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Guide to apps: how they work and what they offer

Nowadays everyone owns one smartphoneand tablet o one wearable use daily dozens and dozens of apps: programs that allow you to take advantage of different services and features from mobile device.

To find your way around the range of available applications, you need to learn more about this type of software. For example learning the difference between native apps, web apps, hybrid apps and universal apps.

It’s just as useful learn how to move in dedicated online stores to the world of apps. Among the many it is impossible not to mention at least one Google Play Store e Apple App Store.

  • 0. What are apps and when are they born?

    applications

    Il English term “app” is an abbreviation of “application” and can be translated as “software application”. In computer language, any application can be considered system of procedures which exploits intangible processing components.

    The software and applications in turn interact with the hardware materials. The purpose of the applications is provide various types of indications to the device in use, in order to obtain any kind of result.

    Having said that, the term “app” it is not used to refer generically to all applications in use. On the contrary, it is used to indicate those software dedicated to devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is no coincidence that we also often hear about mobile applications or, returning to English, of mobile app.

    Regardless of what functionality they perform, apps generally are composed of a graphical interface and a core. The graphical interface, also known as GUI (Graphical User Interface) has the purpose of transform commands into visual representations that facilitate interaction between human being and device.

    The core is instead the App source code: that text written according to the programming language reference, which defines all instructions provided by the software to the hardware.

    According to industry experts, a valid date of birth of the apps is July 10, 2008, the day of the launch of the Apple App Store

    In principle, apps are made to be still more streamlined and intuitive than traditional software. A little because of the hardware resources of mobile devices, historically more limited than those of computers. A little to make theuser experience easy and satisfying.

    Identify one precise date of birth of the apps it’s very difficult. From a certain point of view, the first smartphone games can be considered mobile applications. Therefore it is possible to think of the famous Snakeproposed by Nokia from 1997 and from the model of 6110 mobile phone.

    Some experts believe that the first apps ever actually worthy of the name are Locate e Ringdroid. According to others, the year of birth of the apps is the one in which they were presented to the general public l’App Store Apple e il Play Store Android Google.

    In this case the year to take into consideration is without a doubt the 2008. Apple unveiled its App Store on 10th of July: on the day of release the virtual store contained around 500 mobile applications. Google would have arrived a few months latebut also with an offer of almost 1,000 apps.

    For further information: Hardware: meaning, technology and innovation

  • 1. What are the main types of apps

    types of apps

    Speak about types of apps it does not mean going into the merits of the functions that the individual program performs. On the contrary, reference is made to technical structure of the appto his components and to the type of device on which it is actually installed.

    From this point of view one usually does one distinction between native apps and web apps. Added to these are the applications hybrid and the so-called universal appwhich will be discussed in more detail in the following paragraphs.

    We talk about native app in the case of the software is used exclusively on the mobile device where it is installed. Native app instructions come developed to interact with the single operating system in use by the device.

    To create them, developers use APIs made available by the manufacturers of the operating system. The acronym API stands for Application Programming Interface and refers to all those procedures that allow you to facilitate communication between different software.

    Native apps are often developed using proprietary codes and libraries. Their main advantage is the possibility of make the best use of the device’s features on which they are installed: for example by interacting with its address book or with his file system. But also by accessing its system location o alla sua camera.

    Native apps are installed on your mobile device. The web apps are located on external servers

    More generally, native apps are known for their high level of performance and stabilitychildren precisely of the possibilities of total access to the components hardware and software installed in the device.

    The web appalso known as web applications, are very different from native apps: for one thing, why they are not actually installed on the devicemobile of the user.

    Web apps are basically a linkwhich is usually written using an idiom cross-platform: a typology of programming language designed to work across multiple systems and platforms.

    The actual web app is therefore a remote application and this assumption produces several advantages. For example web apps they do not impact memory in any way Of the device, nor on your computing ability. In fact, both the core and the graphical interface of the web app are present on external servers.

    The weak point of web apps is that, to work, they necessarily need an Internet connection. But not only. Their performance and their execution speed they often depend on the quality of the signal.

    For further information: Cross platform, what it means and why it is important in video games

  • 2. What are hybrid applications and universal apps

    hybrid apps

    Beyond native apps and web apps, users often come across hybrid apps and universal apps: two types of software that can be considered as a kind of middle ground between a mobile application and a traditional one.

    We talk about hybrid apps in case the core and GUI of the application use a mix of native components Of the device and web technologies. In principle the hybrid apps module is installed on your deviceWhile the individual contents remain on external servers.

    Hybrid apps have the great advantage of being more easily prepared for multi-platform: This means that it is easier for developers to develop hybrid apps for the different devices and operating systems on the market.

    Hybrid apps are often available on different devices and operating systems. Universal apps also run on PC

    Even the universal app they are a hybrid, which however can be installed both on mobile devices and desktop computers. The distribution of universal apps is mainly the result of Microsoft’s work with the operating system Windows 10.

    The goal of universal apps is to allow users to purchase a specific software only oncebut you can install it on multiple devices.

    Also Apple, in more recent times, has begun to bet on proprietary universal apps. In this case the year zero of the operation is 2020while the reference operating system is macOS 10.14.

    Apple’s first universal apps were developed within one platform called Catalyst. Today the company talks about Universal Purchasebut these are still apps capable of work on all Apple devices on the market: from MacBooks to iPhones, via Apple Watch and Apple TV.

    For further information: Windows 10 and Windows 11: all the differences

  • 3. Where to buy and download apps

    app

    As anticipated in the previous paragraphs, the first virtual app stores were presented to the general public during the 2008: prima the Apple App StoreThen il Play Store Android Google.

    Since then the distribution of apps and web apps it almost always was entrusted to the markets. These virtual spaces are in turn linked to the operating system installed on the individual device.

    Nowadays it can also happen that a user downloads any mobile application directly from its developer’s website. But often here too will end up returning to one of the stores above, before completing the purchase and installation procedure.

    Apps are purchased and installed from proprietary stores, but also from their developers’ sites

    At this historical moment the most widespread mobile operating systems in the world are the following: Android of Google, iOS of Apple (with its iPadOS variant), WindowsPhone di Microsoft, BlackBerry OS on BlackBerry, Symbian OS by Nokia e Bada OS on Samsung.

    These operating systems correspond to as many mobile application distributor marketplaces: Apple App StoreBlackBerry App World, Microsoft Store e Samsung Galaxy Store. Separate mention for Google Play Storewhich offers apps and web apps compatible with smartphones made by the most disparate manufacturers: from Google to Nokia, through Samsung, Xiaomi and many others.

    Indeed, indeed Android not only is it the most popular mobile operating system absolutely worldwide: it is also an operating system based on a core with free software license. This assumption allows it to have a higher number of digital distributorsin addition to the aforementioned and official Google Play Store: for example Amazon App-Shopbut also Aptoide e F-Droid.

    For further information: Android, operating system features

  • 4. How the Google Play Store works

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