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Building Instrumented Unit Tests

Instrumented unit tests are tests that run on physical devices and emulators, and they can take advantage of the Android framework APIs and supporting APIs, such as the Android Testing Support Library. You should create instrumented unit tests if your tests need access to instrumentation information (such as the target app's Context) or if they require the real implementation of an Android framework component (such as a Parcelable or SharedPreferences object).

Using instrumented unit tests also helps to reduce the effort required to write and maintain mock code. You are still free to use a mocking framework, if you choose, to simulate any dependency relationships.

Set Up Your Testing Environment

In your Android Studio project, you must store the source files for instrumented tests at module-name/src/androidTest/java/. This directory already exists when you create a new project and contains an example instrumented test.

Before you begin, you should download the Android Testing Support Library Setup, which provides APIs that allow you to quickly build and run instrumented test code for your apps. The Testing Support Library includes a JUnit 4 test runner (AndroidJUnitRunner ) and APIs for functional UI tests (Espresso and UI Automator).

You also need to configure the Android testing dependencies for your project to use the test runner and the rules APIs provided by the Testing Support Library. To simplify your test development, you should also include the Hamcrest library, which lets you create more flexible assertions using the Hamcrest matcher APIs.

In your app's top-level build.gradle file, you need to specify these libraries as dependencies:

dependencies {
    androidTestCompile 'com.android.support:support-annotations:24.0.0'
    androidTestCompile 'com.android.support.test:runner:0.5'
    androidTestCompile 'com.android.support.test:rules:0.5'
    // Optional -- Hamcrest library
    androidTestCompile 'org.hamcrest:hamcrest-library:1.3'
    // Optional -- UI testing with Espresso
    androidTestCompile 'com.android.support.test.espresso:espresso-core:2.2.2'
    // Optional -- UI testing with UI Automator
    androidTestCompile 'com.android.support.test.uiautomator:uiautomator-v18:2.1.2'

Caution: If your build configuration includes a compile dependency for the support-annotations library and an androidTestCompile dependency for the espresso-core library, your build might fail due to a dependency conflict. To resolve, update your dependency for espresso-core as follows:

androidTestCompile('com.android.support.test.espresso:espresso-core:2.2.2', {
    exclude group: 'com.android.support', module: 'support-annotations'

To use JUnit 4 test classes, make sure to specify AndroidJUnitRunner as the default test instrumentation runner in your project by including the following setting in your app's module-level build.gradle file:

android {
    defaultConfig {
        testInstrumentationRunner "android.support.test.runner.AndroidJUnitRunner"

Create an Instrumented Unit Test Class

Your instrumented unit test class should be written as a JUnit 4 test class. To learn more about creating JUnit 4 test classes and using JUnit 4 assertions and annotations, see Create a Local Unit Test Class.

To create an instrumented JUnit 4 test class, add the @RunWith(AndroidJUnit4.class) annotation at the beginning of your test class definition. You also need to specify the AndroidJUnitRunner class provided in the Android Testing Support Library as your default test runner. This step is described in more detail in Getting Started with Testing

The following example shows how you might write an instrumented unit test to test that the Parcelable interface is implemented correctly for the LogHistory class:

import android.os.Parcel;
import android.support.test.runner.AndroidJUnit4;
import android.util.Pair;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import java.util.List;
import static org.hamcrest.Matchers.is;
import static org.junit.Assert.assertThat;

public class LogHistoryAndroidUnitTest {

    public static final String TEST_STRING = "This is a string";
    public static final long TEST_LONG = 12345678L;
    private LogHistory mLogHistory;

    public void createLogHistory() {
        mLogHistory = new LogHistory();

    public void logHistory_ParcelableWriteRead() {
        // Set up the Parcelable object to send and receive.
        mLogHistory.addEntry(TEST_STRING, TEST_LONG);

        // Write the data.
        Parcel parcel = Parcel.obtain();
        mLogHistory.writeToParcel(parcel, mLogHistory.describeContents());

        // After you're done with writing, you need to reset the parcel for reading.

        // Read the data.
        LogHistory createdFromParcel = LogHistory.CREATOR.createFromParcel(parcel);
        List<Pair<String, Long>> createdFromParcelData = createdFromParcel.getData();

        // Verify that the received data is correct.
        assertThat(createdFromParcelData.size(), is(1));
        assertThat(createdFromParcelData.get(0).first, is(TEST_STRING));
        assertThat(createdFromParcelData.get(0).second, is(TEST_LONG));

Create a test suite

To organize the execution of your instrumented unit tests, you can group a collection of test classes in a test suite class and run these tests together. Test suites can be nested; your test suite can group other test suites and run all their component test classes together.

