What Is Difference Between Desktop App and Mobile App?

Denise Wilkinson

In today’s world, mobile and desktop apps have become an integral part of our lives. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, mobile apps have become increasingly popular.

However, desktop apps still hold a significant place in the market. In this article, we will discuss the key differences between desktop apps and mobile apps.

What is a Desktop App?

A desktop application is software that is installed on a personal computer or laptop and can be accessed by clicking on an icon on the desktop or through the start menu. Desktop applications are designed to run on specific operating systems like Windows, macOS, or Linux.

Desktop applications offer more powerful features than web or mobile applications as they can utilize resources directly from the computer’s operating system. They can access files locally stored on the computer and provide better security features.

Advantages of Desktop Apps

  • Powerful features that utilize resources directly from the operating system
  • Access files stored locally on the computer
  • Better security features
  • Faster performance than web applications

What is a Mobile App?

A mobile application is software that is designed to run on a smartphone or tablet. Mobile applications can be downloaded from app stores such as Google Play Store or Apple App Store. These applications are designed to work with specific operating systems like Android or iOS.

Mobile applications offer convenience as they are accessible anywhere and anytime through smartphones. They also provide easy access to certain functionalities like GPS location tracking and camera usage.

Advantages of Mobile Apps

  • Convenience as they are accessible anywhere and anytime through smartphones
  • Easy access to certain functionalities like GPS location tracking and camera usage
  • Better user experience with a touch-based interface
  • A larger audience as mobile devices are more widely used than desktop computers

Differences between Desktop and Mobile Apps

The key differences between desktop and mobile applications are as follows:

  • Screen size: Desktop applications are designed for larger screens, whereas mobile applications are designed for smaller screens. This affects the layout and design of the application.
  • Hardware: Desktop applications can utilize more powerful hardware resources like RAM and processing power, whereas mobile applications have limited hardware resources.
  • User Interface: Mobile applications use a touch-based interface, whereas desktop applications use a keyboard and mouse interface.
  • Connectivity: Mobile applications rely on internet connectivity to function properly.

    In contrast, desktop applications can function offline.

  • Development: Developing desktop applications requires knowledge of specific programming languages like C++ or Java. Developing mobile applications requires knowledge of programming languages like Swift or Kotlin.


In summary, both desktop and mobile apps have their advantages and disadvantages. Desktop apps provide powerful features and better security but require installation on a computer. On the other hand, mobile apps offer convenience and better user experience but rely on internet connectivity.

Knowing the differences between the two types of apps will help you choose which one best suits your needs. It’s important to keep in mind that both types of apps can coexist and complement each other in various ways.