Mobile Apps, Apps Testing, eCommerce Business Apps, Mobile Applications, Apps, Web Apps, Business App Development, Android and iOS Apps

Difference Between Mobile App Testing and Web Testing

Jan 06, 2021

Prakunj Chaudhary
Software Developer

In the eCommerce world, to make your business successful, you need to be omnipresent. From the big screen to the small screen, you need to make sure that you don’t miss out on your audience anywhere. There might be a section of your customers who enjoy shopping on the desktop while the others prefer it at the fingertips.

Undoubtedly, eCommerce has revolutionized the retail sector, taking it from physical stores to a space on the internet that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. All you need is a high-performing platform. To get there, you might need to get through the multiple stages of website/app designing, development, testing & tuning; nonetheless, it is still better & cheaper than setting a physical store for a startup. However, while we focus & spend enormously on the first two stages, we often undermine the testing stage and end up committing to future troubles. Testing helps us fix our website issues, which might not seem significant now, but can result in problems later, making your website prone to vulnerabilities.

This blog post will walk you through the difference between a mobile app and web testing. But before we could go on, let’s look at the technologies involved in the development process for a better understanding.

Types Of Application

In this section, we will discuss the popular types of applications used on big and small screens. This is because the testing procedures vary depending upon the types of applications. Broadly categorizing, there are three kinds of applications, namely, Web Application, Mobile Application, and Desktop Application.

Web Application: These applications require a browser to run and are built entirely on a server. One of the most famous examples of web applications is Facebook, which is a collection of various corresponding pages that run on a browser. As a result, the application can be accessed with both smartphones and desktops, or basically, any device that has a web browser and an internet connection. If the web application is designed to suit different screen resolutions, it enhances its efficiency and usability.

Mobile Application: Smartphones today can be categorized based on their Operating Systems, and so can be the mobile applications designed for compatibility with different and many Operating Systems. Mobile applications are of types:

  • Native Application - These are designed to run on a single operating system. It means that a native application designed for iOS can run on all Apple devices like iPad, iPhone, etc. But that particular application will not be compatible with an Android device. For instance, iTunes is a music application created for iOS devices only. Since it is specially designed for a limited audience, it can cater to their unique requirements. As a result, native apps offer their users a UI/UX similar to their device’s and high performance.

  • Hybrid Application: Hybrid apps fill the gap created by Native apps. It uses a different technology that makes the application compatible with different Operating Systems yet provide a Native-like experience to the users.

  • Mobile Web Application: As the name suggests, these applications are designed for mobile devices and run on a browser. Thus, a mobile needs a browser and an internet connection to access a mobile web application.

Desktop Application: Designed for large screens, these applications are executable files required to be executed on a computer to access its full content and functionalities. Its success depends on factors like UI, performance, and functionalities. You need to consider system hardware as well while developing a Desktop Application.

What is the Difference Between Testing A Mobile and Web Application? Be it a mobile app or a web application, a developer’s only aim is to deliver an excellent user experience. Thus, there are a few things that both mobile and web application testing have in common. These are:

  • Usability Testing
  • Functionality Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • Certification Testing
  • Recovery Testing
  • Change-Related Testing
  • Localization Testing
That said, the testing for both applications differ drastically in terms of compatibility, user interaction, and internet connection. Let’s see how.

User Interaction: The user interaction for desktop applications that run on a browser is limited to point, click & scroll features carried out by the users using a mouse. On the other hand, a mobile application has many more features like swiping, tapping, pinching, and pulling. While the testing might not be a struggle for these simple features, it is a little challenging when we talk about features like move commanders and voice assistance. You need to add all of these things to your checklist for mobile application testing.

Compatibility: You need to test a web application for the different kinds of browsers available in the market. The same rule is applied to mobile applications that run on a browser, like Hybrid and Mobile Web Application. While the requirement is the same, the testing procedure differs. The desktop-run apps are easier to test as compared to the latter, which need to be tested for multiple kinds of mobile devices. In mobile applications, you need to test them for each mobile device in order to assess their behavior with different hosts. Here are a few factors you need to consider while running a compatibility test for mobile devices:

  • Screen Size - Desktop dimensions are limited; however, with mobile devices, each would vary from the other, even if the difference is minor. You need to ensure that your application’s features are visible on all screens & are easy to access.

  • Capacity Limitations - While mobile phones may feature a RAM of 4 or even 6 GB, their capacity is usually much less than that of a desktop. Thus, if you do not test and optimize your smartphone application, it might become slow and hard to use.

Internet Connection: A majority of web & mobile applications only function online. Thus, you need to test the performance of your application under different internet speeds. For offline applications like Native apps, you need to check their functioning in offline mode to ensure a promising customer experience.


While we’ve been exploring the differences throughout this read, the bottom line for testing an application, web or mobile, is to check for proper functionalities and usability. You could also use test automation tools for the purpose that help you substantially bring down the cost involved in manual testing. There are many tools available in the market, like Espresso, Appium, Calabash, each offering a budget-friendly process. You need to make the choice for your business depending on your unique needs and the nature of the industry.
Hope you enjoyed this read. Stay tuned for more such insightful information!

Prakunj Chaudhary
Software Developer