A test suite is contained in a test package, similar to the main application package. By convention, the test suite package name usually ends with the .suite suffix (for example, com.example.android.testing.mysample.suite).

To create a test suite for your unit tests, import the JUnit RunWith and Suite classes. In your test suite, add the @RunWith(Suite.class) and the @Suite.SuitClasses() annotations. In the @Suite.SuiteClasses() annotation, list the individual test classes or test suites as arguments.

The following example shows how you might implement a test suite called UnitTestSuite that groups and runs the CalculatorInstrumentationTest and CalculatorAddParameterizedTest test classes together.

import com.example.android.testing.mysample.CalculatorAddParameterizedTest;
import com.example.android.testing.mysample.CalculatorInstrumentationTest;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.junit.runners.Suite;

// Runs all unit tests.
public class UnitTestSuite {}

Run Instrumented Unit Tests

To run your instrumented tests, follow these steps:

  1. Be sure your project is synchronized with Gradle by clicking Sync Project in the toolbar.
  2. Run your test in one of the following ways:
    • To run a single test, open the Project window, and then right-click a test and click Run .
    • To test all methods in a class, right-click a class or method in the test file and click Run .
    • To run all tests in a directory, right-click on the directory and select Run tests .

The Android Plugin for Gradle compiles the instrumented test code located in the default directory (src/androidTest/java/), builds a test APK and production APK, installs both APKs on the connected device or emulator, and runs the tests. Android Studio then displays the results of the instrumented test execution in the Run window.

Note: While running or debugging instrumented tests, Android Studio does not inject the additional methods required for Instant Run and turns the feature off.

Run your tests with Firebase Test Lab

Using Firebase Test Lab, you can simultaneously test your app on many popular Android devices and device configurations (locale, orientation, screen size, and platform version). These tests run on physical and virtual devices in remote Google data centers. You can deploy apps to Test Lab directly from Android Studio or from the command line. Test results provide test logs and include the details of any app failures.

Before you start using Firebase Test Lab, you need to do the following unless you already have a Google account and a Firebase project:

  1. Create a Google account, if you don't have one already.
  2. In the Firebase console, click Create New Project.

    There is no charge to test your app with Test Lab within the free daily quota on the Spark plan.

Configure a test matrix and run a test

Android Studio provides integrated tools that allow you to configure how you want to deploy your tests to Firebase Test Lab. After you have created a Firebase project with Blaze plan billing, you can create a test configuration and run your tests:

  1. Click Run > Edit Configurations from the main menu.
  2. Click Add New Configuration and select Android Tests.
  3. In the Android Test configuration dialog:
    1. Enter or select the details of your test, such as the test name, module type, test type, and test class.
    2. From the Target drop-down menu under Deployment Target Options, select Firebase Test Lab Device Matrix.
    3. If you are not logged in, click Connect to Google Cloud Platform and allow Android Studio access to your account.
    4. Next to Cloud Project, click the button and select your Firebase project from the list.
  4. Create and configure a test matrix:
    1. Next to the Matrix Configuration drop-down list, click Open Dialog .
    2. Click Add New Configuration (+).
    3. In the Name field, enter a name for your new configuration.
    4. Select the device(s), Android version(s), locale(s) and screen orientation(s) that you want to test your app with. Firebase Test Lab will test your app against every combination of your selections when generating test results.
    5. Click OK to save your configuration.
  5. Click OK in the Run/Debug Configurations dialog to exit.
  6. Run your tests by clicking Run .

Figure 1. Creating a test configuration for Firebase Test Lab.

Analyzing test results

When Firebase Test Lab completes running your tests, the Run window will open to show the results, as shown in figure 2. You may need to click Show Passed to see all your executed tests.

Figure 2. Viewing the results of instrumented tests using Firebase Test Lab.

You can also analyze your tests on the web by following the link displayed at the beginning of the test execution log in the Run window.

To learn more about interpreting web results, see Analyze Firebase Test Lab for Android Results.

Additional sample code

To download a sample app about instrumented unit tests, see Android ActivityInstrumentation Sample.

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