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Automatic Android App Explorer (A3E) is an automated GUI testing utility for android applications. It is based on Troyd GUI testing framework. It provides two kinds of GUI exploration strategy, Depth-first Exploration and Targeted Exploration. To learn further, visit a3e homepage.



Note: JDK 1.7 and greater is required. To get started, install Android SDK first and set paths to Android base tools, e.g., adb, aapt, etc. You can do so by adding the followings to your profile:

ANDROID_HOME=$HOME/sdk # your own path here!

export PATH

The main scripts are written in Ruby and require RubyGems, a Ruby package manager, and Nokogiri, an XML library to manipulate manifest files. This tool is tested under Ruby 2.0 and Android 4.4.2.

Depth-first exploration

To run depth-first exploration use the command

$ ruby bin/rec.rb target.apk --no-rec -loop

This script starts an emulator (if no real device is connected), rebuilds Troyd, a controller app, resigns the app under test, installs both the controller and target apps on the emulator or real device; launches the app, and then starts ripping the application. It then sends valid commands to the app interface and explore the app in a depth-first fashion.

Targeted exploration


Record and Replay

Feature enabled. Will update details soon.

Static Activity Transition Graph Creation

Modify the following parameter in the file as per your system. For example in MacOS X this path may be something similar:

java_runtime_dir = /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_25.jdk/Contents/Home/jre/lib

This is actually the path that contains the rt.jar or classes.jar file. This file contains the initial java classes that are loaded by the JVM when a java program runs.

After that, run

./ your_apk.apk

The procedure may take several minutes depending on the size of the apk. The output will be two files,

your_apk.apk.g.xml: This xml file will contain the relation between parent and child activties. This dot file is for visualization purpose.


To test a3e on your computer without needing to setup everything you can use this ubuntu 14.04 VM on virtual box. Make Sure you assign 2 GB RAM to the VM and enable 2D/3D acceleration for smooth use.

User Name: a3e Password: a3e_ucr

Open terminal cd into ~/a3e and run following command to test it with Amazon,

$ ruby bin/rec.rb aut/Amazon-33.apk --no-rec -loop