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How to Use Appium for Fire TV App Test Automation

How to Automate App Testing on Amazon Fire TV Using Appium-Python

June 21, 2023
 by 
Abins BabuAbins Babu
Abins Babu

As the popularity of streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV continues to soar, ensuring the quality and functionality of Fire TV apps becomes increasingly crucial. Testing apps on Amazon Fire TV can be complicated and time-consuming. However, with the help of Appium, it becomes much more efficient. Appium for Samsung Tizen TV provides a reliable framework for automating the testing of Fire TV apps, allowing developers to test apps on Amazon Fire TV seamlessly and identify potential issues early in the development cycle. By leveraging the capabilities of Appium, teams can ensure that their apps are compatible with Fire TV devices, deliver consistent performance, and provide a seamless user interface.

Whether you are a developer or a QA professional, this blog will help you navigate the process of automating your Fire TV app testing using Appium. We explore the various techniques and best practices to test on Amazon Fire TV OS, ensuring your apps function flawlessly on real Fire TV devices.

How is Fire TV Testing Different from Android TV Testing?

Fire TV app testing and Android TV app testing are similar in many aspects, as both platforms are based on Android. However, there are some differences that developers should consider when testing apps for Fire TV and Android TV. Here are a few key differences:

  • User Interface (UI): Fire TV and Android TV have slightly different UI designs. Fire TV uses Amazon's customized user interface, while Android TV follows Google's design principles. During testing, it is essential to ensure that the app's UI is optimized and functional on both platforms.
  • Input Methods: Fire TV devices typically have a remote control with a D-pad, navigation buttons, and voice search capabilities. On the other hand, Android TV devices can have various input methods, including remote control, gamepad, and even touch controls in some cases. Testing should ensure the app functions correctly with the available input methods on both platforms.
  • App Store Distribution: Fire TV apps are distributed through the Amazon Appstore, while Android TV apps can be distributed through multiple channels, including the Google Play Store. Testing should account for each app store's specific requirements and guidelines to ensure compliance and successful distribution.
  • Amazon Services Integration: Fire TV devices are tightly integrated with Amazon services such as Alexa voice assistant, Amazon Prime Video, and Amazon Music. Testing should include scenarios that involve these services, such as voice commands, playback, and content integration.
  • Device Fragmentation: Both Fire TV and Android TV platforms are available on various devices from different manufacturers, resulting in device fragmentation. Testing should cover a range of devices with different specifications, screen sizes, and performance capabilities to ensure app compatibility and optimal performance across devices.
  • Feature Support: Fire TV and Android TV may differ regarding supported features or APIs. Testing should verify that platform-specific features or integrations are implemented correctly and function as expected on the respective platforms.

Despite these differences, many testing practices and tools used for Android app testing can be applied to both Fire TV and Android TV app testing. It is essential to refer to the specific documentation and guidelines provided by Amazon and Google for comprehensive testing and quality assurance on each Platform.

What Are the Steps to Automate App Testing on Amazon Fire TV?

You can test apps on Amazon Fire TV using Appium for Samsung Tizen TV and Python.

Appium for Samsung Tizen TV is an open-source automation framework used to automate mobile apps and web apps. On the other hand, Python is one of the most popular programming languages and is often used for automation tasks. 

Here are the broad steps to automate Fire TV apps using Appium for Samsung Tizen TV Python:

1. Set up the environment:

  • Install Python: Install Python on your system if it's not already installed.
  • Install pip: Pip is a package installer for Python. Install it if it's not already available.
  • Install Appium-Python Client: Use pip to install the Appium-Python Client library, which allows communication between your Python script and the Appium server. You can use the following commands:

pip install appium
pip install python
  • Install Node.js: Appium requires Node.js to run. Install Node.js on your system if it's not already installed.
  • Install Appium: Use npm (Node Package Manager) to install Appium globally by running the following command: 

npm install -g appium.
Enhance your smart TV app’s experience with data science driven performance insights. Know more.

2. Connect the Fire TV device:

Ensure your Fire TV device or emulator is connected and accessible by the computer running the Appium server. You may need to enable ADB (Android Debug Bridge) debugging on the Fire TV device.

3. Configure Appium and create a new project:

To create a new project with the desired capabilities set up for your Fire TV device, you will need to specify the following information such as:

  • The path to the Appium server
  • The platform name
  • The platform version
  • The device name
  • The app package name
  • The app activity name

These details can be obtained from the Fire TV device or emulator you intend to test.

Don’t Rely on iOS Emulators & Android Simulators. Test on Real Devices

4. Write an automation script:

  • To write the script, you can create a config file and test file or leverage frameworks like Unittest or Pytest. 
  • Develop your test cases using the available methods provided by the Appium-Python Client. These methods include interacting with elements, performing actions, and verifying expected results. 

