Xcode UI Testing vs. The UI Automation Instrument

June 28, 2015
xcode icon derivative

Image by Yung-Luen Lan

Previously I introduced how to use Xcode UI Testing (UIT) in Xcode 7, but what about the existing UI testing that has been in existence for years via the UI Automation (UIA) Instrument? In this article I’m going to step through the differences and similarities between these two competing solutions to iOS UI testing.





What does UI Testing do better?


What does UIA do better?


Which one should I use?

If your starting UI testing in your app for the first time I’d recommend using UI Testing in Xcode since it is integrated more nicely, is easier to get up and running and will likely the way forward. Apple has officially deprecated UI Automation in Xcode 7 and since there is no support for converting existing JavaScript tests to the new Swift format any investment is unwise.

To see some examples and documentation of some Xcode UI testing limitations check out my GitHub project.


This is part 2 of a 3-part series on Xcode UI Testing…

Read Part 1: How to Use iOS UI Testing in Xcode

Read Part 3: Advanced UI Testing: Strategies, Hidden Gems and Limitations