What are mobile apps?

Learn about mobile apps and what they are, what are mobile apps?

App is short for Application, and in the world of Smartphones and tablets, people like to use the term “apps” as it’s a much quicker way of saying software application.

An app is a piece of software on your device that has a specific purpose, you might have an app for your local pizza shop for example that allows you to order pizza from your phone, or you might have a recipes app which allows you to search for recipes on your phone.

A selection of mobile apps on the Android operating system

One of the apps that comes pre-installed on your phone is an app store, an app store is like a shop for apps, it allows you to download and install apps to your device. Apps can be free or paid, often free apps will also have what’s called In-app purchases, these are usually optional and allow you to unlock extra features of an app at a certain price.

Apps make up the icons you see on your home screen, each icon on your home screen usually represents an app that is installed on your device, and tapping on an app’s icon will open the app.

Many apps require certain permissions to run and you can choose to accept or deny permission for a feature, permissions guard against access to things like GPS which gives an app access to your location, another permission may be for an app to access the camera in your device.

There are permissions for a variety of features in your phone which put you in control of which features an app has access to.

As mentioned, apps are downloaded to your device from an app store, on Android you use the Google Play Store to find new apps and install them on your device, in the next lesson we’ll go over how to download and install apps on your device.


Icons made by Nikita Golubev from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

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