App & Browser Testing Made Easy

Give your users a seamless experience by testing on 3000+ real devices and browsers. Don't compromise with emulators and simulators

Get Started free
Home Guide How to perform Mobile Compatibility Testing

How to perform Mobile Compatibility Testing

By Sonal Dwivedi, Community Contributor -

Mobile phones have become part and parcel of everyday life. With the rise in smartphone users globally, businesses have to become mobile-friendly to reach their target audience. A report from Statista indicates that as of 2022, there are 6.64 billion smartphone users in the world, which will rise to 7.5 billion by 2026.

Number of Smartphones Globally

Source: Statista

This has led to more users accessing the websites through mobile devices, where 59% of the global website traffic comes from mobile devices only as of Q2, 2022. Hence, Mobile Compatibility Testing of your website becomes essential given the opportunity size.

This article discusses the various aspects of mobile compatibility testing and how to perform mobile compatibility testing on real devices.

What is Mobile Compatibility Testing?

Mobile compatibility testing ensures that the software application is working as expected across different browsers, operating systems, mobile devices, networks, and hardware. It is a means by which a tester can verify that the application will function as expected on the consumer’s choice of device.

Mobile compatibility testing is often confused with Usability Testing. While usability testing focuses on the look and feel and ease of use, compatibility testing validates that the application under test behaves as expected across the combination of devices and browsers.

Importance of Mobile Compatibility Testing

An application developed is expected to work as designed and to reach the maximum audience using different devices, operating systems, browsers, and networks. Mobile compatibility tests are crucial so that the product reaches the end users the way it is intended to. 

These tests will verify that the application is compatible with all the devices, browsers, and OS available in the market. Hence device compatibility testing is paramount to increasing the customer base, decreasing the bounce rate, and enhancing user experience.

Issues impacting User Experience due to Mobile Compatibility

Some of the issues that may impact user experience if mobile compatibility testing is not performed for web applications are:

  1. Navigation: Navigating a website on a smaller screen (mobile) is different compared to a larger screen (desktop). A check should be made that the navigation should be smooth across multiple devices and browsers.
  2. Content and layout: A website designed for a desktop may not fit on a mobile device or tablet. It is better to ensure that the website loads completely and fits relative to the device screen size.
  3. Orientation: Websites on the desktop are always displayed in landscape mode. However, on mobile/ tablet, a website can be viewed in portrait and landscape mode both. A check should be made that the website loads and functions fine in both modes with no UI distortion, glitches, or stretching.
  4. Font and logo: A website developed for the desktop will have a relative font size, image height and width, and brand logo. A check should be made that the font size, images, and logo on a mobile device are proportionate to the screen size and resolution of the device.

Why should Websites be Compatible with Mobile Devices?

In addition to increasing mobile access of the website, here are are some of the reasons why the website should be mobile compatible:

  1. Increases website’s accessibility: A mobile user can access the website at any time of the day and at any location. A website which is not mobile compatible or poorly compatible can lead to migration of the existing users to the better mobile compatible web applications serving similar purposes. Therefore, software companies are creating responsive websites to attract all the types of users.
  2. Increases sales: With the ease of availability of web applications on mobile handsets, it boosts the sales of the product. Before the mobile era, when the web applications were only limited to desktop, the profit of software companies serving web applications was far less as compared to current sales where users can access the same application from different devices (mobile phone/ tablet).
  3. Increases page views and reduces bounce rate: If the website is displayed perfectly on a smaller device along with a larger screen with same load time, no zoom and convenient navigation, it glues the customer to the screen to spend more time and explore the application. An easy-to-use website helps to preserve the existing users, attract more users, and ultimately reduces bounce rate.
  4. Contributes customer loyalty: If the user is content with the website’s experience and has a positive impression about it, then they would keep coming back to it and use it again and again. Therefore, a website should be mobile friendly to maintain long term relationships with the customers.
  5. To have a place in Google search: More than 90% of the internet users use Google to search for any product. Google identifies if a website is mobile friendly and favours it when displaying search results. In November 2016 Google decided to provide one mobile-first index for both desktop and mobile search which means that if the website is not mobile-friendly, then it would not be ranked highly even for desktop search results. Therefore, to have a place in Google search results, the website should be developed responsive.

