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. Apps were originally intended for productivity assistance such as email, calendar, and contact databases, but the public demand for apps caused rapid expansion into other areas such as mobile games, factory automation, GPS and location-based services, order-tracking, and ticket purchases, so that there are now millions of apps available. Apps are generally downloaded from application distribution platforms which are operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store. Some apps are free, and others have a price, with the profit being split between the application's creator and the distribution platform. Mobile applications often stand in contrast to desktop applications which are designed to run on desktop computers, and web applications which run in mobile web browsers rather than directly on the mobile device.
In 2009, technology columnist David Pogue stated that smartphones could be nicknamed "app phones" to distinguish them from earlier less-sophisticated smartphones.The term "app", short for "software application", has since become very popular; in 2010, it was listed as "Word of the Year" by the American Dialect Society.
Most mobile devices are sold with several apps bundled as pre-installed software, such as a web browser, email client, calendar, mapping program, and an app for buying music, other media, or more apps. Some pre-installed apps can be removed by an ordinary uninstall process, thus leaving more storage space for desired ones. Where the software does not allow this, some devices can be rooted to eliminate the undesired apps.
Apps that are not preinstalled are usually available through distribution platforms called app stores. They began appearing in 2008 and are typically operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry App World. However, there are independent app stores, such as Cydia, GetJar and F-Droid. Some apps are free, while others must be bought. Usually, they are downloaded from the platform to a target device, but sometimes they can be downloaded to laptops or desktop computers. For apps with a price, generally a percentage, 20-30%, goes to the distribution provider (such as iTunes), and the rest goes to the producer of the app.The same app can, therefore, cost a different price depending on the mobile platform.
Apps can also be installed manually, for example by running an Android application package on Android devices.
Mobile apps were originally offered for general productivity and information retrieval, including email, calendar, contacts, the stock market and weather information. However, public demand and the availability of developer tools drove rapid expansion into other categories, such as those handled by desktop application software packages. As with other software, the explosion in number and variety of apps made discovery a challenge, which in turn led to the creation of a wide range of review, recommendation, and curation sources, including blogs, magazines, and dedicated online app-discovery services. In 2014 government regulatory agencies began trying to regulate and curate apps, particularly medical apps.Some companies offer apps as an alternative method to deliver content with certain advantages over an official website.
With a growing number of mobile applications available at app stores and the improved capabilities of smartphones, people are downloading more applications to their devices.Usage of mobile apps has become increasingly prevalent across mobile phone users. A May 2012 comScore study reported that during the previous quarter, more mobile subscribers used apps than browsed the web on their devices: 51.1% vs. 49.8% respectively. Researchers found that usage of mobile apps strongly correlates with user context and depends on user's location and time of the day. Mobile apps are playing an ever-increasing role within healthcare and when designed and integrated correctly can yield many benefits.
Market research firm Gartner predicted that 102 billion apps would be downloaded in 2013 (91% of them free), which would generate $26 billion in the US, up 44.4% on 2012's US$18 billion. By Q2 2015, the Google Play and Apple stores alone generated $5 billion. An analyst report estimates that the app economy creates revenues of more than €10 billion per year within the European Union, while over 529,000 jobs have been created in 28 EU states due to the growth of the app market.
Mobile applications may be classified by numerous methods. A common scheme is to distinguish native, hybrid, and web-based apps.
All apps targeted toward a particular mobile platform are known as native apps. Therefore, an app intended for Apple device does not run in Android devices. As a result, most businesses develop apps for multiple platforms.
While developing native apps, professionals incorporate best-in-class user interface modules. This accounts for better performance, consistency and good user experience. Users also benefit from wider access to application programming interfaces and make limitless use of all apps from the particular device. Further, they also switch over from one app to another effortlessly.
The main purpose for creating such apps is to ensure best performance for a specific mobile operating system.
The concept of the hybrid app is a mix of native and web-based apps. Apps developed using Apache Cordova, Xamarin, React Native, Sencha Touch and other similar technology fall into this category.
These are made to support web and native technologies across multiple platforms. Moreover, these apps are easier and faster to develop. It involves use of single code base which works in multiple mobile operating systems.
Despite such advantages, hybrid apps exhibit lower performance. Often, apps fail to bear the same look-and-feel in different mobile operating systems.
These apps may capture minimum memory space in user devices compared to native and hybrid apps. Since all the personal databases are saved on the Internet servers, users can fetch their desired data from any device through the Internet.
