Automating Google Instant Apps with Appium: A Step-by-Step Guide

Automating Google Instant Apps with Appium: A Step-by-Step Guide

21 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Google Instant Apps offer a seamless experience by allowing users to access apps without having to install them. This unique feature, however, presents challenges when it comes to automation testing, especially with tools like Appium. In this article, we will guide you through the process of automating Google Instant Apps using Appium.

Understanding the Basics

Google Instant Apps are launched through a browser, which then opens an app container with the cached app. The main challenge in automating Instant Apps is switching the handle from the browser to the app container. This is akin to handling Deep Links in Appium.

Step-by-Step Automation Process

1. Setting Up Your Environment

Ensure you have the latest version of Appium installed and configured on your machine. You can follow our detailed guide on setting up Appium for Android automation.

2. Launching the Instant App

To launch the Instant App, you need to navigate to the URL that triggers the Instant App. Use the following Appium command to open the browser and navigate to the desired URL:


3. Switching to the App Container

Once the Instant App is launched, you need to switch the context from the browser to the app container. This can be done using the context API in Appium:

        Set contextHandles = driver.getContextHandles();
        for (String contextHandle : contextHandles) {
            if (contextHandle.contains("WEBVIEW")) {

This code snippet loops through the available context handles and switches to the one containing “WEBVIEW,” which is typically the app container.

4. Interacting with the Instant App

After switching the context, you can interact with the Instant App just like any other mobile app. Use Appium’s element locating strategies to find and interact with elements:

        WebElement element = driver.findElement("element-id"));;

Best Practices

  • Ensure your Appium server is running and properly configured.
  • Use explicit waits to handle any asynchronous loading issues.
  • Regularly update your Appium and browser drivers to avoid compatibility issues.

Enhance Your Automation with Repeato

While Appium is a powerful tool, it can sometimes be slow and unstable, especially for complex scenarios like Instant Apps. This is where Repeato shines. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that leverages computer vision and AI to create, run, and maintain automated tests quickly and efficiently. Unlike Appium, Repeato tests are faster to create and execute, providing a more robust and reliable solution for your automation needs.

For further reading, check out our articles on running test batches and handling test exceptions.

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