Mobile Application

A mobile app is a software application developed specifically for use on small, wireless computing devices, such as smartphones and tablets, rather than desktop or laptop computers.

Mobile apps are designed with consideration for the demands and constraints of the devices and also to take advantage of any specialized capabilities they have. A gaming app, for example, might take advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer.

Mobile apps are sometimes categorized according to whether they are web-based or native apps, which are created specifically for a given platform. A third category, hybrid apps, combines elements of both native and Web apps. As the technologies mature, it’s expected that mobile application development efforts will focus on the creation of browser-based, device-agnostic Web applications.

A mobile application, most commonly referred to as an app, is a type of application software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer. Mobile applications frequently serve to provide users with similar services to those accessed on PCs. Apps are generally small, individual software units with limited function. This use of software has been popularized by Apple Inc. and its App Store, which sells thousands of applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

A mobile application also may be known as an app, Web app, online app, iPhone app or smartphone app.

Mobile Application Development

Mobile application development is similar to Web application development and has its roots in more traditional software development. One critical difference, however, is that mobile applications (apps) are often written specifically to take advantage of the unique features a particular mobile device offers.

One way to ensure that applications show optimum performance on a given device is to develop the application (app) natively on that device. This means that at a very low level, the code is written specifically for the processor in a particular device. When an app needs to run on multiple operating systems, however, there is little — if any — code that can be reused from the initial development.  The application must essentially be rewritten for each specific device.

In the future, it’s expected that a majority of mobile application development efforts will focus on creating browser-based applications that are device-agnostic. Browser-based applications are simply websites that are built for mobile browsers. Such sites are built to load quickly over a cellular network and have finger-friendly navigation.


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