Developing apps for mobile devices requires considering the constraints and features of these devices. Mobile devices run on battery and have less powerful processors than personal computers and also have more features such as location detection and cameras. Developers also have to consider a wide array of screen sizes, hardware specifications and configurations because of intense competition in mobile software and changes within each of the platforms (although these issues can be overcome with mobile device detection).
Mobile application development requires the use of specialized integrated development environments. Mobile apps are first tested within the development environment using emulators and later subjected to field testing. Emulators provide an inexpensive way to test applications on mobile phones to which developers may not have physical access. [ citation needed ]
Mobile user interface (UI) Design is also essential. Mobile UI considers constraints and contexts, screen, input and mobility as outlines for design. The user is often the focus of interaction with their device, and the interface entails components of both hardware and software. User input allows for the users to manipulate a system, and device's output allows the system to indicate the effects of the users' manipulation. Mobile UI design constraints include limited attention and form factors, such as a mobile device's screen size for a user's hand. Mobile UI contexts signal cues from user activity, such as location and scheduling that can be shown from user interactions within a mobile application. Overall, mobile UI design's goal is primarily for an understandable, user-friendly interface.
Mobile UIs, or front-ends, rely on mobile back-ends to support access to enterprise systems. The mobile back-end facilitates data routing, security, authentication, authorization, working off-line, and service orchestration. This functionality is supported by a mix of middleware components including mobile app servers, Mobile Backend as a service (MBaaS), and SOA infrastructure.
Conversational interfaces display the computer interface and present interactions through text instead of graphic elements. They emulate conversations with real humans.There are two main types of conversational interfaces: voice assistants (like the Amazon Echo) and chatbots.
Conversational interfaces are growing particularly practical as users are starting to feel overwhelmed with mobile apps (a term known as "app fatigue").
David Limp, Amazon's senior vice president of devices, says in an interview with Bloomberg, "We believe the next big platform is voice."
This section needs to be updated. The reason given is: Outdated stats; Microsoft Store no longer caters for mobile apps as Windows Mobile has been discontinued; Nokia Ovi store is long closed; Samsung Apps has been renamed; etc..April 2020)(
The three biggest app stores are Google Play for Android, App Store for iOS, and Microsoft Store for Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, and Xbox One.
Google Play (formerly known as the Android Market) is an international online software store developed by Google for Android devices. It opened in October 2008.In July 2013, the number of apps downloaded via the Google Play Store surpassed 50 billion, of the over 1 million apps available. As of September 2016, according to Statista the number of apps available exceeded 2.4 million. Over 80% of apps in the Google Play Store are free to download. The store generated a revenue of 6 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.
Apple's App Store for iOS was not the first app distribution service, but it ignited the mobile revolution and was opened on July 10, 2008, and as of September 2016, reported over 140 billion downloads. The original AppStore was first demonstrated to Steve Jobs in 1993 by Jesse Tayler at NeXTWorld Expo As of June 6, 2011, there were 425,000 apps available, which had been downloaded by 200 million iOS users. During Apple's 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference, CEO Tim Cook announced that the App Store has 650,000 available apps to download as well as 30 billion apps downloaded from the app store until that date. From an alternative perspective, figures seen in July 2013 by the BBC from tracking service Adeven indicate over two-thirds of apps in the store are "zombies", barely ever installed by consumers.
Microsoft Store (formerly known as the Windows Store) was introduced by Microsoft in 2012 for its Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms. While it can also carry listings for traditional desktop programs certified for compatibility with Windows 8, it is primarily used to distribute "Windows Store apps"—which are primarily built for use on tablets and other touch-based devices (but can still be used with a keyboard and mouse, and on desktop computers and laptops).
Mobile application management (MAM) describes software and services responsible for provisioning and controlling access to internally developed and commercially available mobile apps used in business settings. The strategy is meant to off-set the security risk of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) work strategy. When an employee brings a personal device into an enterprise setting, mobile application management enables the corporate IT staff to transfer required applications, control access to business data, and remove locally cached business data from the device if it is lost, or when its owner no longer works with the company. Containerization is an alternate BYOD security solution. Rather than controlling an employees entire device, containerization apps create isolated and secure pockets separate from all personal data. Company control of the device only extends to that separate container.
Especially when employees "bring your own device", mobile apps can be a significant security risk for businesses, because they transfer unprotected sensitive data to the Internet without knowledge and consent of the users. Reports of stolen corporate data show how quickly corporate and personal data can fall into the wrong hands. Data theft is not just the loss of confidential information, but makes companies vulnerable to attack and blackmail.
