An application is a piece of software, typically web or mobile-based and allows you to perform specific tasks.
The Definition of Application
Commonly referred to as an app, an application is essentially a type of software that bundles together certain features that are accessible to a user. You can get millions of apps on the Android app stores or the App Store, offering a variety of services.
Importance of Applications
The use of mobile apps became popularised by the App Store in 2008 with the arrival of the iPhone. These apps are common now on both Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android platform and played a crucial role in the smartphone revolution.
Many apps across the globe have resulted in the development of multi-billion dollar industries. For example, the Facebook app generated over $85 billion, YouTube generated over $25 billion, followed by Instagram which generated over $20 billion in 2022 revenue.
The popularity of apps has a direct impact on advertisers. It has opened a new door for various companies that use apps as their major advertising channel. These have changed the face of mobile advertising, making it a valuable industry on a global scale.
What Are the Different Types of Applications?
Applications are different compared to large integrated software packages that you find frequently on laptops or computers. It provides a limited set of functionality that helps in performing specific tasks.
An app uses an operating system to function. It requests services from and communicates with other technologies via an application programming interface (API). Apps can be divided into the following categories:
- Native Apps
The most popular form of apps, Native apps are built for certain mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS. These apps typically need to pass certain quality assurance tests before they can be up on the App Store, Google Play Store or other third-party stores.
- Web Apps
Web apps are browser-based applications which usually use HTML, CSS, along with a backend programming language to function. These apps do not require installation and can be accessed through the browser of a user’s device. Information on these apps is typically stored in a server-side database.
- Hybrid Apps
Hybrid apps have APIs that can access device resources. These apps are similar to native apps, however, they are written in HTML and CSS. A hybrid app can be downloaded and installed on multiple mobile platforms since developers use the same code for all operating systems.
Example of Applications
Let’s take a look at different sub-categories of applications and a few of their popular examples:
- Entertainment Apps: YouTube, Netflix, Disney +
- Social Media Apps: Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp
- Travel Apps: Google Travel, Tripadvisor, Hopper
- Gaming Apps: Dream11, Paytm First Games, Free Fire
- Business/Fintech Apps: Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe
- Healthcare and Fitness Apps: NoiseFit, HealthifyMe, MyFitnessPal
- E-commerce Apps: Amazon, Myntra, Nykaa
Thus, an app performs a specific function directly for an end user or, in some cases, for another application. You can use an app by installing it on your smartphone or access it directly via your browser. You can use apps, especially mobile apps to advertise your business and gain access to a wider audience base.