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What is an App? | App Pedia

Publicado por Agustin Batuecas

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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What is an app? 

I think that today should be few people who have not heard of them or do not know what is an App, but the truth is that they have suffered a great boom and mobile applications have led a lot of confusion about this term that sometimes leads to misuse or abuse of the word even by people familiar with the new technologies.

An App is a software application that is installed in mobile devices or tablets to assist the user in a specific task, whether professional or leisure and entertainment.

The goal is provide an app achieving a particular task or to assist in operations and day to day efforts.

There are countless types of applications: Apps News ( Financial Times),  games (CSR Racing), communication tools such Whatsapp, social networks like Google+, apps to enjoy weekend nights (Liveclubs),  commercial promotions (McDonnalds)…etc, that can help us at work or trying to make us more enjoyable our everyday.

Where does the term App come from?

The term app is a short name for Application and as such has always been used to refer to them in their different versions.

Being a household word in the world of software, the term App began to be used especially to refer to applications for mobile phones in 2008 , after achieving three major milestones in the history of the applications, the launch of Apple’s App Store, the publication of the first SDK for Android and the subsequent inauguration, but almost immediately, of the the Android Market.

The result has been a rapid popularization of the term and the current craze for mobile applications, it is common to hear people familiar with the computer world and use it to abuse the term indiscriminately for any software application, creating unnecessary confusion.

This week we read in a popular blog of new technologies as an editor wrote on income and mentioned applications DropBox as an app that had escaped successfully AppStore monopoly. With this they tried to make a justification that Apps could succeed without having to heat markets.

To clarify terms, Dropbox would be a software application and in any case a service that is as they define theirselves. App in this case applies to the downloadable application, that although the author desconociese, if we can find in the App Store. Thus Dropbox is a computer application, and downloadable of this company in the market is the app.

Origins and boom of “App”

Researching the origins of application, and using the amazing statistics Google search tool, we obtain very curious data:

Global search about “App” term – Source: Google statistics search.


Based on statistics of the searches related to the term “App” and assigning an index 100 to the current search, we can see that the term was barely 10% of the ratio of actual to fall 2008.

This fact does nothing but reaffirm the relationship between the App term with mobile applications and not the other software we installed on our computers, known as software programs or management.

Going into greater detail in the statistical table:

Trends and milestones of App. Source: Google Insights for Search.


We can see three clear trends:

  1. 2003 a 2008: There are no changes in search and therefore in no interest of the world population in the word
  2. Q3/2008 a Q3/2010: Queries and global interest raises up and the increase follows a clear trend line. The beginning of this trend is identified by three facts very close in time:
      • Launch of the App Store in July 2008.
      • Publication of the first Android Developer SDK in August 2008
      • Opening of the Android Market in October 2008.

These facts amply justifying the turnaround.

3. Q3/2010 to date: In mid-2009 began another rise worldwide interest in the term App, estenuevo change in trend is undoubtedly due to:


As additional information and if any reader wonders if there should be present a milestone related to Blackberry App World or Windows Phone Marketplace, herewith a box with the approximate volume of downloads to date:


With this data, in July 2012, the impact of the other markets has not been enough to produce a turnaround. Windows Phone is expected to increase rapidly the number of downloads and their market share, but this growth will be at the expense of the two predominant platforms so no other change is foreseeable. For 2012 is predicted a global market of 36,000 million downloads across all platforms.


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