A-Z Popular Blog Software Search »

App vs Application

 , updated on
An app is software that performs a single function for users. The term originated with small applications designed for early smart phones. At present, "app" is virtually synonymous with software for mobile devices.
An application is software that is primarily intended to be used by people. This differs from systems that offer services in areas such as automation, integration and data processing that don't necessarily need a user interface.

App vs Application

The term app evolved as an abbreviation of application to describe software for mobile devices. Early mobile devices had a great number of constraints such as a small screen, limited local computing resources and expensive bandwidth costs. As such, a unique software development culture emerged with apps that focused on single-function tools that are easy to use.
With time, people began to use apps on more powerful devices such as desktops. Such apps are attractive to users as they are lightweight and address a single set of customer needs. This differs from applications that are more likely to be large packages that include many functions.
App vs Application
Software that addresses a single set of customer needs.
Software that is primarily intended to be used by people.
Single function
Simple UI
Potentially complex UI
Potentially large and heavy

Computing Basics

This is the complete list of articles we have written about computing basics.
Computer Examples
Computer Program
Data Processing
Runtime Error
System Program
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.


An extensive guide to common software terms.

Types Of Software

The common types of software.

Software vs Data

The difference between software and data.

Consumer Software

A definition of consumer software with examples.

Software as a Service Definition

A complete overview of SaaS including benefits, disadvantages and comparison to IaaS, PaaS and cloud computing.

Infrastructure Software

The definition of infrastructure software with common examples.

Software vs Hardware

The difference between software and hardware with examples.

Computer Program

The definition of computer program with examples.

System Program

The definition of system program with examples.

Information Systems

A list of common types of information system.

Workload Automation

A definition of workload automation with examples.


A definition of systems technology with examples.

Application Support

The common types of application support.

Electronic Data Processing

A definition of electronic data processing with examples.

Digital Infrastructure

A definition of digital infrastructure with common examples.

Infrastructure Services

The definition of infrastructure service with examples.

Data Examples

Common examples of data.

Types of IT Service

The definition of information technology service with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map