Mobile apps, or applications, are widely available on devices, such as, smartphones, iPads, tablets, and desktop computers.
An “app” is short for software application. Not only is it an abbreviation for application, but it is often a shortened or less robust version of a “full” application.
Apps tend to be narrower in scope than a computer application, and often provide one function or a simpler version of an application.
Though many of these programs are designed for entertainment, there are also plenty of apps that can be used for other purposes.
The apps on my phone translate foreign words to English, act as my navigator when I am driving, access my files when I’m not at my computer, and many other amazing things.
Mobile apps increase productivity and extend reach tremendously.
Mobile apps allow employees to stay in contact with the office while traveling or in a meeting. And students who are out sick are able to communicate with classmates and instructors. This interconnectivity also allows people to communicate with ease from anywhere.
Other useful apps are voice recorders, speech-to-text, I.C.E. (in case of emergency) and many more.
There are many free and high quality apps available, with the only downside being that they may show bothersome advertisements. Some may even contain spyware which could potentially collect information about you that your would not want to share and violate your privacy. So remember to use your critical thinking skills and carefully research any new apps.
In order to download an app, smartphones and mobile devices come with an app store pre-loaded, where you can select apps that are relevant to your interests.
Want some useful apps? Check out some we share throughout this MOOC, particularly in this section.
There are also many more apps in the app store for your specific smartphone or mobile device that you can explore on your own.