Uploading your first app build

After signing in, you will be asked to upload your app so Mesmer can get started crawling it on a physical or virtual device.

Mesmer works with both Android and iOS apps. You can upload using one of two methods. Either:

  • Drag the file into the console from your desktop file manager app, or

  • Click the “Browse Files” link to pull up a file browser to find and select the file.

The requirements for Android and iOS app builds are different.

Uploading an Android app

Mesmer accepts Android apps in the form of an APK file. You can use either a debug or release build. You must provide a full build produced by Gradle (or whatever you use as a build tool). You should not use an incremental build produced by Android Studio for “instant run” debugging. For example, to build a debug APK with Android’s default build configuration, you might run the command ./gradlew assembleDebug.

If you’re using Gradle with the default configuration, builds will appear in your app module’s build folder, usually app/build/outputs/apk. Depending on how your build.gradle is configured, the location could vary.

If your app includes native code, be sure to use a build with binaries that target the ABI of your chosen physical or virtual device. The name of the Android emulator will include target architecture (for example, x86). For physical devices, you should target the hardware used by that device.

Uploading an iOS app

Mesmer accepts apps in two forms, one for installation on iPhone simulators (zipped .app bundle), and another for a physical iPhone (.ipa). Be sure to provide the correct build type for the target device you’d like to work with.

To upload a build for simulators, you can use Xcode to target an appropriate build, then find the .app bundle in Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData/<project-name>/Build/Products/Debug-iphonesimulator. You can also use xcodebuild -sdk iphonesimulator or equivalent command to create the a simulator build in build/Release-iphonesimulator. You must zip the bundle before uploading it. You can do that by locating the bundle in Finder, right clicking the .app entry, and choosing “Compress <file>”.

Once you upload a build and create a Mesmer project for either simluators of phyical devices, that project can only be used for that type of build in the future. If you would like Mesmer to use both, you will have to create a new project for the other type of build.

Configuring the crawl

There are three important pieces of information to provide about the crawl.

1) If your app allows the user to sign in, you should provide credentials (username and password) suitable for a test account to make effective use of the app. Click the “add” button to enter that data. Mesmer will automatically figure out how to enter the credentials when it sees a sign-in prompt.

User sign in prompt - press the "add" button to add credentials

2) Choose a device to run the crawl. Depending on what you requested, there will be some physical or virtual devices.

Choose one of the devices provisioned to your account

3) You will be prompted to indicate how much time Mesmer should spend crawling your app. Allocating more time allows Mesmer to discover more screens in your app, creating a more broad and deep App Map. It will also increase the chances of finding a crash.

Choose maximum crawl duration

Read ahead in this documentation for more information about uploading a new build.

Once the upload is finished, a new project is created for this app, and you will be able to watch Mesmer crawl the app. It might take a few moments to set up the device, and install and launch the app, and begin the crawl.

Keep in mind that Mesmer will not navigate the app as fast as a person who knows what they’re doing. Thirty minutes should be enough for it to discover several screens, so you can get started learning more about how the Mesmer console works. Allowing more time will give you a more comprehensive view. You will always have the option of running another crawl after the first one completes.

After the crawl is complete, you will have the opportunity to watch a replay of the crawl (at higher speed) and review some recommended test cases.