An app is a software program that runs on mobile devices. There are millions of apps, spanning multiple categories like entertainment, productivity and business. Apps are downloaded from app stores and installed on devices like smartphones, tablets or TVs. They can range in functionality from full-featured programs like Microsoft Word to basic functions such as clock or calendar. Some are free, while others require internet access for use.
Developing apps for mobile devices requires consideration of the unique constraints of these platforms such as battery power, hardware specifications and screen sizes. Different programming languages are used to develop apps for Android (Java and Kotlin) and iOS (Swift and Objective-C in Xcode).
A few notable examples of popular mobile apps include Spotify, Snapchat, Apple Music, iHeart Radio and Netflix. However, there are countless other smaller, niche apps with loyal followings.
The right apps can build loyalty and promote two-way communication between a company and its customers. They can also boost engagement and increase customer lifetime value (LTV).
Apps can help businesses automate processes, provide personalized recommendations, and more. For example, an engineering app might allow a user to measure and visualize their work progress on a 3D model, or a health and fitness app could track their exercise, monitor sleep patterns and provide nutritional suggestions. Apps can even be built to support industry-specific needs, such as those designed for healthcare professionals or the food and beverage industries.
There are also a variety of business and consumer-facing apps that help users with tasks that were previously manual, such as scheduling events, finding restaurants or making travel arrangements. In addition to facilitating automation, many of these types of apps can improve efficiency and save time.
For example, a popular business app is Slack, which has become the fastest growing B2B SaaS company in history. Its ease of communication between teams, including one-on-one and group huddles, makes it a valuable tool for many businesses. Its integrations with some of the most widely used 3rd-party tools, such as Asana, Jira, Blossom and Trello, also add to its utility.
An emulation app can be used to fully-functionally emulate older home computers, game consoles or mainframe computers from several decades ago. This type of app can be used to play classic games or test new technologies, and can help bring back fond memories.
The best apps are ones that make life easier for their users. Whether they’re for streaming movies or organizing a television viewing schedule, the most popular apps tend to be useful and well-designed. Apps that combine the features of web apps and native apps can be called hybrid apps. They are downloadable from app stores, utilize a native app shell to connect with web content, offer offline access and can integrate with other apps.
If your business doesn’t sell direct to consumers or have a cloud-based platform, you may not need an app. However, if you’re a technology company or offer downloadable products or services, a mobile app can be a key component of your marketing strategy.