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As mobile applications become more complex and business-critical, use of well-defined software engineering techniques becomes essential to assure the necessary software quality. In particular, testing and its automation play a strategic part for assuring the quality of applications that are often developed by small teams, working on strict timelines and under the pressure of short time-to-market. This paper presents an automated GUI based testing technique for Android apps. The technique is based on a ripper that automatically explores the GUI with the aim of exercising the application and revealing run-time crashes. At the same time, the ripper builds a GUI model and an executable test suite based on the JUnit test framework. The technique has been evaluated by an experiment where the ripper has been used to test a real Android application. The experiment has shown the fault-detection capability of the technique and its cost-effectiveness in smoke testing processes.