Difference Between Mobile App and Web Application Testing?

calender May 30, 2023
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Amardeep KR

QA Engineer

Testing of mobile and web applications is about analyzing their functionality, user interface, and overall performance, so the difference between mobile and web app testing is that the former deals with evaluating the user-friendly functionality of an application on mobile devices, while the latter deals with evaluating user-friendly functionality of an application on the web. There is more to it than that, although it is the main difference between them.

Mobile and web app testing is crucial to identify and deal with any errors/bugs that could negatively affect the user experience of the mobile or web application, which determines the rate of user retention and app installations for your mobile/web app. For example, 88% of users do not return to a site if it has a bad user experience.

Since mobile and web are two different platforms, knowing the difference in their testing is essential to ensure that your app is user-friendly on the platform it is created for and will be used by many target users.

Types of Software Testing

Knowing the types of software testing required for both mobile and web apps will help you understand how they work for both apps.

Software Testing Types

Functional Testing

Functional testing helps confirm that the functionality of an application or system behaves as expected.

Performance Testing

Performance testing allows the evaluation of non-functional elements of an app to evaluate its scalability, stability, speed, and durability under normal/regular and high performance-driven situations.

Usability Testing

Usability testing is an evaluation of the user interface/experience to determine how easy the functionalities of apps are to use for target users.

Compatibility Testing

A compatibility test is an evaluation of an application to test its functionality or compatibility on various browsers, databases, operating systems (OS), and mobile devices.

Localization Testing

Localization software testing is a process that evaluates the functionality, UI/UX design, and content to ensure it is suitable for a particular region and meets its expectations.

Difference Between Web Application and Mobile Application Testing

Testing a mobile and web application requires a separate process as they have a different UI/UX and target audience. For example, a mobile app can work with or without an internet connection, but a web app always needs an internet connection. Specific software testing protocols are crucial to ensure short loading times, UI/UX design, and improve overall functionality.

Difference Between Web App and Mobile App Testing

Browser vs. Mobile Compatibility (Smartphone)

Web testing is for an app accessible through browsers no matter which device you are using. Testing of mobile applications is about how an app looks and feels to users on a mobile device (smartphone), which can be an iOS or Android. Testing web applications is slightly easy as they have fewer to no compatibility issues. Mobile app testing is not as easy due to its complex architecture and compatibility requirement with multiple devices.

Additionally, it is not easy to conduct mobile app automation testing as different devices have various and more functionalities. However, web app automation testing is easy because they are accessible through any browser.

Code Testing

Code-based testing involves testing every source code of an application to identify and deal with any errors or bugs. However, different programming languages mean the code testing must vary.

Web apps are created with frameworks like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5, while mobile app development includes Objective-C, Swift, Java, Python, C++, and Kotlin.

To meet such testing requirements, web app testing tools are slightly or completely different from mobile app testing tools as different manual and automated testing protocols and frameworks would be required to conduct code testing for both apps.

Loading Time

Testing the speed/loading time of a web app is different from a mobile app as web apps require an internet connection.

Evaluating the loading time of a mobile app is another complex process as it requires microscopic attention and repetition as it determines the user experience of a mobile app.

User Acceptance Testing

User acceptance testing includes target users in the application testing to evaluate app functionality and design from the perspective of target users.

Mobile apps generally have a large user base compared to web apps, and that makes user acceptance testing for mobile apps a little time-consuming and complicated.

User Interface Design Testing

Creating and testing a user interface with a responsive design for web apps is much easier than creating and testing a user interface design for mobile apps as they can have compatibility issues on different devices/operating systems.


The empty, half-full, or completely full storage/ram of a device can have an impact on the functionalities of an application. Web apps are generally not affected by such elements, but mobile apps. That’s why the testing process can differ for both apps to evaluate their performance and durability with different storage/ram capacities.

User Interaction Testing

Web apps work well with standard keyboard and mouse inputs for doing work, playing games, or browsing social media. However, the rising demand for mobile apps presents testing challenges due to the availability of many input features such as touch, taps, swipes, and voice commands.

It forces QA specialists to focus on the interaction of web and mobile apps with such inputs. Not all web apps are compatible with such inputs, while almost all mobile apps have to be if the device has such functionality to ensure a good user experience. That is why different user interaction testing protocols are required for web and mobile apps.

Internet Speed/Availability

The majority of web applications need the internet to function, while there are some that can function offline. The same thing applies to mobile apps as some work with the internet and some can work without the internet.

Therefore, QA specialists have to test web and mobile applications with a strong and weak internet connection to understand how they perform with better, slow, or no internet.

Battery Status

Some mobile and web apps drain the battery too quickly to perform well, while some can perform fine without doing so. Similarly, a device with low battery capacity can only support the functionality of some web and mobile applications.

QA engineers must test both web and mobile applications under different battery capacities to understand how they perform. Generally, apps that do not require an internet connection perform well when a device is low on battery life, but that performance can differ in mobile and web applications.

Screen Size Testing

Mobile apps come with different screen sizes and resolutions, so QA engineers have to evaluate mobile apps and test their compatibility with various screen sizes and resolutions. For example, portrait and landscape mode app optimization require screen size testing.

Web apps are accessed through browsers, so creating and testing the screen size compatibility for such apps is less complicated.

Final Note

Working on web and mobile applications is crucial in this rapidly growing to have a competitive edge in the market. Businesses must put similar effort into mobile and web application testing to create a user-friendly application with an appealing design.

To learn more about application testing, you can always talk to QA engineers or testers or hire mobile app development services providers that are well-versed in mobile and web app testing. It will save you from the struggle of learning every aspect of it to get it done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is mobile testing manual or automated?

It is possible to conduct mobile app testing both manually and through automated systems according to your requirements and available resources.

How do you automate mobile app testing?

You can use automated mobile app testing frameworks XCUITest, Appium, Calabash, EarlGrey, Espresso, and Selendroid.

How do you automate web app testing?

You can use automated web testing tools like Eggplant, Cucumber, Selenium, Test Project, and Katalon Studio.

Which tool is used to test the web and mobile applications and is a popular tool available in the market too?

Appium for mobile app testing and Selenium for web application testing.

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