Automating React Native apps

# Automating React Native apps

# Problem

Let's say we have a React Native app with component defined like this

<Button testID='someButton'>My button</Button>

If you will try to execute a simple test like


it will work correctly on iOS (with XUITest driver), but on Android's UIAutomator2 it will give you an error

Touch actions like "tap" need at least some kind of position information like "element", "x" or "y" options, you've none given.

This happens because of the way React Native implements testID for Android, it puts provided value into the View tag (opens new window), as could be found in the source code (opens new window). But UIAutomator doesn't have any means to work with view tags.

# Solutions

As many resources suggest (like here (opens new window) or here (opens new window)), you could use testID for iOS and accesibilityLabel for Android, but accessibilityLabel is a user-facing text that's intended for ... accesibility, not for UI tests, and you will need to switch it off for production builds.

Another way to solve this issue is to use Espresso driver for Android. At first you need to enable Espresso driver for your Android configuration. You could do it just by changing automationName in the helpers section of the config file:

  helpers: {
    Appium: {
      app: '/path/to/apk.apk',
      platform: 'Android',
      desiredCapabilities: {
        automationName: 'Espresso',
        platformVersion: '9',
        deviceName: 'Android Emulator'

Then you could locate components using XPath expression:

I.tap({android: '//*[@view-tag="someButton"]', ios: '~someButton'})

This way test would work for both platforms without any changes in code. To simplify things further you could write a helper function:

function tid(id) {
  return {
    android: `//*[@view-tag="${id}"]`,
    ios: '~' + id

Now test will look more concise

Last Updated: 2/5/2021, 2:49:41 AM