Jul 5, 2023

about 11 min read

What Is Application Development? A Practical Guide For Beginners

What is application development? Get insights into building efficient applications for your business needs.

In a digital world, applications have become a key driver of success for businesses across industries. Apps allow companies to connect with their desired audience, make their operations more efficient, and keep up with competition in the market. Through app development, businesses can take advantage of new opportunities, expand their influence, and provide valuable solutions to customers. So, what is application development?

Stay tuned to our blog as we delve deeper into this concept to help businesses harness the full potential of this ever-evolving field.

What Is Application Development?

To gain a deeper understanding of this aspect, we must first grasp the fundamental nature of an application.

An application, referred to as an app, is a software program developed to enable users to carry out specific tasks or functions. Unlike generic software, an app is designed to engage with end users.

Thus, what is application development? In essence, application development is a process of design, coding, testing, and deployment phases. Its goal is to create an application with tailored tasks and functionalities that cater to the requirements of end users. Depending on the specific app category, developers will plan and design the appropriate structure and flow.

Types Of Application Development

When we mention applications, we often think of mobile apps. Yet, it's important to note that there are various app types, including web apps, desktop apps, and others.

Mobile Application

So, what is a mobile application? A mobile application is a software program created only for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. There are different types of mobile approaches, each with its characteristics and benefits.

Native Application Development

A native application is a software application designed for a particular application platform or operating system (OS). So, native mobile app development entails creating mobile applications tailored for a specific operating system. They use programming languages or frameworks native to that operating system. For example, developers use Swift or Objective-C for iOS, while Java or Kotlin are chosen for Android dev.

Read more: IOS vs. Android - What Is The Best Platform For Your App?

Hybrid Application Development

Hybrid mobile app development refers to a form of app dev that merges aspects of both native and web app development. The goal is to produce an application capable of operating on many platforms while taking advantage of the strengths inherent in both native and web app dev.

Hybrid apps are web-based applications that are enclosed within a native container, such as Capacitor or Apache Cordova. By doing this, hybrid apps are allowed for installation and execution across diverse platforms. In general, there seems to be a similarity between native apps vs hybrid apps (Hybrid apps combine the features of native apps). Yet, they also have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the goals and needs of the business.

Hybrid applications are suitable for businesses that need quick launches across many platforms. It helps them get user input and assess market response.

Cross-Platform Application Development

A cross-platform app is a software application running on many platforms or operating systems using a single codebase. Many people confuse hybrid apps with cross-platform apps due to their similarities.

Unlike their counterparts, cross-platform apps are created using frameworks and tools. They enable code reusability across various platforms, such as iOS, Android, Windows, and web browsers. The performance of cross-platform apps is stable and comparable to native apps. Besides, hybrid apps may not achieve the same level of performance as native apps. There are many well-known examples of successful cross-platform apps. For example, Airbnb, Facebook, and Skype.

Web Application Development

Web applications are software applications that are usually stored on web servers and can be accessed by users through a URL or website. In essence, web application development involves creating these applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and various frameworks and libraries. This is a subset of web development.

One of the advantages of web applications is that users can access them from any location without any specific device or development platform. Web applications are utilized in various sectors such as e-commerce, banking, and project management.


Desktop Application Development

A desktop application (standalone application), is a software program designed to be executed on a desktop or laptop computer. It is compatible with operating systems such as Windows, macOS, or Linux. These applications can function without an internet connection. They use the resources and capabilities of the local hardware and operating system. These ensure a robust and comprehensive user experience. Well-known desktop applications like Microsoft Office Suite, Google Chrome, and Spotify have gained immense popularity among users globally.

Desktop app development is the creation of software programs using programming languages such as Java, C++, C#, or Python. Their user interfaces are more complicated and feature-rich than the mobile application's ones. Desktop apps are employed for professional purposes that demand large computing capabilities. In contrast, mobile applications deliver a more personalized and on-the-go user experience. Those apps offer convenience, portability, and connectivity.

Enterprise Application Development

Enterprise application development (business application development) is the process of delivering software solutions developed to cater to the specific requirements of businesses. Most of the time, the process focuses on their operational needs. The primary aim is to enhance efficiency, productivity, and collaboration within the organization. They find applications in various specialized domains such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Resource Management (HRM), and Project Management.

