Software & App Know How

What are apps?

  • 21. November 2020
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In the 21st century, you are looking at a rapid development of technology and the Internet. But where there is a lot of news, some questions remain open, many new terms unclear. One of these is the term “apps”. We will explain to you what this is all about.


The term “Apps” is an abbreviation and stands for “Applications”. It refers to programs for smartphones and tablets that you can download and install to enhance the functionality of your device.

Apps are a practical extension and turn smartphones into a completely individual device. Need a navigation system? Want to read a novel? Book a flight or simply create a sports schedule? No problem if you have the right app installed.

Apps became famous through Apple, the company behind iPhone, iPod, iPad and Mac. Here they had introduced the App Store and thus brought the term “apps” into everyday life.

Frequently asked questions

Where do you get apps from?

Apps are distributed centrally via stores, virtual stores. On the iPhone, which runs with the iOS operating system, you will find the App Store. Devices with the Android operating system have the Android Market. In both of them you can download apps with a corresponding account.

How can I install apps?

To install apps, open the Android Market or the App Store on your smartphone and find the app you want to install. Then select the download button and enter your username and password if requested. If you don’t have an account yet, you can create one for free.

How can I delete apps?

Under Android, hold down the app icon until “Uninstall” is displayed. Then drag the app into the trash can, finally confirm. Under iOS (iPhone), hold an app icon until an X is displayed. Touch and confirm to delete the app.

Can I load all offered apps?

If you have an older smartphone (for example the iPhone 4), not all apps are available. Please refer to the app descriptions to find out what is required for your smartphone. Especially effective games need a lot of power, but also modern applications with new functions.

The difference to normal programs

But why do we now call normal programs for our computer “program”, while apps are called “apps”? For one thing, this is in the

nature of the application. Apps belong to the so-called application software, while classic programs of a computer (such as the operating system etc.) belong to the system software or the system-related support software.

The main difference here is that apps do not necessarily have to be installed locally on a computer like classic programs, but that they can be used (as mentioned above) on a mobile device or server. According to the Duden, system software includes the “entirety of computer programs that are supplied by the manufacturer and make the system ready for operation”.

  1. In addition, the functions of classic programs are usually much more extensive than those of apps.
  2. An app is usually designed for a specific function (weather forecast, time, timetables, etc.).

The other reason has more to do with fashion and tastes. The fact that many programs today are simply called apps is also a fad. In Windows 10, the program overview is now called “All Apps”, although they are mostly the same programs that are known and used since Windows XP. By changing the name, software providers are also taking account of the zeitgeist and the changed behavior of consumers: While users used to use software primarily on stationary PCs, a lot is now done on smartphones or tablets – and there you don’t need complex multi-function software like the Office suite, but small programs that perform exactly one task.

App Smartphone Tablet Computer

In individual cases, despite this definition, it is naturally difficult to make a clear distinction between classic programs and apps of all kinds. Many of the previous descriptions apply to “real” programs as well as to apps. The only consolation is that no one will probably go crazy if you say that you have installed a program on your smartphone.