With the explosion of smart phones in the marketplace, apps are among the fastest growing and most popular programs for users to download. A mobile application, sometimes called an app or a smartphone app, is a web-based software program designed to operate on a specific mobile device like a smartphone, smart phone, or palm pilot. The primary advantage of an app over a website is that there are no limits as to how many users can access it at the same time, whereas with websites there are generally user restrictions based on the type of website (such as pay-per-click advertisements on Facebook). There are many different categories of apps including business, games, utilities, weather, sports, social networking, transport, and travel. Most people tend to associate the word “app” with those for which money is made, but the reality is that an app can be used for any purpose.
One of the first apps to come on the market was Weather Underground, a local weather channel for the iPhone and Android operating systems. This app allowed users to receive weather reports in real time and even track bad weather days by saving a chosen day and making necessary adjustments accordingly. Today, dozens if not hundreds of other apps stop working, often due to a lack of maintenance and support by the developers. The fact that there are so many apps available at the moment is both a blessing and a curse: the proliferation of apps makes it easier to find the ones that work while the sheer number of apps makes it difficult to keep track of all the available choices.
On the plus side, there are hundreds of Android apps available, a large percentage of which are entirely free of charge. Because Android uses the Linux kernel and has a modular design, it has the functionality of the Windows OS as well as many of the advanced features that are available on Apple’s iOS devices. Android apps can be used in conjunction with iPhones or even purchased as standalone devices. Some of the Android apps available for business owners to use include: Google Maps, Google Finance, Foursquare, Yelp, Wikipedia and PayPal. Business owners who have Android phones should consider downloading any apps they find particularly useful before downloading the ones that might prove harmful to their business.