Implementing Long Press and Drag-and-Drop in Appium for iOS Apps

Implementing Long Press and Drag-and-Drop in Appium for iOS Apps

5 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When automating mobile application tests using Appium, you might encounter scenarios where you need to perform complex gestures such as long presses followed by dragging and dropping an element to a new location. This can be particularly challenging on iOS devices. In this guide, we will walk through a practical solution to implement a long press and drag-and-drop action in Appium.

Understanding the Gesture

The gesture we are aiming to automate involves two steps:

  1. Long pressing on a UI element within the app.
  2. Moving that element to a desired location on the screen.

The Appium Approach

To accomplish this gesture in Appium, we will use the TouchAction class to chain together a series of actions that simulate the user’s touch. Below is a code snippet that demonstrates how to use Appium’s TouchAction to perform a long press on an element and then move it to another element:

TouchAction action = new TouchAction(driver);

Breaking Down the Code

  • TouchAction: This is the class that provides us with methods to create a chain of touch actions.
  • longPress(elem1): This method initiates a long press on the first element (elem1).
  • waitAction(3000): After initiating the long press, this method tells Appium to wait for 3 seconds. This is important for ensuring that the long press is recognized by the application.
  • moveTo(elem2): This method moves the element to the second element’s (elem2) location.
  • perform(): This method executes the chain of actions we have defined.
  • release(): Finally, this method releases the touch, effectively dropping the element in the new location.

Practical Tips

When implementing this in your test script, keep in mind the following:

  • Make sure you have correctly located the UI elements (elem1 and elem2) using the appropriate selectors.
  • The duration of the wait action may need to be adjusted based on the responsiveness of the app you are testing.
  • Always call release() after perform() to ensure that the element is dropped at the desired location.


Long press and drag-and-drop gestures can be critical actions within your mobile application’s user experience. By using the TouchAction class in Appium, you can effectively automate these gestures for your iOS app testing. Remember to adjust the wait times as necessary and ensure your element selectors are accurate for successful gesture automation.

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