Special category: Decentralized applications aka dApps
A kind of special category are decentralized applications, so-called dApps. dApps run on decentralized ledger technology such as the blockchain. This means that data such as transactions of a mobile crypto wallet are distributed in a network of computers. This network acts as a backend and is outside the control of a single authority or organization.
dApps can be developed for different purposes. When implemented well, dApps offer benefits such as more privacy and anonymity for end users, no censorship and a lower risk of downtime due to the decentralized backend for storing data. However, challenges can arise, such as scalability or publishing in the app stores.
dApps can be developed in the form of all the mentioned app types, as PWAs, native apps or with a cross-platform framework like Flutter. The main difference lies in the backend architecture: blockchain instead of a central database. It is worth mentioning that it is of course also possible to create a similar backend architecture (peer-to-peer network) without using blockchain technology. In terms of front-end design and development, the most important difference between a "normal" app and dApps is that users can log in using their web3 identity. They log in with their wallet credentials (public and private key) instead of their email and password.
Two case studies of dApps we created with Flutter can be read here:
This type of app is often discussed at the moment and more and more of them are being developed for various use cases. Only time will tell if they can really be considered the next evolution of apps or "Apps 2.0". We have written more about dApps in the following blog post about blockchain and decentralised applications (dApps).