Mobile version vs PWA vs Apps: a short guide to test early rather than late

Mobile version vs PWA vs Apps: a short guide to test early rather than late

We live in the new era. The era were mobile devices have flooded our lives, thoughts and markets. In 2019, mobile population accounted to 4 billion unique users. If you ask anyone that is just a huge slice of cliental to miss.  Around 48% of the view of all web pages in the world were conducted using mobile devices. As time passes, the things you can do with your iPhone and iPad only grow.


One should divide mobile testing into three categories: mobile version of website, mobile application and Progressive Web Application (PWA) testing. Each of these have their own specific details and uses.  Let us get into crack of how to use it for your needs.


Let us say, you already have a full functioning website, which does what it is supposed to do, and does it right. Then in majority of cases, you do not need to create a completely new application for your users. However, you cannot adapt it to mobile devices cause the viewport difference and user experience on desktop and iPhone is different.


If you have a website and the functionality is too complex and does not translate to the mobile version at all. Then you need to rethink the whole functionality and it might be good idea to switch to PWA or just plain old application one can download in apple store. The difference in choosing one or the other is in the amount of changes required. If you want to use majority of the functionality and old code of the website (if it can be used) then you had better stick with PWA. To put it simply PWA is a fancy way of saying “the website turned into application”. It has certain features that apps have like standalone functionality. User can download it as an app. It also works as a website in user accessing it via browser.


Upon reading this, you might think, that PWA is better solution for any problem. However, while I am slightly biased in me liking it, there are cons to this approach. For example, PWA is not flexible when it comes to using the devices hardware components and this is where apps come in.


Now that we know what we have basic understanding of what is what and decided what we need to develop. How do we test it?


The main difference with mobile versions and PWA is that testing will not be from empty slate. The code and functionality will be based on the old website. Which will require from QA expertise and ability to analyze documentation that already exists, as well as exploratory testing. Exploratory testing will be the main research tool. Many projects try to involve QA in the development stage only, which is a huge pitfall.  QA has experience and expertise over multiple projects adapted for mobiles devices and can assess issues before they are created which is just plain cheaper than correcting them when developer were already involved.  While project manager can do similar things, the expertise of the two differs and QA should work as a tool to review the documentation created by PM. There is a reason why Quality Assurance engineer are called that, the sole idea of the position is to review and assess each details and prevent as much issues as it is even possible for a human being.


The tools use to work with PWA, apps and mobile versions will differ as well. One cannot really expect to treat all these the same way.


PWA and mobile version being similar in certain aspects will have more common ground. However, there are certain tools that help to solve this issue like Appium, which can be applied for certain projects to save on costs. However, using iOS SDK, Anroid SDK for apps is a more sound decision due to better flexibility test wise and a wider range of back end test one can perform, PWA being closer to web than that of an app is fine with using Appium as a tool.


So no matter what you project you create you should consider what you have and have early investigation of test tools and testing expertise you need. This investigation will determine the end quality product and its success in the market. The issue can be solved by early introduction of quality assurance experts to help you match your needs to testing tools and methods.


We will gladly help you. Find out more about our QA testing services on our website.