Master iOS Regression Testing: Tips & Tools

As developers, we understand the importance of testing our work before releasing it, especially in the world of iOS development. Therefore, iOS regression testing is crucial to ensuring that our software performs as intended, reducing technical debt and maintaining high code quality. This post will explore various iOS regression testing tools and regression testing techniques to elevate your development process and ensure your app meets the highest standards.

Get ready to take your tests to the next level!

What is Regression Testing?

In short, regression testing confirms that changes made to a software system have not negatively impacted its existing functionality. This process is necessary because changes to a software system, whether intended to fix bugs or add new features, can sometimes have unintended consequences and cause existing functionality to break.

By re-running previously run tests after developers make changes, developers can verify that the changes have not generated any regressions or negative impacts on the software. This procedure ensures that modifications to a software system do not adversely affect existing functionality, making it a crucial step in the software development cycle.

Why is Regression Testing Important?

It is vital to perform regression testing when releasing new versions of a software system to ensure that the software is stable and reliable. As discussed above, we want to ensure that we are not introducing bugs or errors in our work; Thus introducing more technical debt and making our lives harder.

iOS Regression Testing Tools
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

You might think that this is not necessary because your project is small, and you can manage to test most scenarios with some basic tests. But you might still need to grasp the benefits of a robust regression testing workflow.

Regression Testing Benefits

Here are several reasons why regression testing is essential in all project sizes and complexities:

  1. Quality assurance: Regression testing helps ensure that the software is of high quality and meets the desired level of functionality. By regularly performing regression testing, developers can identify and fix any issues that a change to the system may have introduced.
  2. Cost-effectiveness: Fixing issues after a software system has been released can be costly and time-consuming. So, developers can save time and money in the long run by identifying and fixing issues during the development process through regression testing.
  3. User satisfaction: If a software system has issues or bugs, it can lead to poor user experience and dissatisfaction. However, with regression testing, developers can confirm that their software is stable and reliable, leading to a better user experience.
  4. Maintaining trust: If a software system is unreliable or prone to issues, it can lead to a lack of confidence from users and stakeholders. That’s why it’s so necessary to regularly conduct regression testing for developers to demonstrate their commitment to maintaining the quality and reliability of their software, which can help build and maintain trust.

Now that we understand the importance of regression testing, let’s discuss some of the most popular tools in iOS.

Popular Regression Testing Tools for iOS

In the case of iOS development, several tools are available to help developers perform regression testing on their apps.


One popular tool for iOS regression testing is Apple’s XCTest framework. XCTest is a unit testing framework included with the Xcode development environment, allowing developers to write and run tests for their iOS apps. It supports unit tests, which test individual functions or methods, and UI tests, which test the app’s user interface.

With XCTest, developers can create tests that simulate user interactions with the app, such as tapping buttons or entering text, and verify that the app responds as expected. Additionally, XCTest supports asynchronous testing, allowing developers to test multi-threaded code and ensure it works correctly.

You can find an example in this article.


Calabash is an open-source framework that allows developers to write and run automated acceptance tests for iOS and Android apps. It uses Cucumber, a behavior-driven development (BDD) tool, to define test scenarios in natural language, making it easy for developers and non-technical stakeholders to understand and collaborate on test cases.

One of the critical benefits of Calabash is its ability to test apps on real devices, as well as on emulators and simulators. This feature allows developers to test their apps in various environments and get a more accurate representation of how they will perform on real devices.


Appium is an open-source, cross-platform test automation tool that allows developers to write tests for iOS and Android apps using a variety of programming languages, including Java, Python, and Ruby.

Like Calabash, Appium uses the BDD approach, allowing developers to define test scenarios in natural language. It also supports a wide range of testing types, including unit testing, functional testing, and performance testing.

One of Appium’s main advantages is its capacity to test native, hybrid, and web apps, making it a flexible solution for various testing requirements.

Commercial Tools

In addition to these free, open-source tools, several commercial tools are also available for iOS regression testing.

Here are some examples.


Waldo is an automation testing platform that allows anyone on your team to create reliable, automated mobile tests.

To speed up the QA testing procedure, Waldo automatically runs your test suite after you upload a new application build and tells you if any bugs, crashes, or UI issues are discovered.

