Short for application, the commonly used abbreviated form ("app") refers to a specific type of application that is designed for a single purpose. An app has a single functionality whereas an application may handle a number of functions.
Mobile Versus Desktop Apps
The phrase app is commonly used in reference to downloading or using mobile applications on smartphones or tablets and application is used more often to reference desktop applications, however, the delivery method does not define app versus application. This happens simply because single purpose apps are more common on mobile platforms, where applications with multiple functionality is usually delivered through desktops. While not as common, apps can be delivered on the desktop and applications do run on mobile devices.
What is a Killer App?
Killer app is a new media buzzword used to describe an app that is very good and surpasses (i.e., kills) its competitors.
- See also Webopedia's application definition.
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