Quick Summary:

Ruby on Rails wins the heart of entrepreneurs when it comes to web development, but find out why Ruby on Rails mobile app development causes a stir in the mobile development market. This blog covers how you should choose the backend technology for your mobile app, and why RoR is ideal for profitable business applications.

Table of Contents

Ruby on Rails Mobile App Development: Feasible?

To develop and understand the mobile-savvy audience, businesses have already started developing relevant applications for their business and domains. But do you think your business application can shine out and stand apart from the crowd? [ TRIVIA: There are 3.55 million Android apps and almost 2 million iOS apps in the market out there ] Do you firmly believe that a cutting-edge & killer user interface is enough to make your business survive and will never let you sink?

Think over it before you finalize your mobile backend development because your business app is a tremendously powerful medium to redirect, retain, and convert your mobile app users to clients and profit-generating business deals.

Answering the feasibility question, yes, certainly Ruby on Rails mobile app development is possible. In fact, it is a wise and favorable option. Entrepreneurs get two options when using RoR for mobile app development:

  • build a web application that looks and functions like a mobile app, or
  • create a native ruby on rails mobile application.

Deciding Factors of Ruby on Rails Backend for Mobile Apps

Before you select the backend technology for your mobile app, you should have a list of questions answered. The list might look like this:

🟠 Does my mobile app need to save user data?
🟠 Will my mobile app display custom user details on-screen as per their behavior?
🟠 Does my mobile app need user authentication?
🟠 Will my mobile app need configuration access specific to the admin?

There could be more questions in the above list depending on the specific industry niche of your mobile app. But, this set of questions will help you finalize your mobile backend technology. As you get closer to knowing your market and user demographics, you will realize the purpose of your mobile app development, the architecture suitable for developing specific mobile applications, and the choice Ruby on Rails backend development will determine the further development stages of your app.

Purpose of Mobile Backend

The backend of a mobile application contains and manages all the varied integrations of the app. The purpose of the backend of an application would include the following:

  • Synchronizing data across platforms
  • Data storage capability
  • Alert & Notification messages
  • Support for HTTP methods

As you select the backend of your mobile app, you need to consider a programming language that can accommodate these requirements.

Backend Architecture for Mobile Development

A basic mobile app architecture must include a web server, an application server, and a database. If you plan to have a scalable mobile application, then your application architecture must have a load balancer. You might also need various service integrations such as for email and push notifications, and for queuing services.

However, it majorly depends on the type of your mobile application or your business needs and what all features and functionalities you wish to integrate.

Backend Technologies

The role of backend technology in your mobile app is to facilitate communication between the web server, application server, and database. Mobile app developers use server-side languages to build an app, use database management systems/tools to fetch data to and from the database, and finally serve it to the mobile app users on the front-end display.

Here is a classification of back-end technologies to accomplish the above-mentioned processes:

  • Server-side programming languages: Ruby, Python, .Net, Java, PHP, Node.js, C++, Golang
  • Application Servers: Apache, Nginx, IIS, J2EE, GlassFish
  • Database Servers: MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Redis, SQLite

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Why Ruby on Rails is Right For Mobile App Development

Ruby on Rails has been popular as the most-preferred web application development language. But, however, its capability as a mobile application development language has been overshadowed hence.

Of course, there are several advantages of building web applications using RoR, but that doesn’t undermine the framework’s potential for mobile applications. As a matter of fact, RoR is equally beneficial for mobile app development. To add on, Rails is perfect for developing hybrid and cross-platform applications.

Let us check the reasons why and how Ruby on Rails mobile app development is the most useful and suitable thing. Here are certain considerations of Ruby on Rails that make it the ideal and favorable choice for mobile app development.

Why Ruby on Rails For Mobile App Development


Mobile users have the shortest level of patience. Even if your mobile app user struggles for seconds, they will chuck off and switch to another app. The reason is that as the number of users increases on your mobile application, it needs to briskly cater to the needs with higher precision.

The power of RoR is that it is a scalable framework; your rails mobile app will never struggle to handle the incoming traffic. This predictability makes a good reason for RoR as a mobile app development technology.


ROR is open source, and there are several free plugins available that ruby on rails mobile developers can utilize. This saves time and money.

Low Coding/Swift

Developers find Ruby on Rails easy and handy because it does not require extensive coding. It might not be very easy to learn, but once developers have learned it, they can affluently use it hassle-free. It runs on the concepts of Convention over Configuration, Don’t Repeat Yourself, Representational State Transfer, and Keep It Simple as Possible.

Agile Development

RoR runs on the Agile principles, and hence the mobile app development with ruby on rails takes place in sprints. The advantage of the agile development process is that there will be comparatively fewer errors and bugs. On completion of one component of the project, developers move to the next part. This assures simplicity and ease of development.


Having a vast community is a big help to developers. Ruby on Rails has gigantic support from the community, holding 20.8k forks on Github and 51.8k stars. Such support boosts mobile app developers to keep their apps updated. Also, there are thousands of Ruby on Rails gems available that developers can reuse. Hence it is advisable for entrepreneurs to use Ruby on Rails for mobile app development.

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How to Convert Existing Ruby on Rails Web App to Mobile Application?

RoR follows an MVC architecture, which means that one may render and call frontend APIs anytime to incorporate with the rails backend for mobile application development. If your business web application is built with Ruby on Rails, this is how you can convert your existing Rails application into a mobile app by creating an application programming interface (API).

Here are the steps to execute:

  • Create your directory
  • Create your resources
  • Generate Controllers
  • Run your migrations
  • Set up your associations
  • Populate your seeds
  • Write your routes
  • Create your routes
  • Run your seeds
  • cors (cross-origin resource sharing)

With this, you can create your API which calls JSON and links your mobile frontend with Rails backend.

Today, 3,845,368 websites are using Ruby on Rails, and it is certainly the most used web app development technology in the market. However, if we talk about Ruby on Rails android app or iOS apps, here are some big names that will stir your interest.

Popular companies using Ruby on Rails backend for mobile applications:

Popular Examples of Ruby on Rails Mobile Applications

🟠 AirBnB- The famous home rental application is built using RoR. There is no point in praising the user-centric features of this amazing app, but let us focus on and acknowledge the app features that were possible because of the magical backend technology for mobile applications: real-time alerts & booking notifications, in-app messaging, saving favorites, etc.

🟠 GitHub- The tech community platform and the code repository is also available for Android and iOS platforms. Ruby on rails has been the aid behind these mobile apps which were designed to host IT projects and enable collaborations.

🟠 Dribble- The popular platform for designers uses RoR for its mobile app development. It is evident looking at the traffic on the mobile app platform that how Ruby on Rails proves to be a scalable app development option.

🟠 Fiverr- A place for freelancers and employers to meet and collaborate to accommodate each others’ needs. The Fiverr mobile app uses Ruby on Rails backend, which depicts the security and scalability of the framework.

🟠 Basecamp- The RoR founder uses the framework for his own project- Basecamp mobile app which presents features such as organizing project members, delegating tasks, monitoring progress, scheduling, managing, and more.


Ruby On Rails provides additional competitive edge mobility solutions for android and iOS. Leveraging Rhodes, Sencha Touch, JavaScript libraries, and other MVC architecture, ROR software developers can deliver robust, scalable, and performance-optimized Backend applications.

At Bacancy Technology, our expert Ruby developers leverage swagger-docs, ruby- grape and other valuable behavior-driven testing frameworks along with test-driven development ability as well as faster development cycles to build iOS and android apps quicker. Our customized iOS and Android native apps yield very high productivity with low-code development along with speedy completion of projects.

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