Open Source iOS Testing Platforms to Consider When Testing Your Next App

By Jeff Vincent|

June 12, 2020

In the current iOS testing landscape, there are a variety of major players. In addition to Xcode’s native support for iOS testing, there are numerous popular open-source testing platforms that integrate easily with Xcode. This means that iOS dev teams will likely find that one platform that meets their team’s needs more easily than others.

Let’s break down some of the big players in the iOS testing platform landscape. We’ve picked five for your consideration the next time you have an app to test.

iOS Testing Platforms:

Xcode – XCTest, XCUITest

Xcode has two built-in testing options, XCTest and XCUITest, which ship with support for UI testing, performance regression testing, and unit testing.  

Features and Requirements

  • As XCTest is the built-in unit testing option, the only requirement here is having installed Xcode.
  • Both platforms support both Objective-C and Swift-based projects. ‍


Appium doesn’t make any assumptions about your codebase. Thus, there is no need to modify your app in order to automate the running of your testing suite.

Features and Requirements

  • Includes support for a wide range of languages including Java, Python, JavaScript, PHP, C#, and Ruby.
  • Works across devices, emulators, and simulators.
  • Can be installed from the source or directly from the JavaScript package manager, NPM.


KIF (Keep It Functional) offers UI testing built on top of native accessibility features originally designed for users with visual impairment. It’s become so popular because it allows development teams “…to drive your UI from your unit tests and reap all the advantages of testing in-process.”

Features and Requirements

  • Automatic integration with Xcode testing tools.
  • Supports iOS 8+ and Xcode 7+.
  • No need to install additional packages or to stand up an additional server.
  • KIF uses tap actions in order to mirror real user behavior as closely as possible.


Calabash is Xamarin-based and supported by Microsoft (though Microsoft has stated they will discontinue developing Calabash as of March 2020). That said, 1.8k stars on the GitHub repo seem to be a pretty strong endorsement.

Features and Requirements

  • Requires the installation of Ruby.


There are quite a few options for iOS development testing. That said, we know that many of these options have emerged as open-source favorites within the testing landscape. Xcode offers native unit and UI testing, while platforms like Appium and KIF make it simple to integrate extended iOS testing capabilities into your Xcode environment. Any choice you make must work best for your team, but these are a few testing platforms we hope you keep in mind the next time you go to test your app.

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