Math in Computing

Modern Computers and Mathematics

What is an “app” in computer-terminology?

In January 2011, the American Dialect Society named “app” the word of the year for 2010, which shows how popular the word has become in the world of computers. In particular, the word app is a noun, and is short for “application”—in this case, to a software application program. According to computer scientists, such an app usually refers to software used on a mobile device such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, or iPad (see above), and is often specifically called a “mobile app” or “iPhone app.” There are also “web apps” or “online apps,” which are used mostly by businesses in which the user accesses the app via an online browser.

There are several reasons for using apps. For the general public, apps are found on the iPhone or other devices so you can access one online feature or another. They are also used to find out information concerning business offerings. For example, apps are now found in magazines: you can “scan” the app into your iPhone to take you to an extra feature the magazine is offering, such as a cooking magazine offering more recipes, or as a way to find out more information about an advertiser. For businesses, web or online apps are a more efficient way to share software among employees in a business; and a mobile app can be used by a company’s workers to perform all sorts of business tasks while out on the road.


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