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Migrating to Appium 2.0 on Sauce Labs

Appium 1 End-of-life

The Appium core team does not maintain Appium 1.x anymore since the 1st of January 2022. Recent versions of all officially supported platform drivers are no longer compatible with Appium 1.x, and require Appium 2 to run.

The changes in Appium 2.0 are not primarily related to changes in automation behaviors for specific platforms. Instead, Appium 2.0 re-envisions Appium as a platform where "drivers" (code projects that introduce support for automation of a given platform) and "plugins" (code projects that allow for overriding, altering, extending, or adding behaviors to Appium) can be easily created and shared.

At the same time, the Appium project is taking the opportunity to remove many old and deprecated bits of functionality. More information about this can be found in the Appium 2.0 release notes.

Appium 2.0 Documentation

Appium is in the final stages of a major revision (to version 2.0). As such, the documentation found around the web may not be correct. The current Appium 2.0 documentation is very much in progress. Currently, it can be found here.

Breaking Changes

Before you get started with migrating your Appium 1 tests to Appium 2, read the Appium 2.0 release notes. The breaking changes that are listed below have an impact on running your tests on Sauce Labs, but they are only a subset of the changes that are listed in the Appium 2.0 release notes.

Protocol changes

Appium's API is based on the W3C WebDriver Protocol, and it has supported this protocol for years. Before the W3C WebDriver Protocol was designed as a web standard, several other protocols were used for both Selenium and Appium. These protocols were the "JSONWP" (JSON Wire Protocol) and "MJSONWP" (Mobile JSON Wire Protocol). The W3C Protocol differs from the (M)JSONWP protocols in a few small ways.

Up until Appium 2.0, Appium supported both protocols, so that older Selenium/Appium clients could still communicate with newer Appium servers. Moving forward, support for older protocols will be removed.

Appium capabilities

One significant difference between old and new protocols is in the format of capabilities. Previously called "desired capabilities", and now called simply "capabilities", there is now a requirement for a so-called "vendor prefix" on any non-standard capabilities. The list of standard capabilities is given in the WebDriver Protocol spec, and includes a few commonly used capabilities such as browserName and platformName.

These standard capabilities continue to be used as-is. All other capabilities must include a "vendor prefix" in their name. A vendor prefix is a string followed by a colon, such as appium:. Most of Appium's capabilities go beyond the standard W3C capabilities and must therefore include vendor prefixes (we recommend that you use appium: unless directed otherwise by documentation). For example:

  • appium:app
  • appium:noReset
  • appium:deviceName

More information about the Appium Capabilities can be found here.


Sauce Labs does not support the appium:options object value as a replacement for the repetitive appium:-prefix yet. Instead, you should use the appium: prefix for each capability.

automationName is now required

Appium 1 automatically used the "default" automation backend for the platform being automated. For example, for iOS, Appium 1 would use the XCUITest automation backend unless otherwise specified. For Android, Appium 1 would use the UiAutomator2 automation backend unless otherwise specified.

Appium 2 does not have a default automation backend. Instead, the automation backend must be specified explicitly using the automationName capability. For example, to use the XCUITest automation backend for iOS, you would set the appium:automationName capability to XCUITest. For Android, you would set the appium:automationName capability to UiAutomator2.

Sauce Labs specific capabilities

All Sauce Labs specific capabilities need to be put into a single object value which is called sauce:options. The Sauce Labs specific capabilities are can be found here


To run your tests with Appium 2.0 you need to set the appiumVersion capability in your sauce:options object to 2.0.0, see also Appium Version.

Driver-specific automation commands

The definition of certain commands that pertain only to specific drivers has been moved to those drivers' implementations. For example, pressKeyCode is specific to the UiAutomator2 driver and is now understood only by that driver.

In practice, the only breaking change here is the kind of error you would encounter if the appropriate driver is not installed. Previously, you would get a 501 Not Yet Implemented error if using a driver that didn't implement the command. Now, you will get a 404 Not Found error because if a driver that doesn't know about the command is not active, the main Appium server will not define the route corresponding to the command

Getting started with Appium 2.0 on Sauce Labs

Appium 2.0 progress on Sauce Labs

Sauce Labs is currently in the process of implementing Appium 2.0 into our Virtual and Real Device cloud. We are working hard to make Appium 2.0 available for all our customers as soon as possible. Please check back here for updates.

Real DevicesAvailable, see supported drivers for all available drivers
Virtual DevicesPartially available, see supported drivers for all available drivers

As mentioned above, the following breaking changes lead to using the following capabilities:


Below you can find an example of a capabilities object for running a test on Sauce Labs with Appium 2.0. The examples are created for Real Devices, for Virtual Devices you can use our Platform Configurator.

DesiredCapabilities capabilities = new DesiredCapabilities();

capabilities.setCapability("platformName", "android");
// W3C Protocol is mandatory for Appium 2.0
capabilities.setCapability("appium:platformVersion", "12");
capabilities.setCapability("appium:deviceName", "Google Pixel 6");
// automationName for Appium 2.0
capabilities.setCapability("appium:automationName", "UiAutomator2");

HashMap<String, Object> sauceOptions = new HashMap<String, Object>();
// appiumVersion is mandatory to use Appium 2.0 on Sauce Labs
sauceOptions.put("appiumVersion", "2.0.0");
capabilities.setCapability("sauce:options", sauceOptions);

Supported Drivers

The following drivers are supported by Sauce Labs

AndroidUiAutomator2Real Devices Only, Virtual Devices only support Appium 1 at the moment
AndroidFlutterReal Devices Only, Virtual Devices only support Appium 1 at the moment
iOSXCUITestVirtual and Real Devices, Appium 2 for Virtual Devices on Sauce Labs is only supporting iOS 15 and higher.
iOSFlutterReal Devices Only, Virtual Devices only support Appium 1 at the moment

Supported Plugins

Currently, we do not provide pre-installed and do not support passing custom plugins. We will keep monitoring the Appium community for the progress of the plugins and will update this page accordingly.

If you have specific needs for a plugin, please reach out to our support team and provide all relevant information about this plugin.