Streamline Your React Native Testing with Maestro

Vinicius Petrachin
5 min readJan 9, 2023
Image sample maestro working — https://maestro.mobile.dev/

If you’re a developer working with React Native, you know the importance of thoroughly testing your app before releasing it to the public. But manually testing every feature and functionality can be time-consuming and error-prone. That’s where Maestro comes in.

Maestro is a tool that allows you to automate your end-to-end (e2e) testing in React Native. It works by simulating user interactions with your app and verifying that the expected behavior occurs. This helps ensure that your app is functioning correctly and is ready for release.

One of the key benefits of using Maestro is that it can save you a lot of time. Instead of manually testing every feature, you can use Maestro to do it for you in a fraction of the time. This frees up your time to focus on other tasks, such as adding new features or fixing bugs.

Another strength of Maestro is its ability to catch errors and issues that might be missed during manual testing. Because it simulates real user interactions, it can uncover problems that you might not have thought to look for. This can save you from releasing an app with serious bugs or issues that could turn users off.

So, how do you implement Maestro in your React Native app? First, you’ll need to install the Maestro package using npm. Then, you’ll need to write test scripts that define the actions you want Maestro to take and the expected outcomes. Finally, you’ll run the tests using the Maestro command line interface.

Installing Maestro

Here I will be showing how to install Maestro on Mac OS machine! If you’re using a different platform, just follow the official documentation at this link: https://maestro.mobile.dev/getting-started/installing-maestro.

This tutorial will be a reference to the official documentation, so make sure to check it out for more detailed instructions.

Installing the CLI

To get started, you’ll need to install the Maestro command line interface (CLI). To do this, open up your terminal and enter the following command:

curl -Ls "https://get.maestro.mobile.dev" | bash

This will install the latest version of Maestro on your machine. If you want to install a specific version, you can do so by declaring a MAESTRO_VERSION property and running the same installation command:

export MAESTRO_VERSION={version}; curl -Ls "https://get.maestro.mobile.dev" | bash

Note that this method is not supported for installations through Homebrew. In that case, you can upgrade Maestro by running the following command:

brew upgrade maestro

Before you can run Maestro flows on your iOS simulator, you’ll need to install and launch idb_companion. To do this, enter the following commands in your terminal:

brew tap facebook/fb
brew install facebook/fb/idb-companion
idb_companion --udid {id of the iOS device}

You can find your device id by using the xcrun simctl list command. Note that at the moment, Maestro does not support real iOS devices.

That’s it! You’ve successfully installed Maestro on your Mac OS machine. Now you’re ready to start automating your end-to-end testing in React Native.

What can I test?

There are a number of use cases for Maestro in React Native development. For example, you can use it to test the login flow of your app, verify that the proper data is displayed on different screens, or ensure that your app’s performance is up to par.

In addition to the benefits for your development process, implementing e2e testing with Maestro can also provide value to your users. By thoroughly testing your app, you can ensure that it delivers the best possible experience and reduces the number of bugs or issues they encounter.

Overall, Maestro is a powerful tool for automating e2e testing in React Native. It can save you time, catch errors that might be missed during manual testing, and improve the quality of your app. So if you’re not already using it, consider giving it a try and see how it can speed up your development process.

Maestro, Appium, Jest or Appium: What’s the best choice?

If you’re a developer working with React Native, you might be wondering which testing tool is the best choice for your project. There are several options available, including Maestro, Jest, Detox, and Appium. Here’s a comparison of these four tools to help you decide which one is right for you.

  • Maestro is a relatively new player in the React Native testing scene, but it’s quickly gaining popularity due to its simplicity and speed of implementation. It allows you to automate your end-to-end (e2e) testing by simulating user interactions and verifying that the expected behavior occurs. It’s a great choice for developers who want to quickly and easily set up e2e testing for their React Native app.
  • Jest is a popular testing framework that’s often used for unit testing in React Native. It’s known for its simplicity and ease of use, and it can be used for both unit and e2e testing. However, it may not be the best choice for more complex e2e testing scenarios.
  • Detox is another e2e testing tool that’s specifically designed for React Native. It allows you to test your app on real devices and simulators, and it’s particularly good at testing asynchronous behaviors. However, it can be more difficult to set up and use compared to other options.
  • Appium is a widely-used mobile testing tool that can be used for both native and hybrid apps. It allows you to test your app on real devices and emulators, and it supports a wide range of programming languages. However, it can be more complex to set up and use compared to other options.

In my opinion, Maestro is the best choice for most React Native projects due to its simplicity and speed of implementation. However, if you have specific testing needs or requirements, one of the other tools might be a better fit. For example, you might choose Detox if you need to test on real devices or Appium if you need support for a specific programming language. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on your specific project and testing needs.

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Vinicius Petrachin

Experienced React Native developer with a passion for mobile app development. Focusing on reaching seniority in React Native!