One of the most common terms being used in the business world today is ‘mobile app‘ (mobile application). You’ve more than likely heard the word app over the last couple years, and even more so recently, and may have felt “out of the loop” so to speak or wondered what all the fuss was about. Perhaps that could be because you don’t own a smart phone. If you did, you would have a lot of “APPs” on it.
Apps, or mobile apps is an abbreviated term for applications, similar to software programs used in mobile devices. The term “APPs” became widely accepted after Apple opened their APP Store that offered for sale – games, music, and software programs for its iPhone and iPod devices. But now “APPs” is ubiquitous among all smart phone producers, software designers and of course, users of mobile devices.
Difference between Computer Software and a Mobile App
A mobile app is generally a smaller, less intensive program that can be installed on a user’s smart phone or tablet. Many users have dozens of these APPs installed on their portable device. Because of the streamlined programming for these apps, quickly opening and closing them, one after the other is a common practice and is inherently characteristic of all OS platforms.
Let’s take a look at the iPhone for example. When you first purchase the phone there are a few mobile apps already installed. A browser for example, which will enable you to surf the Internet. Apple uses their own browser called Safari and it comes installed on all iPhones. There are also other standard mobile apps on the iPhone such as the calendar, a clock, a YouTube browser, a compass, and a calculator. The world of APPs is really pushed by the software programmers that develop new applications based on one or more OS platforms. The most popular mobile APPs work on all mobile platforms including the iPhone, blackberry, and Android smart phones and today, on many of the tablets available on the market.
Some of the more popular mobile apps come from existing online businesses that create apps to help with traffic and usage of their website. Twitter and Facebook each have their own application that you can download on any phone, which will allow a more simplistic user interface specifically designed for use on small touch screens. Another popular form of apps are used for reading books such as Apple’s iBooks, and Kindle has its own app as well allowing you to read books from Amazon on your cell phone!
You could probably go to any of your favourite websites, news organisations, cooking or lifestyle programs or games and find an mobile application for them. CNN, NBC, the New York Times, they all have one. And it’s not just reading because a lot of these apps are real tools. Some of which you can talk to, draw or paint on – at least in a digital sense – create music, and learn from via video training or other online courses. Need a recipe? Yes – you can download recipe programs that help you decide what to make based on what’s in your fridge or pantry. Need to squeeze in a quick practice game of chess before your next class? There’s lots of chess games in the APPs store, and the business of creating games for mobile APPs is actually a massive industry unto itself.
One of the reasons why these mobile apps are so popular is because they’re usually very inexpensive to buy, many of them are even free. Sure you can sometimes spend as much as $20 or $30 for a few of them but most are around $0.99 to $5. That makes it pretty easy for the consumer to buy these mobile apps thus creating more sales and consistent profits for smart phone and tablet manufacturers.
The industry of apps is growing at an enormously rapid rate as mobile apps are being released for almost anything you can think of. Mobile apps are here for the long haul for both business and pleasure. What’s your favourite mobile app?