During the early stages of app development, a key question you or your developers should ask is what type of app will work best for your business? You can design a native mobile app, cloud app, web app, or React Native app. Ultimately, the type of app you choose depends on your business needs, available technologies, and your target audiences.

In this blog post, we examine 4 popular types of applications and how to choose one that’s the right fit for your business goals.


Native Mobile App Development


React Native App Development

Web App Development


Cloud App Development

What is Native App Development?

Native app development involves building applications specifically for a certain platform or operating system. Two popular platforms that native apps are often built on are iOs (Apple) and Android (Google). When developing for iOs, development is primarily done using Swift or Objective-C languages, and for Android, development is mainly done using Java or Kotlin languages. Some examples of popular applications that were built on native include Gmail, Google Photos, YouTube, Health App, Siri, and iBooks.

A major benefit of creating a native app is that you have direct access to the device’s hardware and software features, such as camera, GPS, microphone and more. Native apps are also distributed through official app stores such as the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, which provides a familiar and trusted way for users to discover, download, and install your app. These types of applications typically offer better performance and responsiveness because they’re optimized for the specific platform’s architecture.

Native app development does come with a few drawbacks. For example, you will need to develop and maintain separate codebases for different platforms, which can ultimately increase development time and cost. Because of this, many developers will opt for cross-platform frameworks, such as react native development, which allows them to write code to be used on multiple platforms. Keep reading to learn more about React Native in the next section.

What is React Native Development?

React Native is an open-source framework used to build mobile applications with JavaScript and React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces. React native allows developers to create cross-platform mobile apps that can run on both iOs and Android platforms all while using a single codebase. This type of platform bridges the gap between native and web development, enabling apps to achieve performance close to that of native apps. Some popular examples of apps that were built using react native include Airbnb, Instagram, Uber Eats, and Discord.

React Native has gained immense popularity over the last several years due to its ability to streamline cross-platform development while delivering a native-like experience. One of the major benefits of developing in react native is the ability to write code once and deploy it on both iOs and Android platforms, saving development time and resources. Instead of having to duplicate your work, developers can use a single codebase, making updates more efficient.

One of the latest, most attractive features of React Native applications is they allow “over the air” updates which enables developers to push minor updates directly to the user’s mobile device instead of requiring a formal app store submission process (which can take up to a day or two).

Another key benefit is the ‘Hot Reloading’ feature which lets you see changes in real-time and ultimately shortens feedback loops.

What is Web App Development?

Web app development is the process of creating business applications that run on web browsers. This type of app allows users to engage with data and functionality over the internet and can be accessed through a variety of devices. Web applications often rely on databases, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB, to store and manage its data. Web apps can also use a variety of APIs to interact with external services, integrate third-party functionalities, and enable data exchange.  After web applications are developed, they need to be deployed to a web server or cloud environment, such as AWS or Azure. Some examples of different types of web apps include Amazon, WordPress, Microsoft Teams, and OpenTable.

Developing a web app offers many benefits for businesses and developers. Just like react native, web applications can be developed more quickly than native apps because you’re developing a single application for multiple platforms. Deploying a web app is also significantly easier compared to publishing native apps to the app stores. Updates and bug fixes are also easier and cheaper to deploy across a single codebase.

What is Cloud App Development

Creating business applications that are designed to run on cloud computing platforms, such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, are referred to as Cloud Apps. Developers can leverage a variety of services and tools to build anything from simple web apps to complex enterprise solutions. As demands increase, cloud apps can scale horizontally, allowing them to handle different levels of traffic and user activity without performance issues. Users can access cloud apps from anywhere that has an internet connection, allowing for global accessibility. A few examples of cloud apps are Shopify, Dropbox, WordPress.com, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Cloud app development allows developers to quickly create scalable, reliable, and accessible applications. Developers can also continuously monitor and optimize their app as cloud platforms provide enhanced tools for monitoring performance, usage patterns, and other metrics.

What type of application should you build?

Now that we reviewed 4 types of popular applications, you’re probably wondering which type of app should you build? Ultimately, your business requirements and overall objectives will determine what type of application you should build. Consider what your end goals are, who your target audience is, and any technical considerations. Below is a breakdown of when you should use these 4 types of applications:

  • Native Apps: If your app requires the highest performance and access to device-specific features, consider building a native app. Native Apps are typically used for gaming, content-rich apps, complex animations, real-time data processing, and apps that need to run offline.
  • React Native: If you need a cross-platform app for both iOs and Android, consider building on React Native. React Native apps are typically focused on content display, social media apps, and utility apps.
  • Web Apps: If your app needs to have easy access as well as be accessible from any device with a browser, consider building a web app. Web apps usually consist of online services, content management systems, eCommerce platforms, and collaborative tools.
  • Cloud Apps: If your app needs to leverage cloud services for scalability and easy deployment, consider building a cloud app. Cloud development is intended for apps that need to scale quickly and have automated backup and disaster recovery.

Consulting with a technical app developer can help you make an informed decision based on your project’s specific needs. If you need assistance with developing a new application for your business or modernizing a current app, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!