Usually, businesses prefer integrated applications that encompass many functionalities. They act as a centralized solution to address diverse business operations. But, when organizations seek a more streamlined and uncomplicated solution, they might consider adopting one-feature enterprise applications. These applications concentrate on delivering precise functionality or addressing a specific business challenge within the organization.

Cloud Application Development

A cloud application is a web application that runs on cloud infrastructure. Web apps and cloud applications are similar concepts. But, web applications are not always hosted on cloud infrastructure.

Initial hardware and infrastructure investments are not necessary with cloud apps. Instead, companies may choose to subscribe to a service or pay for the services they use on an ongoing basis. With this pay-per-use business model, costs are optimal while the expense of managing and maintaining physical infrastructure is decreased.

Mobile App Development Platform


Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit. This kit creates natively built apps for mobile, web, and desktop platforms from a single codebase. Developers may construct pleasing and responsive user interfaces with Flutter's extensive library of pre-designed widgets and tools.

These widgets are susceptible and may be customized to create intricate UI layouts. The hot reload function in Flutter is quite useful for programmers. Without having to restart the program, they may immediately view the changes made to the code.

React Native

React Native is an open-source framework created by Facebook. It allows developers to create mobile applications for both the iOS and Android platforms using a single codebase. React Native generally focuses on iOS and Android, whereas Flutter supports a variety of platforms.

Flutter is famous for its exceptional efficiency and adaptable user interface. Yet, React Native makes use of the popular JavaScript language. This feature makes it simpler to locate qualified developers who are conversant in the language. Utilizing Flutter needs knowledge of the Dart programming language. This might be a learning curve for those who are not familiar with it.

The choice between Flutter vs React Native depends on some variables, including the needs of the project, the abilities of the developers, and the expected performance.


NativeScript is an open-source framework that offers a compelling choice for developers who have expertise in JavaScript or TypeScript. It facilitates the building of cross-platform mobile applications. NativeScript's ability to access native APIs and UI components over React Native is a noteworthy benefit. This makes it possible for developers to make mobile apps that run and have a native appearance and feel.

NativeScript-built apps provide a fluid and responsive user experience by taking advantage of the device's hardware capabilities. The framework also offers a selection of modules and plugins that increase its capability. Compared to React Native, NativeScript offers a lesser ecosystem of ready-made UI components and frameworks.

App Development Life Cycle

The application development life cycle is a structured process that consists of six key steps: requirements gathering, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Each stage within the app development life cycle is crucial and contributes to the success of the project.

Requirement Gathering

Efficient requirements play a crucial role in establishing a shared vision between the development team and stakeholders. It helps to promote alignment throughout the app development process. This stage is vital as it forms the basis of the project. The foundation ensures that stakeholders' expectations are met and the final product fulfills its intended objectives. Developers can use various strategies, such as conducting interviews, reviewing documentation, or utilizing prototyping, to gather requirements.

UI/UX Design

A well-designed UI/UX is crucial in ensuring the delivery of an engaging and intuitive application. When organizing the application's structure, the integration of interactive and cohesive components enhances scalability, maintainability, and performance. Additionally, considering marketing aspects can optimize the user experience (UX) of the design.

Read more: UX And Marketing: Everything You Need To Know


In the developing phase, developers engage in coding, component integration, and building the functional aspects of the application. As a first step, they need to decide on the application's architecture. Developers must consider various patterns and styles. Some examples are monolithic, client-server, service-oriented, and microservices.

Read more: Microservices vs Monolithic Architecture: Which One Is Better?

In this phase, the developers make decisions about the technology stack, frameworks, and libraries. They set up the development environments, which encompass IDEs, code editors, project management tools, and more.


Once the code is written, the developers proceed with integrating the components to ensure their seamless operation within the application. They install the desired functionality of the application. For instance, user interfaces, business logic, unified data management, and any necessary integrations with external services or APIs.

Quality Assurance Testing

Thorough QA testing is integral to ensure the delivery of a reliable, stable, and high-quality application to end users. QA testers use a range of techniques, including manual testing, automation testing, or a combination of both, to achieve effective results.

Application Maintenance And Support

After the deployment, it becomes crucial to provide continuous application maintenance and support. This stage tackles any concerns, releases updates, and ensures the application's performance and security are at their best.

App Development Methodologies

Rapid application development

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a software development process that stresses quick prototyping and iterative development. The planning phase is minimized, and the development process is accelerated to achieve a quicker time-to-market.