The following is an example of a test script that opens the Netflix app on Fire TV:


from appium import webdriver
 
driver = webdriver.Remote('http://localhost:4723/wd/hub', desired_capabilities={
    'platformName': 'Android',
    'deviceName': 'Fire TV',
    'appPackage': 'com.netflix.ninja',
    'appActivity': 'com.netflix.ninja.ui.splashscreen.SplashScreenActivity'
})
 
driver.find_element_by_id('com.netflix.ninja:id/login_button').click()
 
driver.find_element_by_id('com.netflix.ninja:id/username_edit_text').send_keys('your_username')
 
driver.find_element_by_id('com.netflix.ninja:id/password_edit_text').send_keys('your_password')
 
driver.find_element_by_id('com.netflix.ninja:id/login_button').click()

5. Run the automation script:

  • Start the Appium server: Launch the Appium server by running the command 'appium' in a terminal or command prompt window.
  • Run test scripts: Execute your Python test scripts using the testing framework of your choice. The tests will communicate with the Appium server, which in turn interacts with the Fire TV device.
  • Use a Continuous Integration (CI) server like Jenkins to automate the execution of your test scripts. This will allow you to run your tests on a regular basis and ensure that your Amazon Fire TV app is working properly.

How to Automate Fire TV Remote Control Navigation

As we have already discussed, to test Fire TV apps, you must automate remote control navigation within the app.

The following is an example of how to use the pressKey() method for setting up functions for every action on the Amazon Fire TV remote control:


def up(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_DPAD_UP
 
        Value: 19
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(19)
        print("   + Navigate Up")
    
    def down(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_DPAD_DOWN
 
        Value: 20
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(20)
        print("   + Navigate Down")
    
    def left(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_DPAD_LEFT
 
        Value: 21
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(21)
        print("   + Navigate Left")
    
    def right(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_DPAD_RIGHT
 
        Value: 22
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(22)
        print("   + Navigate Right")
 
    def select(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_DPAD_CENTER
 
        Value: 23
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(23)
        print("   + selected")
    
    def home(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_HOME
 
        Value: 3
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(3)
        print("   + Press Home")
    
    def back(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_BACK
 
        Value: 4
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(4)
        print("   + Press Back")
    
    def menu(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_MENU
 
        Value: 82
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(82)
        print("   + Press Menu")
    
    def fast_forward(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_MEDIA_FAST_FORWARD
 
        Value: 90
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(90)
        print("   + Press Fast Forward")
    
    def play_pause(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_MEDIA_PLAY_PAUSE
 
        Value: 85
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(85)
        print("   + Press Play Pause")
    
    def rewind(self):
        '''
        KEYCODE_MEDIA_REWIND
 
        Value: 89
        '''
        self.driver.press_keycode(89)
        print("   + Press Rewind")

How You Can Troubleshoot Your Test Session

Amazon Fire TV app test automation using Appium can be challenging. If you are having trouble running your Amazon Fire TV test script, there are a few things you can check:

  • Make sure that Appium is installed and running.
  • Ensure that Python is installed and running.
  • Verify that your test script is saved with a .py extension.
  • Check whether your test script is syntactically correct.
  • Confirm that the key codes you are using are correct.
Learn more: Appium vs. Espresso — which one to use for automating Android app testing

How HeadSpin Empowers Organizations to Seamlessly Conduct Amazon Fire TV App Testing with Appium

HeadSpin presents a comprehensive solution to effortlessly run app automation on Amazon Fire TV, significantly boosting the speed and efficiency of Fire TV app development and testing. 

The Platform's integration with Appium enables you to streamline the entire Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) process. This integration lets you create robust Appium scripts with ease, reduces the complexities associated with test frameworks, and facilitates parallel testing on over-the-top (OTT) devices.

Moreover, HeadSpin's AI-driven capabilities enable you to evaluate the user experience and optimize the streaming performance, capturing crucial Quality of Experience (QoE) metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).

By leveraging HeadSpin, organizations can:

  • Automate the testing process for Fire TV with Appium, enhancing overall efficiency.
  • Conduct tests on authentic Fire TV devices, allowing for quicker identification and resolution of issues.
  • Employ a unified platform that caters to all non-functional requirements. (NFRs) and functional testing needs for Fire TVs and their applications.
  • Enhance overall testing efficiency, elevating user engagement and driving revenue growth.

Conclusion

Appium allows for automated testing of Fire TV apps, enabling developers to perform comprehensive testing across different devices and scenarios. It provides the flexibility to write tests using various programming languages, making it accessible to a wide range of developers. By utilizing Appium's powerful features and capabilities, developers and QA teams can ensure the quality and functionality of their Fire TV apps while saving time and effort.

With its extensive global device infrastructure, the HeadSpin Platform allows you to test Fire TV apps using Appium on real Amazon Fire TV devices, ensuring accurate and reliable results. 

Leverage HeadSpin's advanced capabilities to automate app testing on Amazon Fire TV, streamline your testing workflows, and gain valuable insights into your app's performance.

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FAQs

Q1. What does ADB debugging on FireStick entail?

Ans: ADB debugging on a FireStick allows you to connect your computer for app installation, testing, and debugging. Enable debugging on the Fire TV device and set up ADB on your computer beforehand.

Q2. What is the process for installing third-party apps on FireStick?

Ans: To install apps from unknown sources on your FireStick, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Settings section on your FireStick.
  2. Open "My Fire TV."
  3. Select "About" from the options.
  4. Tap on the Fire TV Stick option repeatedly until you receive a message indicating that you are now a developer.
  5. Once you have activated developer options, you can click on "Apps from Unknown Sources" to install third-party apps.

How to Automate App Testing on Amazon Fire TV Using Appium-Python

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