A cloud application is a software program that operates through cloud and has some of the properties of a desktop application as well as a web application. The similarity with a desktop application can be attributed to the fact that a cloud application can be downloaded on a local device and can be used in offline mode i.e. without any internet connectivity.
Cloud applications need to be connected to internet for the purpose of updating. The user interface of cloud application resides on a local machine and the tools are available in cloud.
Cloud applications are used extensively for sharing of files among individuals who are situated in geographically remote locations. With advent of smart-phones, mobile applications such as native apps and mobile apps are gaining widespread acceptance. Native apps can be procured from app stores by downloading and may not require internet connectivity, while mobile apps are viewed in browser windows and need not be downloaded on local devices.
Mobile apps require internet connectivity for viewing and the data resides on cloud. Therefore, native apps pose higher security risk of the data getting stolen or lost than mobile apps. Cloud applications that need to be accessed by variety of devices are preferably mobile apps, since these support different devices irrespective of the operating systems.