Android Desired Capabilities

Desired Capabilities are keys and values encoded in a JSON object, sent by Appium clients to the server when a new automation session is requested. 

They tell the Appium drivers all kinds of important things about how you want your test to work.

There are several general capabilities that span multiple drivers and there are some device specific capabilities. There are different  capabilities for Andriod and iOS. 

Below are the list of capabilities for Android:

appActivity: Activity name for the Android activity you want to launch from your package. This often needs to be preceded by a dot (.) (e.g: .MainActivity instead of MainActivity). By default this capability is received from the package manifest.

Example: You can use either of below command.

aps.setCapability("appActivity", "");
caps.setCapability(MobileCapabilityType.APP_ACTIVITY, "

appPackage: Java package of the Android app you want to run. By default this capability is received from the package manifest (@package attribute value).

Example: You can use either of below command.

caps.setCapability("appPackage", "");
caps.setCapability(MobileCapabilityType.APP_PACKAGE, "");

appWaitActivity: Activity name/names, comma separated, for the Android activity you want to wait for. By default the value of this capability is the same as for appActivity. You must set it to the very first focused application activity name in case it is different from the one which is set as appActivity if your capability has appActivity and appPackage.    

Example: You can use either of below command.


appWaitPackage: Java package of the Android app you want to wait for. By default the value of this capability is the same as for appActivity.



appWaitDuration: Timeout in milliseconds used to wait for the appWaitActivity to launch (default 20000).

deviceReadyTimeout: Timeout in seconds while waiting for device to become ready.

Example: You can use either of below command:


androidCoverage: Fully qualified instrumentation class. Passed to -w in adb shell am instrument -e coverage true -w.

androidCoverageEndIntent: A broadcast action implemented by yourself which is used to dump coverage into file system. Passed to -a in adb shell am broadcast -a.

androidDeviceReadyTimeout: Timeout in seconds used to wait for a device to become ready after booting.



androidInstallTimeout: Timeout in milliseconds used to wait for an apk to install to the device. Defaults to 90000.    

androidInstallPath: The name of the directory on the device in which the apk will be push before install. Defaults to /data/local/tmp.

adbPort: Port used to connect to the ADB server (default 5037).

systemPort: systemPort used to connect to appium-uiautomator2-server, default is 8200 in general and selects one port from 8200 to 8299. When you run tests in parallel, you must adjust the port to avoid conflicts. Read Parallel Testing Setup Guide for more details. e.g: 8201.

remoteAdbHost: Optional remote ADB server host    e.g.:

androidDeviceSocket: Devtools socket name. Needed only when tested app is a Chromium embedding browser. The socket is open by the browser and Chromedriver connects to it as a devtools client. e.g: chrome_devtools_remote.



avd: Name of avd to launch e.g: api19.



avdLaunchTimeout: How long to wait in milliseconds for an avd to launch and connect to ADB (default 120000).



avdReadyTimeout: How long to wait in milliseconds for an avd to finish its boot animations (default 120000).



avdArgs: Additional emulator arguments used when launching an avd. e.g: -netfast.



useKeystore: Use a custom keystore to sign apks, default false.

keystorePath: Path to custom keystore, default ~/.android/debug.keystore.

keystorePassword: Password for custom keystore.

keyAlias: Alias for key    e.g: androiddebugkey.

keyPassword: Password for key.

chromedriverExecutable: The absolute local path to webdriver executable (if Chromium embedder provides its own webdriver, it should be used instead of original chromedriver bundled with Appium).



chromedriverExecutableDir: The absolute path to a directory to look for Chromedriver executables in, for automatic discovery of compatible Chromedrivers.

chromedriverChromeMappingFile: The absolute path to a file which maps Chromedriver versions to the minimum Chrome that it supports.

autoWebviewTimeout: Amount of time to wait for Webview context to become active, in ms. Defaults to 2000.



intentAction: Intent action which will be used to start activity (default android.intent.action.MAIN).    



intentCategory: Intent category which will be used to start activity (default android.intent.category.LAUNCHER).



intentFlags: Flags that will be used to start activity (default 0x10200000).



optionalIntentArguments: Additional intent arguments that will be used to start activity. 

dontStopAppOnReset: Doesn't stop the process of the app under test, before starting the app using adb. If the app under test is created by another anchor app, setting this false, allows the process of the anchor app to be still alive, during the start of the test app using adb. In other words, with dontStopAppOnReset set to true, we will not include the -S flag in the adb shell am start call. With this capability omitted or set to false, we include the -S flag. Default false    true or false.

unicodeKeyboard: Enable Unicode input, default false.



resetKeyboard: Reset keyboard to its original state, after running Unicode tests with unicodeKeyboard capability. Ignored if used alone. Default false.



noSign: Skip checking and signing of app with debug keys, will work only with UiAutomator and not with selendroid, default false.
ignoreUnimportantViews: Calls the setCompressedLayoutHierarchy() uiautomator function. This capability can speed up test execution, since Accessibility commands will run faster ignoring some elements. The ignored elements will not be findable, which is why this capability has also been implemented as a toggle-able setting as well as a capability. Defaults to false.

disableAndroidWatchers: Disables android watchers that watch for application not responding and application crash, this will reduce cpu usage on android device/emulator. This capability will work only with UiAutomator and not with selendroid, default false.

chromeOptions: Allows passing chromeOptions capability for ChromeDriver. For more information see chromeOptions    chromeOptions: {args: ['--disable-popup-blocking']}

recreateChromeDriverSessions: Kill ChromeDriver session when moving to a non-ChromeDriver webview. Defaults to false    true or false.

nativeWebScreenshot: In a web context, use native (adb) method for taking a screenshot, rather than proxying to ChromeDriver. Defaults to false    true or false.

androidScreenshotPath: The name of the directory on the device in which the screenshot will be put. Defaults to /data/local/tmp.

autoGrantPermissions: Have Appium automatically determine which permissions your app requires and grant them to the app on install. Defaults to false. If noReset is true, this capability doesn't work.

networkSpeed: Set the network speed emulation. Specify the maximum network upload and download speeds. Defaults to full    ['full','gsm', 'edge', 'hscsd', 'gprs', 'umts', 'hsdpa', 'lte', 'evdo'].

gpsEnabled: Toggle gps location provider for emulators before starting the session. By default the emulator will have this option enabled or not according to how it has been provisioned.

isHeadless: Set this capability to true to run the Emulator headless when device display is not needed to be visible. false is the default value. isHeadless is also support for iOS, check XCUITest-specific capabilities.

uiautomator2ServerLaunchTimeout: Timeout in milliseconds used to wait for an uiAutomator2 server to launch. Defaults to 20000.

uiautomator2ServerInstallTimeout: Timeout in milliseconds used to wait for an uiAutomator2 server to be installed. Defaults to 20000.

otherApps: App or list of apps (as a JSON array) to install prior to running tests.

enablePerformanceLogging: You can enable the Chrome driver's performance logging by the use of this capability. It will enable for Chrome and web view; the default value is false.


caps.setCapability("enablePerformanceLogging", "true");
Tue, 03/02/2021 - 18:08

Authored by

Tarun Goswami, works as a Technical Lead at the well-known IT services company. With Over 11+ years of experience in Quality Assurance, he writes engaging and informative blogs in his spare time.