Waldo can also automate regression testing on iOS apps by allowing developers to create and run tests that simulate user interactions, such as tapping buttons or entering text, and verify that the app responds as expected.


Another example is TestComplete, a test automation tool that allows developers to create and run tests for iOS and Android apps.

TestComplete supports a wide range of testing types, including unit testing, functional testing, and performance testing, and it provides various tools for managing and organizing test cases. It also offers integration with popular development tools and environments, such as Jenkins and Visual Studio, making it easy for developers to integrate regression testing into their workflow.

Perfecto Mobile

Perfecto Mobile is a cloud-based testing platform that allows developers to test their iOS and Android apps on various devices and operating systems. It provides tools for managing test cases and tracking defects, as well as real-time analytics and reporting capabilities.

Perfecto Mobile also offers various testing services, including manual, automated, and performance testing, making it a comprehensive solution for regression testing.

Regression Testing Best Practices

When developing a robust regression testing pipeline, following the best practices is essential. This will ensure that your test gives you an accurate and valid representation of the reality of your app.

Here are some best practices for regression testing:

Clearly define the scope of the regression tests

Determining the specific areas of the software system that will be tested as part of the regression testing process is crucial. This helps ensure that the tests are focused and relevant and can also help reduce the time and effort required to perform the tests.

Prioritize tests based on risk and impact

Not all tests are created equal, and it is crucial to prioritize the tests based on their potential risk and impact. For example, tests with a higher risk of breaking existing functionality or significant effects on the software system should be given higher priority.

Regularly review and update tests

As the software system evolves, it is essential to periodically review and update the regression tests to ensure they are still relevant and practical. This can help ensure that the tests cover the software system’s most important areas and provide valuable feedback.

Use automated testing tools

Automated testing tools can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of regression testing. By using automated tools, developers can re-run tests quickly and consistently, and they can also be used to test large and complex software systems.

Leverage test cases and scripts

Test cases and scripts can help ensure the regression tests are thorough and consistent. Test cases and scripts should be well-documented and easy to understand and cover a wide range of scenarios and conditions.

Use real devices for testing when possible

Testing on real devices is crucial because it provides a more accurate representation of how the software will perform in the real world. It is also essential to test various devices and operating systems to ensure the software is compatible and functions correctly on different hardware and software configurations.

Following these best practices can help ensure that the regression testing process is efficient, effective, and valuable for maintaining the quality and reliability of the software system.

Regression Test Scenario

Let’s consider a possible scenario for regression testing with a tool like Waldo.

Imagine you are working on an iOS app that allows users to create and share lists of their favorite songs. In addition, this app has a feature that allows users to search for songs by artist, album, or title.

Your manager is asking you to make some changes to the app’s search feature, and you want to confirm that the changes have not negatively impacted the app’s existing functionality.

To perform regression testing on the app using Waldo, you could use the tool to create a set of tests that cover the various search scenarios and conditions.

Since Waldo allows developers to define tests using natural language, you could quickly build and run a test workflow on a simulator or actual device to see if the app behaves correctly after the changes.

If the tests pass, it indicates that the changes have not negatively impacted the app’s search feature, and you can proceed with further testing and development. Conversely, if the tests fail, it indicates that there may be an issue with the changes, and you can investigate and fix the problem before continuing.

In Conclusion

Regression testing is a crucial aspect of the software development process that helps ensure our systems’ quality, reliability, and stability. 

By performing regression testing, developers can prevent the introduction of new bugs and errors, maintain user satisfaction, and build trust with stakeholders. 

With various tools available for iOS regression testing, such as XCTest, Calabash, and Appium, developers can choose the most suited to their needs. In addition, following best practices for regression testing, including defining the scope, prioritizing tests, and using real devices, ensures an efficient and effective process. 

By incorporating regression testing into your development pipeline, you can be confident that your software will perform as intended, providing a better user experience and reducing technical debt.

This post was originally written for and published by





One response to “Master iOS Regression Testing: Tips & Tools”

  1. […] you want to learn more about testing, check out this article. I break down how to effectively implement regression testing in your apps with […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.