating web applications. It is intended to start web app testing by automatically directing various browser actions. Selenium can be the best option if the testing requirements are mostly focused on web applications. Depending on the needs of the project, it is also feasible to utilize the two tools in combination.

In short, Appium and Selenium are both open-source, cross-platform automation testing technologies. Appium, on the one hand, expedites the testing of mobile, hybrid, and native web applications. On the other hand, Selenium has several capabilities that make it easier to create different web apps. As a result, testers must take into account the necessary needs of the testing requirements eventually and determine which of Appium and Selenium should be used.

Leveraging both the tools in the LambdaTest platform

Regardless of whether to choose Appium or Selenium. Using them for testing on actual devices is the best way to get the most out of these two or any other automation framework.

Utilizing an effective testing platform helps speed up the development process, reduces compatibility problems, and guarantees that users have a positive user experience across all browsers and devices.

For efficient cross browser and mobile app testing, you can digital experience testing platform like LambdaTest.

With LambdaTest, testers can conduct automated Selenium testing for their website or web application on a cloud Selenium Grid of more than 3000 real devices, browsers, and operating systems without needing any setup or configuration.

Additionally, it offers automated mobile app testing using Appium and other frameworks on a cloud of real Android and iOS devices.

The use of LambdaTest facilitates quick evaluation of a website or web application’s functionality and performance. The platform has a wide range of functions, including parallel testing that enables users to execute tests simultaneously on many machines.


Users find Appium and Selenium particularly appealing because they are both free. These are automation tools that help developers and QA testers speed up their test cycles by enabling them to automate test scenarios for apps and lessen human error and interference.

The fact that Appium and Selenium offer a level of versatility and simplicity in their operation makes them the most well-liked test automation technologies. This might lead to testing that is quick and effective, which might give developers more control and assurance.

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