If you want to succeed in the fast-changing world of modern technology, then you need to constantly increase the visibility of your business. The target audience nowadays equally uses both web applications and mobile devices, and therefore the issue of providing high-quality software products for both groups of users is vital for any company.

Building flawless software applications requires a well-planned mobile and web application development testing process. As customers change their mindset and move towards mobile apps, the role of mobile testing is also growing. A decisive element of such a process is round-the-clock access to the testing laboratory. Testers with constant access to cloud services can use a range of portable and mobile devices to increase efficiency, scale, and improve the overall testing process. At the same time, despite the similarity of the process, the difference between testing mobile and web applications remains. But before moving on to it, let's look at the differences between the applications themselves.  

In most cases, web servers are used to store them, and development takes place using HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. Optimized web apps can be used on a variety of devices with an active Internet connection, including PCs, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. 

Mobile applications are adapted and created specifically for mobile devices. The most common types of mobile applications are:  

  • Mobile web applications. These are standard web applications adapted to work on mobile devices and accessible through mobile browsers. They are significantly different from regular mobile applications, although they may resemble them. 
  • Native mobile applications developed exclusively for specific operating systems. These mobile apps are available for download from their respective app stores (Google Play Store, App Store, Microsoft Store, etc.). To create them, developers use platform-specific programming languages. iOS apps are developed in Objective-C, while Android apps are developed in Java. Such applications are considered expensive and labor-intensive because they require additional effort to maintain two independent code bases for Android and iOS. 

The above differences between mobile and web applications demonstrate how they differ in terms of how they are created and how users interact with them through various actions such as scrolling, zooming, voice input features, and so on. As a result, approaches to testing mobile and web app development company also naturally differ. But while the tools used to test mobile and web applications differ, key testing methodologies such as testing functionality, performance, usability, compatibility, and localization are common to both. 

Testing mobile applications and web applications  

To be brief, the main differences between testing mobile and web applications look something like this: 

  1. Difference between web apps and mobile apps:  
  • The most important difference between mobile and web application testing is that the former tests software applications for mobile devices, while the latter tests web applications for functionality, compatibility and usability. 
  • Mobile apps can run on a wider range of devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, lock systems, fitness trackers and tablets. This makes testing mobile apps more difficult than testing web apps on mobile devices. 
  • The web apps are designed for stationary laptops and desktops with the classic wifi router and mouse cursor features that mobile apps lack.  
  • User habits have changed a lot in the last decade. While devices used to frequently turn on and off, and users logged in and out of online applications, now they can stay in applications on their mobile devices for a long time. 
  • Mobile apps have a wider user base than web apps, so both apps are tested differently considering factors such as persistence of network access, notification management, app sync across devices, and so on.  
  • Web apps are more business oriented whereas mobile apps are customer oriented. As a result, mobile app testing focuses on customer interaction and their experience with the app. 
  • For cloud-based test automation for mobile and web applications, you need a mobile device lab in the cloud, and for desktop web applications, a portable device lab in the cloud. 
  1. Technical issues: Web and mobile app development is different in terms of usage and working with different types of devices. Here are a few areas that differentiate web and mobile testing:
  • Testing RAM requirements and size: Mobile apps typically have up to 2GB RAM and occupy up to 16GB. These limits the scope of testing. If an application takes up too much of the smartphone's memory, most users delete it. According to Appsflyer, the number of mobile app removals increased by 70% in 2021 compared to 2020. Frequent application updates also consume resources and force the smartphone to work. Even mobile app advertising services slow down the mobile browser. The web application is also tested for memory consumption. However, most desktop devices such as laptops and computers have more storage space than mobile devices.
  • Internet Connection Testing: An Internet connection is a critical aspect for the continued operation of any web or mobile application. Few applications have an offline mode, but the tester must learn how to check how well they work without the Internet or with a slow connection speed. QA teams test the overall functionality and behavior of web applications at various data rates, as well as when switching between different networks.
  • User Experience Testing: Most web applications support the use of a keyboard and mouse. With the proliferation of mobile applications, a problem arose with testing such data input functions as touching the touch screen, rotating the device, voice commands, and so on. If all these features are not tested, the mobile application will lose users.
  • Screen Size Testing: Mobile apps are designed for devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. Testing should ensure that the application is optimized enough to run on different devices without any glitches. For example, optimizing the functioning of the application when switching between portrait and landscape mode. Such features are not available on laptops and computers, so there is no need to test them. Instead, resizing the browser window is important for web applications.
  • Compatibility Testing: Testers test web applications for compatibility on various browser, operating system, and device combinations. Testing mobile applications is more complex in this sense, because it must take into account the compatibility of the application with a much wider range of possible devices.
  • Types of applications: web applications for desktop devices are developed using HTML, CSS, JavaScript. On the other hand, mobile apps are built using Objective-C, native Java, or hybrid languages.

In most cases, web apps and mobile apps are related, so testers use some common testing techniques to test both the apps. This requires a robust test management platform to develop an overall testing strategy for both web and mobile applications, including common workflows, resources, and scenarios associated with overall web and mobile application testing.

As stated earlier, in order to maintain a competitive edge in the market, it is essential to work with both web and mobile applications in an ever-expanding technology environment. To create a well-functioning app with a great user experience, vendors must ensure that mobile and web app testing is of equal value and takes into account all aspects of the app. Also, instead of labs on physical devices, you should consider a laptop or mobile device lab in the cloud, as cloud-based testing platforms offer many benefits. Choosing between a web app development company and a mobile app development company is entirely down to business needs, but having both gives you the added assurance of reaching a wider audience. 

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