What is Backend and How to Choose the Best Mobile App Backend for your Application?

In this article, you will learn about what the backend server for mobile apps is. We will show you different backend apps for Android as well as iOS that will help you choose the best backend app for your project. We are sure this will be very helpful for your app development. Enjoy reading!

Most businesses have acknowledged the impact of mobile apps on the value of their companies. Thus, many of them have started to launch mobile apps to provide their services. The use of the latest technology has not only helped the creators but also made things easy for the people to use.

First of all, it is important to know what a mobile app backend is?

Mobile App Backend

Mobile App Backend Development means the development that occurs at the server-side. The backend is a necessary part of a mobile app that stores, secures, and processes the data. A backend app is like a server for the users to sort the required information. One can say that it refers to the activities that happen behind the scenes when you are performing a task on an app. This could be logging in to your account or playing a movie online.

A Beginner's Guide to Back-End Development | Upwork

More precisely, backend apps are used by frontend apps to send a piece of information. A front-end app sends information to the backend through the internet using protocols. These protocols are designed only for apps to communicate. Codes written by backend developers help generate database information to the frontend app. So, all the necessary output that we need gets generated by the backend app.

A backend developer focuses on the following aspects of an app:

  • Database
  • Scripting
  • The architecture

Apps that Do Not Need a Backend App

Some apps are functional even without the backend. The following is the list of some apps that work without a backend:


The calculator is a mathematical computation app preinstalled on any device.

Voice Recorder

Each phone comes with a preinstalled voice recorder. This app only inputs the voice note and saves it. 


The app is used for navigation and comes preinstalled on almost all iOS devices.


The Measure app allows users to measure any dimension using the phone’s camera. It sometimes comes preinstalled on iOS devices. The app is also available on the Appstore and Play store.


Used to keep the necessary notes, this app is available for all devices. It does not require a backend app to function.


The camera app is available on all smartphones. Its purpose is to capture a picture or record a video. It does not need a backend app to perform its sole purpose. However, some latest camera apps use backends to open GPS while using the camera. Camera apps nowadays use backend apps to backup the data in case of loss.

Apps that Need a Backend App

Almost all current-day apps need a backend app in some way. Some of the majorly used apps that require a backend are:


Amazon is a great online marketplace. Users can browse through several products on this app. The app developers need a backend app that enables them to manage it. The backend app must include the ability to add, remove, and refresh the product list. 


Netflix is an app for watching and downloading movies and TV series. A backend app is needed to manage the videos available. It also requires a backend to allow you to sign in to your account.


Uber is a digital taxi service app. Uber requires a backend app to manage available Uber cars near your location. It also requires a backend app to place or cancel a ride.


How Does the Backend App Work?

Here, we will explain to you the working of the backend app by looking at the TripAdvisor app:

TripAdvisor is an application for travelers using which you can find rest houses, hotels, and other recommendations. The app is available on the Appstore as well as the Play store. The user interface of this app displays the restaurants that you should look at. This display of information on your screen is due to the frontend apps.

The app shows the lists and recommendations intelligently. It receives addresses and information with the help of a backend app that runs in the background. The backend app communicates with the server and displays recommendations of the frontend app accordingly. In this way, a backend app runs in the background after you search for a particular facility.

TripAdvisor - App Store Screenshots Screenshots | UI Sources

Backend for Android App

You will need a backend for your app if it has a login or registration feature or requires someplace to save data. You can develop an app yourself to use as a backend. This process will require a lot of time and money. Alternatively, you can use pre-existing MBaaS (Mobile Backend as a Service). These pre-existing services can self-host and save you time and money. The following are four of the best MBaaS you can use:

1. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Mobile

AWS is a backend server for mobile apps. It offers a broad set of tools to develop backend apps for Android apps. The following are the main features of AWS:

  • It is approved by Amazon, trusted by top apps.
  • The platform is used by top apps like Netflix, Twitch, and LinkedIn.
  • AWS is scalable.
  • The tools are very easy to use.
  • You can build a plentiful backend app with its comprehensive set of tools.
  • Its features include Push Notification, Authentication, Cloud Storage, etc.
  • The service is low cost and innovative.

2. Firebase

The following are the main features of Firebase:

  • It is approved by Google and trusted by top apps.
  • This platform has been in use by top apps like Gatsby, Flutter, and Shazam.
  • Firebase includes features such as Realtime Database, Crash Reporting, Authentication, Cloud Storage, Hosting, etc.

3. Parse

The following are the main features of Parse:

  • It is an open-source, self-hosted backend providing platform.
  • This platform provides a Software Development Kit (SDK). SDK enables developers to build custom apps.
  • It offers SDK for Android, iOS, JavaScript, Unity, Arduino, etc.

4. Back4App

The following are the main features of Back4App:

  • It is an advanced cloud-hosted Parse server.
  • This platform builds, hosts, and manages apps easily and quickly.
  • Its main features include Cloud function, Push Notification, Social logins, Email verifications, Live Query Real-Time Database, Analytics Dashboard, Version Control, Teams & Collaboration.

Usefull article: What is the Best Backend Language for Android Apps?

Backend for iOS App

The basic features of backend apps for iOS are:

  • Real-Time Database
  • Automatic synchronization
  • Push Notifications
  • Email Notifications
  • Social Login
  • API console
  • Analytics

The best iOS backend service providers have been stated below:

1. Firebase

Firebase is the most trusted and highly recommended service provider. It gives wonderful backend features that have already been discussed above. Apart from those, it offers File Storage and Push notifications, and has a free plan available.

2. Rest API

Rest API is a stateless platform offering mobile app backend services, which means you need to repeat your data each time. It is a mobile app backend framework that offers greater scalability compared to others. Other notable features include:

  • JSON and XML supported
  • Informs of errors or mistakes while working with the API
  • Easier to use than SOAP
GraphQL vs REST API, Basics and the Comparison | Fonseka Innovations in  2020 | Basic, Data structures, Development

3. GraphQL

Facebook introduced this platform to reduce the limitations that are faced using the Rest API. Its features include:

  • More flexible and fast
  • Precise in data presenting to its clients from the server
  • Reduced network usage in mobile applications

4. StackMob

It is one of the most popular of all the current MBaaS offerings. This platform allows you to upload your backend code and create your web service. Its features include:

  • Analytics
  • Facebook and Instagram integration
  • Geo queries


The above article will help you know about the backend apps. With the help of this article, you will be able to choose the best backend app for your desired backend mobile app development project.

Additionally, you can visit our blog for related information about backend apps and their features. We hope this article will help you choose the best backend for mobile apps for your next mobile app development project. Join our community and get things done professionally today!

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