A mobile application also referred to as a mobile app or simply an app is a computer program or software application designed to run on a mobile device such as a phone, tablet, or watch.
Originally, apps were created for productivity assistance, such as keeping track of your schedules via a calendar, emails, and contact databases. Still, it quickly expanded into all other areas of life. We now have mobile apps for almost everything, from games to exercise to ticket purchases.
And as a result, there are now millions of apps available on mobile phones to download.
Apps are usually downloaded from application distribution platforms operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, for instance, the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store.
For some apps, you have to pay a specific price to purchase them, but most others are free.
Understanding Mobile Apps
Mobile applications are different than the kind of integrated software systems usually found on personal computers because the priority is a smooth user interface with readily available access, they’re designed to optimize how you use them.
For the most part, each app has limited and particular functions, for instance, a habit tracker, a game, or a web browser.
This diverse functionality of apps and the range of services they offer have led to a lot of popularity around them. Customers can choose what their device can do and what they use it for, which opens up many opportunities.
The simplest kind of mobile app takes PC-based applications and changes them into software designed for mobile phones. However, this has become an outdated technique now as apps have become more complex and artificially intelligent.
So, the more sophisticated approach to app development these days is to specifically create them for mobile phones only, keeping in mind both the restrictions and the advantages.
For instance, apps that can track your location are usually built from the viewpoint of mobile and leaving you a lot of space for moving around (on the app). It’s because compared to a PC, you’re not exactly tied down to a phone, and its portability enables users to take these apps with them anywhere.
Types of Mobile Apps
Now that we know how mobile apps work, let’s look at the types of apps.
For starters, apps are classified into two broad categories: native and web apps.
Native apps are created for a specific mobile operating system such as iOS on Apple phones or Android. They’re optimized for better performance and a very fine-tuned user interface, but that also means developing them takes more work and time. There’s also usually a strict quality assurance process.
On the other hand, web apps are used in HTML or CSS, meaning they’re primarily designed to enhance browser functionality. They use less memory because they’re run through the browser.
So, all that happens is that the user is redirected to a web page and all the resultant data (such as cache or cookies) are saved on a server-based database.
What Can Apps Be Used for?
There are several types of apps currently in use on mobile phones.
Games: These apps are among the most popular on smartphones, letting users enjoy various gaming activities. They make up nearly one-third of app downloads and three-fourths of consumer spending.
Productivity: These functions help users manage their schedules, track their habits, send emails, and more. Whether used for business or personal life, they sure can make your life a lot easier!
Lifestyle & Entertainment: Growingly popular lifestyle and entertainment apps usually have features that help users connect to social platforms, communicate with people, and consume or share content. Examples are Instagram, Facebook, Netflix, etc.
Other types of apps can include eCommerce or shopping platforms such as Amazon and eBay, travel apps that enable users to book hotels or flights, and other utility apps such as health trackers and barcode scanners.
Mobile apps began as a convenient replacement for computer software and have now become some of the core components of a smartphone. They enable users to access loads of unique features and functions, including data management, games, and calendars.