A Crash Tutorial on Mobile Apps
Almost everyone has a smartphone strapped on their person at any given time. With the age of smartphones—basically tiny, handheld computers—comes the age of everything “mobile.” Mobile applications are an amazing feat on their own. What are they? Where do you get mobile apps for your devices? What are they generally used for? How can they be utilized to their full potential? We aim to answer these questions for the budding smartphone user or curious reader with this handy guide!
What is a Mobile App?
Mobile apps—or mobile applications—are a type of software designed specifically to run on smartphones. That’s the short version.
Apps can be divided into two smaller but broad categories: native and web. Native apps tend to be optimized for a specific device or OS, such as Apple or Android, tablets or cell phones, etc.; these have a better device UI but require a more rigorous quality assurance test before being released. Web apps are a bit clunkier, but they run through HTML5 or CSS and require minimal device memory since they usually run through a browser.
There are also other devices that these are utilized on, such as tablet computers and some varieties of laptops. They’re designed to give users a streamlined way of using web pages in a way that’s optimized for mobile devices.
In previous generations, mobile apps were often inferior to web pages, as they tended to be very limited in functionality. Nowadays, however, these mobile-friendly ways to access whatever you’re looking for are just as efficient and useful as websites. There are still many websites that don’t utilize mobile-friendly browser pages or apps altogether. Still, they’re becoming rarer in the digital world we live in.
What Are Some of the Ways People Use Mobile Apps?
Just about everything! If you’ve never heard the phrase “there’s an app for that,” we’d honestly be surprised. Everything from your favorite fast-food restaurants to playing solitaire to using your bank—you will find a corresponding mobile app. There are, quite literally, thousands of apps for your device out there, all of which serve any number of functions.
You May Need an App For:
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit, etc.)
- Entertainment (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, Spotify, etc.)
- Lifestyle (Dating, business, banking, education, health trackers, etc.)
- Messengers (WhatsApp, Telegram, Kik, Slack, Discord, etc.)
- Gaming (Card games, adventure, rpg, strategy, puzzle, etc.)
- Shopping (Fast food, grocery pickup or delivery, eCommerce, retail, auction, etc.)
With the abundance of mobile apps available, having a strict cell phone plan isn’t necessary anymore as long as you have a strong WiFi connection and don’t have a constant need for mobile data.
Where Do I Download Mobile Apps?
The answer couldn’t be easier: whether you’re on an Apple or an Android, there are build-in app-stores hand-tailored to your device! The Apple Store, Google Play Store, and Galaxy Store are the more well-known app stores. They’re good because they screen every app before it’s approved, giving you the peace of mind that there aren’t any unsecured apps being downloaded to your devices. Alternately, if you trust the source, downloading directly from an app creator’s website can be another way, but always use caution.
It’s important to remember that mobile devices are more like computers now than ever before, bringing the danger of security breaches and viruses. As a result, some less than savory folks out there might attempt to steal all of your information by using an app to infiltrate your device, so being absolutely certain where your apps are coming from is paramount. As long as you keep in mind that sourcing your mobile apps from secure and trustworthy places is important when looking, you’ll be just fine.
The Long and Short of Apps
Mobile apps are all about making your digital life just a little bit easier day today. Whether you’re thinking about obtaining your first smartphone or helping someone else decide whether it’s right for them, we hope this short article can offer some insight on the benefits of mobile apps and where to get some. You’d be hard-pressed to not find an app you can use for something; all you have to do is look!