An app, short for application, is a self-contained computer programme that fulfils a particular function.
The term is most commonly used to refer to apps on a mobile device.
Applications are used to carry out a range of functions. The most popular applications are often communication apps such as WhatsApp or games such as Candy Crush Saga.
There are also app versions of common services such as those providing weather or transport information.
In addition, companies such as banks may provide apps for their customers to use to interact with them as a more convenient alternative to using the website.
Some companies will also provide apps for their employees to use.
Apps based on mobile devices provide several functionalities that are not available on desktops, such as use of the smartphone’s touch screen, microphone, camera or location services.
This means that they can provide much more tailored information than conventional websites; for example, the application Shazam can use the microphone to listen to a song and then search the web in order to tell the user what that song is.
They can also be more secure than other types of software, since they require the user to have access to a specific device to access them.
There are several major types of app. Mobile apps can be downloaded to a device from an app store such as Google Play or the App Store. Similarly, desktop apps are downloaded to a conventional PC and run on the device.
There are also web apps, where the user interface is run on a web browser and hosted on a URL.
Applications are created by developers and can be used to make money in several different ways. The most simple model is charging for download from the app store.
Another method is through in-app advertising, where the app is free to download but the user has to view advertisements while using the app or view ads to unlock certain functionality.