There are many differences when comparing a test run on a mobile platform versus a desktop platform:
- The boot up time:
- For desktop platforms, the boot up is usually less than a minute. For mobile platforms, the boot up time can add up to 2 minutes.
- The driver being used:
- For desktop platforms, the driver being used to automate the test is Selenium Webdriver. For mobile platforms, the driver will not be Selenium Webdriver. Instead, it will be Appium or Selendroid.
- The type of application being tested:
- The application under test will perform and might look differently depending on the platform used to test it. For instance, in desktop platforms, the application will always be a web application while in mobile platforms the application can be a web, native or hybrid application.
- The browser being used:
- For desktop platforms, the option of using different browsers and browser versions is available. Depending on the browser chosen, certain commands might execute faster than others. In the case of mobile platforms, the only option is to use the native emulator or simulator browser.
- Screen size:
- For desktop platforms, there are options to alter the screen resolution. On the other hand, for mobile platforms, the screen resolution cannot be altered.
- Depending on the application being tested, there could be security dependencies that are only applicable when testing on a mobile platform. In the same manner, the application under test could have integrated plugins or functionalities that will behave in different ways depending on the platform being used to perform the test.
- Mobile specific actions:
- There are certain test actions that are only applicable to mobile platforms, for example, swiping, dragging, etc. These actions are not supported in desktop platforms.
Depending on the platform being used, the delays, background setups and ways of executing the actions in the tests will be different. Thus, this is why it is recommended to only compare tests that have been run under the same platform (i.e desktop, android, ios).