Why perform Mobile Compatibility Testing on Real Devices?

While Emulators and Simulators are available in the market for testing purposes, however testing done on emulators differs immensely from testing done on real physical devices. Emulators mimic the mobile environment, and it does not take real conditions into account while testing. 

Hence, Testing on emulators/simulators can be inefficient or non-reliable. Moreover, it does not help gauge compatibility hiccups that occur due to device fragmentation.

Testing on real devices provides a real environment, and one can see the exact behaviour of applications that end users would see on their devices. With real device testing, one can easily simulate network issues, incoming call interruptions, network, etc. This type of testing allows users to run, test, and explore the functionality of the application just like a customer would do on their handset.

However, maintaining a real device lab is a huge overhead cost and requires a lot of resources. With the frequent launches of new devices in the market, procuring and maintaining them seems cumbersome. When in a dilemma of build vs buy for a real device lab, buying a subscription to a cloud-based infrastructure like BrowserStack can be helpful.

BrowserStack allows access to 3000+ real devices and browsers ranging from legacy to the latest devices and browser versions to test on. With BrowserStack’s Real Device Cloud you can test your web applications across different desktop and mobile browsers without any virtual machine setup.

Run Mobile Compatibility Tests on Real Devices

How to perform Mobile Compatibility Testing on Real Devices?

To understand how to perform Mobile Compatibility Tests on a BrowserStack Live, let’s consider below two scenarios to test on BStackDemo website across different devices and browsers to achieve mobile compatibility testing: 

  1. Verify clicking on “Add to cart” should add the item to the cart.
  2. Verify clicking on the cross icon on the cart pop-up should remove the item from the cart.

Follow the steps given below and test the above scenarios on real devices.

  1. Signup for BrowserStack Live
  2. Select the desired Device-Browser combination to test your website on. BrowserStack Live Dashboard 1
  3. Testing Add to Cart and Remove from Cart functionalities of on different Device-Browser-OS combinations by manually following the test steps mentioned in the beginning.
  4. To switch to a different browser on the same device or to switch the device, select “Switch browser” option from the left toolbar and then Select the desired Device-Browser-OS combination from the options available in the dashboard. Mobile Compatibility Testing on Real Devices 1

Mobile Compatibility Test Results on different Device-Browser-OS Combinations

  • Google Pixel 7 Pro with OS version 13 and Chrome browser

Adding the Product to the Cart by Clicking on Add to Cart

Mobile Compatibility Testing on Google Pixel 7 Chrome

Removing the Product from the Cart by Clicking on the Cross Icon

Mobile Compatibility Testing on Google Pixel 7 and Chrome

  • iPhone 13 with OS version 15.4 and Safari browser

Adding the Product to the Cart by Clicking on Add to Cart

Mobile Compatibility Testing on iPhone 13 Safari BrowserRemoving the Product from the Cart by Clicking on the Cross Icon

Mobile Compatibility Testing on iPhone 13 Safari

Empty Cart on Removing the only Product in the cart

Mobile Compatibility Testing on iPhone 13 and Safari Browser


It is challenging for any organization to arrange and test mobile compatibility across all different types of mobile and browser combinations. However, mobile compatibility testing is an indispensable part of testing before releasing any product to production. BrowserStack Live helps test mobile compatibility comprehensively over 3000+ device-browser combinations. It makes debugging easier with DevTools, and you can even share the test results with your team over Slack. Trello and JIRA for delivering a seamless and consistent user experience to users across different mobile devices and browsers.

Try BrowserStack for Free

Cross browser testing Mobile Testing Real Device Cloud Website Testing

Featured Articles

How to ensure mobile website compatibility

All about Mobile Browser Automation

App & Browser Testing Made Easy

Seamlessly test across 20,000+ real devices with BrowserStack