RAD encourages active participation and cooperation between stakeholders and end users. This results in greater comprehension of user demand and higher-quality products. Early prototyping, regular testing, and the iterative nature of RAD help identify and fix problems, producing applications of higher quality.

Small-scale projects with definite deadlines, flexible specifications, and quick delivery are good candidates for RAD. Startups may be a special target of RAD since they have a pressing need to release a minimal viable product (MVP) to test the market and gain user feedback.

Waterfall development

Waterfall app development is a sequential software development strategy that follows a linear and controlled procedure. It is divided into six separate phases that are carried out in the order of the app development life cycle.

Waterfall development is a simpler technique to plan and measure progress since it has defined principles and goals. Requirements are often obtained and recorded at the start of a project in waterfall development. It is helpful when dealing with tight financial restrictions or restricted resources for this reason. The Waterfall technique places a strong emphasis on thorough documentation at every stage of the project. This documentation may be used for future reference, maintenance, and knowledge transfer.

The waterfall model's predictability emphasis may be helpful in sectors with established norms and regulations. Some examples are government or healthcare.

Agile development

One of the most well-liked methods of app development is the agile method. It places a focus on collaboration and flexibility and the shorter delivery of functional software. Agile techniques encourage an incremental and iterative development process. In contrast, traditional waterfall methodologies follow a sequential and linear procedure.

Agile development places a strong emphasis on ongoing stakeholder cooperation throughout the project. This makes it more likely that the product they receive will live up to their expectations and reflect their changing demands. It is thus utilized by software development organizations since it helps them to provide high-quality software and increases client satisfaction.

Startups are also the greatest candidates for this strategy. It enables them to adjust to market changes, test ideas, and provide value to consumers in less time. The iterative nature enables them to focus on the most important features. In the meantime, it supports gathering input for ongoing improvement.

How To Develop An Application?

Using An App Builder

An app builder, referred to as a no-code or low-code platform, is a tool that allows users to create apps using drag-and-drop tools, visual interfaces, and pre-built components. The advantages of no-code app creation are speed, flexibility, and accessibility. But, using a no-code method may make it challenging to provide complicated functions or specific needs.

Writing Your Code

Large enterprises often have intricate and unique business processes. Those procedures need the creation of custom-built applications tailored to their specific workflows. By establishing an internal app development team, they can exercise greater control over the development process. Then, they can ensure data security, and address their specific business requirements.

Another suitable candidate for building an internal app development team is technology companies. With an in-house team, they can offer comprehensive services from ideation to development and maintenance. At the same time, they can maintain stringent quality control.

Building an internal app development team, but, should be highlighted as a time-consuming and expensive task. There is a need for careful long-term planning, a sizable initial investment, the provision of infrastructure, and continual efforts.

Hiring An Application Development Agency

Hiring an application development firm is a third choice between the two. Partnering with an agency is the best option for your needs if your firm lacks the time or resources necessary for an in-house team yet has sophisticated product-related requirements.

Due to their extensive client and industry experience, application development companies may add new insights and creative ideas to your initiatives. They can provide knowledge and best practices that might not be accessible within your company. After the launches, those companies also offer continuing support and maintenance services. This guarantees that any problems or mistakes are fixed right away and that updates and enhancements are implemented.

Golden Owl Consulting: Best Mobile App Development Company In Asia

Golden Owl Consulting is a leading provider of custom mobile application development services. Our team consists of skilled professionals. They specialize in mobile app development for various platforms, including iOS and Android. Our developers have a deep understanding of the latest mobile technologies and frameworks. The expertise will help you create robust, scalable, and feature-rich applications.

We follow an agile development approach that allows for flexibility, adaptability, and quick iterations. This ensures that you are involved throughout the mobile app development process. You are free to provide feedback and make adjustments as needed. Our transparent and collaborative approach ensures timely delivery, app maintenance services, and client satisfaction.

Whether you are a startup, a small business, or an established enterprise, Golden Owl Consulting is here to help you leverage the power of mobile technology.


In conclusion, we have come through the answer to “What is application development?” and all basics related to this topic. This has become an indispensable aspect of the modern digital landscape. Applications have transformed the way we interact with technology.

Come with Golden Owl Consulting today and let us inform you of more fascinating knowledge about this topic.

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