Professional mobile application management helps companies protect their data. One option for securing corporate data is app wrapping. But there also are some disadvantages like copyright infringement or the loss of warranty rights. Functionality, productivity and user experience are particularly limited under app wrapping. The policies of a wrapped app can't be changed. If required, it must be recreated from scratch, adding cost.An app wrapper is a mobile app made wholly from an existing website or platform, with few or no changes made to the underlying application. The "wrapper" is essentially a new management layer that allows developers to set up usage policies appropriate for app use. Examples of these policies include whether or not authentication is required, allowing data to be stored on the device, and enabling/disabling file sharing between users. Because most app wrappers are often websites first, they often do not align with iOS or Android Developer guidelines.
Alternatively, it is possible to offer native apps securely through enterprise mobility management without limiting the native user experience. This enables more flexible IT management as apps can be easily implemented and policies adjusted at any time.
Microsoft Office, or simply Office, is a family of client software, server software, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on August 1, 1988, at COMDEX in Las Vegas. Initially a marketing term for an office suite, the first version of Office contained Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Over the years, Office applications have grown substantially closer with shared features such as a common spell checker, OLE data integration and Visual Basic for Applications scripting language. Microsoft also positions Office as a development platform for line-of-business software under the Office Business Applications brand. On July 10, 2012, Softpedia reported that Office was being used by over a billion people worldwide.
A smartphone is a mobile device that combines cellular and mobile computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate wider software, internet, and multimedia functionality, alongside core phone functions such as voice calls and text messaging. Smartphones typically contain a number of metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) chips, include various sensors that can be leveraged by their software, and support wireless communications protocols.
A mobile game is a game played on a mobile phone, tablet, smartwatch, PDA, portable media player or graphing calculator. The earliest known game on a mobile phone was a Tetris variant on the Hagenuk MT-2000 device from 1994.
Mobile app development is the act or process by which a mobile app is developed for mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones. These applications can be pre-installed on phones during manufacturing platforms, or delivered as web applications using server-side or client-side processing to provide an "application-like" experience within a Web browser. Application software developers also must consider a long array of screen sizes, hardware specifications, and configurations because of intense competition in mobile software and changes within each of the platforms. Mobile app development has been steadily growing, in revenues and jobs created. A 2013 analyst report estimates there are 529,000 direct app economy jobs within the EU then 28 members, 60 percent of which are mobile app developers.
Adobe AIR is a cross-platform runtime system developed by Adobe Systems for building desktop applications and mobile applications, programmed using Adobe Animate, ActionScript and optionally Apache Flex. The runtime supports installable applications on Windows, OS X and mobile operating systems including Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS. It also originally ran on Linux, but support was discontinued as of version 2.6 in 2011.
Ovi by Nokia was the brand for Nokia's Internet services. The Ovi services could be used from a mobile device, computer or via the web. Nokia focused on five key service areas: Games, Maps, Media, Messaging and Music. Nokia's aim with Ovi was to include third party developers, such as operators and third-party services like Yahoo's Flickr photo site. With the announcement of Ovi Maps Player API, Nokia started to evolve their services into a platform, enabling third parties to make use of Nokia's Ovi services.
A mobile operating system is an operating system for mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches, 2-in-1 PCs, smart speaker, or other mobile devices. While computers such as typical laptops are 'mobile', the operating systems used on them are generally not considered mobile ones, as they were originally designed for desktop computers that historically did not have or need specific mobile features. This distinction is becoming blurred in some newer operating systems that are hybrids made for both uses.
Windows Phone (WP) is a discontinued family of mobile operating systems developed by Microsoft for smartphones as the replacement successor to Windows Mobile and Zune. Windows Phone featured a new user interface derived from Metro design language. Unlike Windows Mobile, it was primarily aimed at the consumer market rather than the enterprise market.
Here Technologies is a Netherlands-based company that provides mapping and location data and related services to individuals and companies. It is majority-owned by a consortium of German automotive companies, whilst other companies also own minority stakes. Its roots date back to U.S.-based Navteq in 1985, which was acquired by Finland-based Nokia in 2007. Here is currently based in The Netherlands.
MixRadio was an online music streaming service owned by Line Corporation. The service was first introduced by Nokia in 2011 as Nokia Music for Windows Phone, serving as a successor to Nokia's previous Nokia Music Store/Comes with Music/Ovi Music Store initiatives, which was based on the LoudEye/OD2 platform. After its acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business, the service was briefly maintained by Microsoft Mobile Oy before it was sold to Japanese internet company Line Corporation in 2015. Following the acquisition, MixRadio expanded to Android and iOS in May 2015.
