Appium Desktop Inspector – Part 2

  • vnull
  • Pub Jan 16, 2023
  • Edited Jan 17, 2023
  • 4 minutes read

Getting Started

In the last post Appium Desktop Inspector – Part 1 we successfully launched Appium Desktop Inspector in this post will cover the mobile inspection to gather Object Hierarchy Dump for automating our Python script.

We will be using Desktop Inspector to identify the elements in the mobile app

  • Find element by ID
  • Find element by ClassName
  • Find element by Tag Name
  • Find element by Accessibility ID
  • Find element by XPath

This steps will use Google calculator apk hosted on APKPure

With APKPure app store you can download Android apps without the Google Play store’s restrictions or Google Mobile Services installed. The Google Mobile Services is installed on this image, but we would highly suggest creating a dev gmail account. Unverified apps can be dangerous, as they can compromise your device and steal your data… This is for testing purpose only. Download and use at your own risk!s

Download Google calculator apk

Change /path-to-app/ were the download app.

  "deviceName": "My Phone",
  "udid": "emulator-5554",
  "platformName": "Android",  
  "platformVersion": "11",
  "automationName": "UiAutomator2",
  "app": "/path-to-app/Calc.apk",
  "noReset": true

Appium Desktop Inspector

Appium Desktop Viewer has 3 panes. Object hierarchy and selected element’s details are displayed in two different panes. Appium Desktop Inspector lets you interact with the mobile app

Open Appium Desktop Inspector and launch Google Calculator app.

Assume that we want run a calculation 2+4=

The Selected Element pane would show the details of the element that has just been selected. The pane has 3 buttons at the top – Tap, Send Keys and Clear. All these three buttons can be used to perform actions on the mobile app.

Select the number TWO this will be highlighted. Press the Tap

Screen will start getting refreshed. And after a few seconds, it will show the TWO.

This will also appear on the mobile device.

Both the accessibility id, id properties and Xpath of the elements are shown.

Appium Desktop Inspector shows Find By ids at the top

We will use the ID for this app as the XPath is not recommended in some cases.

Repeat the steps for all the keys or actions we want to complete.

The following Element IDs will be used in our script. You will have to select each element and inspect it.

Sometimes we will not get an ID and have to use XPath or other methods like Swipe and Tap at the top of the page.


Try different parts of the navigation bar

Refresh source screen is useful and Quit Session.

The most useful tool on the navigation bar is the Record.

This can give you hints to the code used for different languages. We are focused on python and will look at this.

Basic Code Snippet

Text Output:

el4 = driver.find_element_by_accessibility_id("2")
el5 = driver.find_element_by_accessibility_id("plus")
el6 = driver.find_element_by_accessibility_id("4")
el7 = driver.find_element_by_accessibility_id("equals")

Select the Boilerplate Code

# This sample code uses the Appium python client
# pip install Appium-Python-Client
# Then you can paste this into a file and simply run with Python

from appium import webdriver

caps = {}
caps["deviceName"] = "My Phone"
caps["udid"] = "emulator-5554"
caps["platformName"] = "Android"
caps["platformVersion"] = "11"
caps["automationName"] = "UiAutomator2"
caps["app"] = "/path-to/app/Calc.apk"
caps["noReset"] = True
caps["ensureWebviewsHavePages"] = True

driver = webdriver.Remote("http://localhost:4723/wd/hub", caps)

el4 = driver.find_element_by_accessibility_id("2")
el5 = driver.find_element_by_accessibility_id("plus")
el6 = driver.find_element_by_accessibility_id("4")
el7 = driver.find_element_by_accessibility_id("equals")

The find_element_by_accessibility_id is no no longer used, so this will not work in this instance, but gets the general outline of the code and is good start. This is an older version of Appium and not sure if this is updated in newer version.


This was all about identifying elements on your mobile app using Appium Desktop Inspector. Next we will use Python to code the calculation steps.

Next in the Series:

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