Sep 07, 2020 Admin

Quality Assurance & Testing

Mobile App Testing vs. Web App Testing: Differences That Matters

No business can survive today without a successful app. Apps have become one of the most important online marketing tools and help a business in establishing its brand presence. But a poorly built app is of no use, and this is where app testing comes into the picture. Many product engineering service providers are known to offer software testing services. Earlier, these services were just for websites or web apps, but seeing the growing popularity of smartphones, mobile app testing services are also gaining a lot of popularity and are in high demand amongst the business owners. 

There is a common misconception that native mobile apps and web apps are the same things — but actually, the two are very different, and hence you require different experts for testing web apps and mobile apps. Though both mobile app testing and website testing may have a few things in common, like the use of cross-platform automation testing tools like Appium, Jenkins, etc. You can start using such cross-platform automating testing tools by simply taking a tutorial. Before fully investing in the creation of your app, you’ll need to decide which type of app will best suit your budget, requirements, and goals.

Mobile Apps vs. Web Apps

Before going further in discussing the difference between the mobile app and web app testing, let us first see what exactly are mobile apps and web apps and understand them a little better.

Mobile apps are built particularly for the platforms Android and iOS. You need to download these from one of the app stores and have access to system resources. Snapchat, Instagram, Google Maps and Facebook Messenger are some examples of popular mobile apps. And on the other hand, a web app is like any other app with the advantage that it is stored on the browser itself and adapts to whichever device you are viewing it on. Web apps need to have an internet connection to function while few of the native apps work even without the internet.

Going by the words of a top-rated mobile app the development company, it is comparatively easier to create a web app than creating a mobile app. Mobile app development is a bit complex process and with every new technology, a new feature gets integrated into these apps. Hence the performance and the result to access the functions are quite smooth for mobile apps. As technology stack in mobile apps keeping updating frequently, testing these apps using mobile automation testing tools like Appium is very crucial. It helps you trace any bugs or functional errors before a new release or version update.

Also, the number of mobile app users is generally high as compared to web apps. People prefer using web apps over websites as they offer more interactivity than websites and can be accessed via a desktop or laptop, but not as much as mobile apps. Web apps can easily function in-browser. The classic examples of web applications include webmail, online stores, and web banking. Also, talking about the cost of creating both web apps and mobile apps, creating a web app is comparatively cost-efficient as these are built and released in the same way as standard websites. And on the other hand, mobile apps are platform-specific, hence a little expensive.

Read Also: Quality Testing: A Prerequisite to Launch a Business Software

If we look at the testing perspective, functional testing of the web app is quite different in respect to the mobile app and deserves a more in-depth review. And as per companies offering enterprise mobility solutions, testing any kind of app is extremely important as it plays a major role in determining the success or failure in app development. Using advanced testing tools like Jenkins, Appium, and more is also crucial to ensure the future success of your project. Such tools automate most of the testing functions, making it easier for QA teams to perform quality testing. 

Drawing the Line between Mobile App Testing and Web App Testing

Mobile App Testing

As discussed above there are specific and fundamental differences in both of the apps; mobile and web. Though, with time these differences are decreasing as more web apps become available in mobile formats. However, we have listed a few differences which experts offering software testing services face while working on each type of application. So, let’s begin in knowing them in detail.

Storage Limitations (RAM)

Mobile devices with the latest technologies can ship a mere 3 or 4 GB accompanied by relatively small 16GB SSDs. This creates limitations for software testers while testing a mobile app in comparison to web apps that have a large amount of memory and storage space. If the native app is not optimized properly by the mobile device, it will function slower to its desktop fellow. Also, as mobile apps get updated frequently, it is critical to test how your app functions and what kind of effect it has on memory.

User Interaction

Mobile apps come with the latest technologies and features; the developers always keep updating these apps. Where most desktop browser-based applications are limited to a mouse and a keyboard, mobile apps come with tapping, swiping, features of voice commanders, and many more. Hence while testing, these features add to the complexity.

Application Types

A web application is developed in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript while the mobile app is not that straight forward. It can be built as a native app, a mobile web app, or a hybrid one. Thus, it is necessary to make a roadmap before to manage all types of testing.

Internet Connection

A web app is useless without an internet connection. However, few of the native apps function even when the internet is not available. A few of the games and document editors work while your mobile is in airplane mode or without an internet connection. Hence while testing the mobile apps the quality assurance experts need to check this factor too.

Interesting Read: Key Aspects of E-commerce Platforms for Quality Assurance


It is important to check the compatibility of the apps with different browsers. Testing web apps on this factor is quite easy as they are desktop versions only. The testing of mobile apps is a bit complicated here as it is important to its compatibility with various mobile devices and browsers. 

AI and ML: The Future of Mobile and Web App Testing

With the advancement of technology in every field, even app testers are finding new and innovative ways to test these mobile and web apps. The increased number of devices and browsers made software testing a bit complicated and challenging. To surmount this problem software development companies are adopting agile software development techniques to increase their efficiency. They are trying all the possible ways to make things simpler and provide robust and error-free apps to their clients.   

To help developers in this journey, technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are coming really handy and useful. Many companies are exploring new ways to integrate and use these technologies seeing the sheer number of benefits they offer. With the increase in demand for software development, more and more IT companies are taking the help of these technologies to fill the void between the development and testing process. 

Companies that are offering product engineering services understand the need to evolve their old methodologies and are trying to automate their processes and to help them Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are proving to be great assistants. Seeing the trend, we can easily say AI and ML are the future of mobile and web app testing processes.

Also, with the increasing number of mobile users, the responsibility on mobile app development services is equally increased to develop robust apps. Testing teams need to be proficient in applying tools during several layers of the app. The future of web app and mobile app testing will include more automation. Hence, companies need to understand the involvement of QA testers at an early stage to ensure faster delivery of premium apps.

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