Mobile app

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A mobile application (or mobile app) is a software application designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. They are usually available through application distribution platforms, which are typically operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry App World. Some apps are free, while others must be bought. Usually, they are downloaded from the platform to a target device, such as an iPhone, BlackBerry, Android phone or Windows Phone, but sometimes they can be downloaded to laptops or desktops. For apps with a price, generally a percentage, 20-30%, goes to the distribution provider (such as iTunes), and the rest goes to the producer of the app.[1]

The term "app" has become popular, and in 2010 was listed as "Word of the Year" by the American Dialect Society.[2] In 2009, technology columnist David Pogue said that newer smartphones could be nicknamed "app phones" to distinguish them from earlier less-sophisticated smartphones.[3]

Mobile apps were originally offered for general productivity and information retrieval, including email, calendar, contacts, and stock market and weather information. However, public demand and the availability of developer tools drove rapid expansion into other categories, such as mobile games, factory automation, GPS and location-based services, banking, order-tracking, and ticket purchases. The explosion in number and variety of apps made discovery a challenge, which in turn led to the creation of a wide range of review, recommendation, and curation sources, including blogs, magazines, and dedicated online app-discovery services.

The popularity of mobile applications has continued to rise, as their usage has become increasingly prevalent across mobile phone users.[4] A May 2012 comScore study reported that during the previous quarter, more mobile subscribers used apps than browsed the web on their devices: 51.1% vs. 49.8% respectively.[5] Researchers found that usage of mobile applications strongly correlates with user context and depends on user's location and time of the day.[6]

According to ABI Research the mobile app market will value at $27 billion in 2013.[7]


Developing application software for mobile devices requires considering the constrains of these devices. Mobile devices run on battery and have less powerful processors than personal computers. Developers also have to consider a lengthy array of screen sizes, hardware specifications and configurations because of intense competition in mobile software and changes within each of the platforms.

Mobile application development requires use of specialized integrated development environments made. Mobile applications are first tested within the development environment using emulators and later subjected to field testing. Emulators provide an inexpensive way to test applications on mobile phones to which developers may not have physical access.


Amazon Appstore

Amazon Appstore is an alternate application store for the Android operating system. It was opened in March 2011, with 3800 applications.[8]

App Store

Apple's App Store for iOS was the first app distribution service, which set the standard for app distribution services and continues to do so, opened on July 10, 2008, and as of January 2011, reported over 10 billion downloads. As of June 6, 2011, there are 425,000 third-party apps available, which are downloaded by 200 million iOS users.[9][10] During Apple's 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference in 20, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the App Store has 650,000 available apps to download as well as "an astounding 30 billion apps" downloaded from the app store until that date.[11]

BlackBerry World

BlackBerry World is the application store for BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 devices. It opened in April 2009 as BlackBerry App World, and as of February 2011, was claiming the largest revenue per app: $9,166.67 compared to $6,480.00 at the Apple App Store and $1,200 in the Android market. In July 2011, it was reporting 3 million downloads per day and one billion total downloads.[12] In May 2013, BlackBerry World reached over 120,000 apps.

Google Play

Google Play (formerly known as the Android Market) is an international online software store developed by Google for Android devices. It opened in October 2008.[13] In April 2013, there were approximately 850,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from Google Play was 40 billion.

Nokia Store

An app store for Nokia phones was launched internationally in May 2009. As of April 2011 there were 50,000 apps, and as of August 2011, Nokia was reporting 9 million downloads per day. In February 2011, Nokia reported that it would start using Windows Phone as its primary operating system.[14] In May 2011, Nokia announced plans to rebrand its Ovi product line under the Nokia brand[15] and Ovi Store was renamed Nokia Store in October 2011.[16] Nokia Store remains as the distribution platform for its previous lines of mobile operating systems.

Windows Phone Store

Windows Phone Store was introduced Microsoft for its Windows Phone platform, which was launched in October 2010. As of October 2012, it has over 120,000 apps available.[17]

Windows Store

Windows Store was introduced by Microsoft for its Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms. While it can also carry listings for traditional desktop programs certified for compatibility with Windows 8, it is primarily used to distribute "Windows Store apps"—which are primarily built for use on tablets and other touch-based devices (but can still be used with a keyboard and mouse, and on desktop computers and laptops)[18][19]

Samsung Apps Store

An app store for Samsung mobile phones was founded in September 2009.[20] As of October 2011 Samsung Apps reached 10 million downloads. Currently the store is available in 125 countries and it offers apps for Windows Mobile, Android and Bada platforms.

Enterprise management

Mobile application management (MAM) describes software and services responsible for provisioning and controlling access to internally developed and commercially available mobile apps used in business settings, which has become necessary with the onset of Bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon. When an employee brings a personal device into an enterprise setting, mobile application management enables the corporate IT staff to transfer required applications, control access to business data, and remove locally cached business data from the device if it is lost, or when its owner no longer works with the company.

See also


  1. ^ Siegler, MG (June 11, 2008). "Analyst: There's a great future in iPhone apps". Venture Beat. 
  2. ^ "» "App" voted 2010 word of the year by the American Dialect Society (UPDATED) American Dialect Society". 2011-01-08. Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  3. ^ Pogue, David (November 4, 2009). "A Place to Put Your Apps". New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ Ludwig, Sean. December 5, 2012. "VentureBeat: Study: Mobile app usage grows 35%, TV & web not so much"
  5. ^ Perez, Sarah. July 2, 2012. "comScore: In U.S. Mobile Market, Samsung, Android Top The Charts; Apps Overtake Web Browsing."
  6. ^ Matthias Böhmer, Brent Hecht, Johannes Schöning, Antonio Krüger, and Gernot Bauer. 2011. Falling asleep with Angry Birds, Facebook and Kindle: a large scale study on mobile application usage. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 47-56.
  7. ^ The Mobile App Market will be Worth $27 Billion in 2013 as Tablet Revenue Grows, ABI Research
  8. ^ "Amazon Appstore: Android". 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  9. ^ "10 Billion App Countdown". Apple. 2011-01-14. 
  10. ^ Rao, Leena (July 7, 2011). "Apple's App Store Crosses 15B App Downloads, Adds 1B Downloads In Past Month". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. 
  11. ^ Indvik, Lauren (June 11, 2012). "App Store Stats: 400 Million Accounts, 650,000 Apps". Mashable. 
  12. ^ Eric Zeman (February 28, 2011). "BlackBerry App World Generates Highest Revenue Per App". Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  13. ^ Chu, Eric (13 February 2009). "Android Market Update Support". 
  14. ^ "Nokia and Microsoft Announce Plans for a Broad Strategic Partnership to Build a New Global Mobile Ecosystem". Microsoft News Center. Microsoft. February 11, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  15. ^ "The evolution of Nokia and Ovi | Nokia Conversations - The official Nokia Blog". Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  16. ^ Fraser, Adam (10 October 2011). "Ovi Store renamed as Nokia Store, now built using Qt". Conversations by Nokia, official Nokia blog. Nokia. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Arghire, Ionut (30 October 2012). "Windows Phone Store Has 120,000 Apps Now, More to Come". Softpedia. SoftNews NET SRL. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  18. ^ Miller, Michael (September 14, 2011). "Build: More Details On Building Windows 8 Metro Apps". PC Magazine. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  19. ^ Rosoff, Matt. "Here's Everything You Wanted To Know About Microsoft's Upcoming iPad Killers". Business Insider. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Basic Information about Samsung Apps Store". Retrieved 2013-03-06.