Symbian is a discontinued mobile operating system (OS) and computing platform designed for smartphones. Symbian was originally developed as a proprietary software OS for PDAs in 1998 by the Symbian Ltd. consortium. Symbian OS is a descendant of Psion's EPOC, and was released exclusively on ARM processors, although an unreleased x86 port existed. Symbian was used by many major mobile phone brands, like Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and above all by Nokia. It was also prevalent in Japan by brands including Fujitsu, Sharp and Mitsubishi. As a pioneer that established the smartphone industry, it was the most popular smartphone OS on a worldwide average until the end of 2010—at a time when smartphones were in limited use—when it was overtaken by iOS and Android. It was notably not as popular in North America.
SPB Software, a division of Yandex, the leading Russian IT company which operates the largest search engine in Russia, develops mobile solutions for OEM mobile device manufacturers, mobile carriers, smartphone, tablet, and end users worldwide. On November 28, 2011 Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Yandex acquired SPB Software after its own initial public offering debuted on the NASDAQ as the fourth largest IPO for all of 2011. SPB Software's most popular solution, the SPB Shell 3D, has been described by The New York Times as an application that makes for a much more user-friendly phone. SPB Shell 3D utilizes SPB Software's SPB UI Engine, a cross-platform modular plugin for building hyper-realistic 3D interfaces on a variety of devices. Android Arena describes the SPB UI Engine as being written in native C++, meaning that it takes advantage of everything a chipset has to offer, sailing smooth at the default 60 frames per second, and making laggy performance a thing of the past. SPB also develops software running on Android, iOS, Symbian, bada, BlackBerry, Maemo, MeeGo, webOS, Windows Phone 7, and the Windows Mobile operating systems.
Mobile Business Intelligence is defined as “Mobile BI is a system comprising both technical and organizational elements that present historical and/or real-time information to its users for analysis on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, to enable effective decision-making and management support, for the overall purpose of increasing firm performance.”. Business intelligence (BI) refers to computer-based techniques used in spotting, digging-out, and analyzing business data, such as sales revenue by products and/or departments or associated costs and incomes.
Anapp store is a type of digital distribution platform for computer software called applications, often in a mobile context. Apps provide a specific set of functions which, by definition, do not include the running of the computer itself. Complex software designed for use on a personal computer, for example, may have a related app designed for use on a mobile device. Today apps are normally designed to run on a specific operating system—such as the contemporary iOS, macOS, Windows or Android—but in the past mobile carriers had their own portals for apps and related media content.
Windows Phone 8 is the second generation of the Windows Phone mobile operating system from Microsoft. It was released on October 29, 2012, and, like its predecessor, it features a flat user interface based on the Metro design language. It was succeeded by Windows Phone 8.1, which was unveiled on April 2, 2014.
Microsoft Mobile Services are a set of proprietary mobile services created specifically for mobile devices, they are typically offered through mobile applications and mobile browser for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Nokia platforms, BREW, and Java ME. Microsoft's mobile services are typically connected with a Microsoft account and often come preinstalled on Microsoft's own mobile operating systems while they are offered via various means for other platforms. Microsoft started to develop for mobile computing platforms with the launch of Windows CE in 1996 and later added Microsoft's Pocket Office suite to their Handheld PC line of PDAs in April 2000. From December 2014 to June 2015, Microsoft made a number of corporate acquisitions, buying several of the top applications listed in Google Play and the App Store including Acompli, Sunrise Calendar, Datazen, Wunderlist, Echo Notification Lockscreen, and MileIQ.
The Nokia X platform was a Linux-based mobile operating system and software platform originally developed by Nokia, and subsequently by Microsoft Mobile. Introduced on 24 February 2014, it is forked from Android and used on all the devices of the Nokia X family. It is also the next Nokia Linux project after the ill-fated MeeGo.
Remote mobile virtualization, like its counterpart desktop virtualization, is a technology that separates operating systems and applications from the client devices that access them. However, while desktop virtualization allows users to remotely access Windows desktops and applications, remote mobile virtualization offers remote access to mobile operating systems such as Android.
HERE WeGo is a web mapping and navigation service, operated by Here Technologies. Originally developed by Nokia as HERE Maps, the mapping software application was first released for Windows Phone and the World Wide Web in 2013 as a revamped version of Nokia Maps. The Here Maps application was then released for the Android platform on 10 December 2014 and later for iOS on 11 March 2015, and the name was changed to Here WeGo in July 2016. It is also the default maps service provider for the Amazon Fire tablets and smartphone.