As application software (also application program , short application or application ; English application software , briefly app ) are computer programs called that are used to provide a useful or desired non- technical system to edit functionality or support. They serve to "solve user problems". Examples of application areas are: image processing , e-mail programs , web browsers , word processing , spreadsheets or computer games.
From the English term application , the term application , or app for short , has become commonplace in everyday language . In the German-speaking world, the abbreviation app has been almost exclusively equated with mobile app since the appearance of the iOS App Store (2008) , i.e. application software for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers . In the meantime, desktop application software is also called app , for example in Microsoft's Windows operating system since Windows 8 ( Windows apps ), which is used on both desktop PCs and tablets , or in Apple's macOS operating system with the Mac App Store .
Application software is used extensively to support administration in public authorities and companies. Application software is partly standard software ; to a large extent, industry solutions tailored to the respective application are used as individual software. In the area of strategic and economic application software within a company (such as enterprise resource planning systems or portal software), one also speaks of business applications , business software or company software .
On mobile devices
Mobile apps can be obtained from an app store integrated in the mobile operating system and installed directly on the device. Mobile web apps are accessed through the mobile device's web browser and do not need to be installed.
In web browsers
Web applications are a special form of application software . These are accessed from the workstation computer or mobile device via a web browser and they run in the browser. In contrast to desktop applications, web applications do not require a special operating system, but sometimes special runtime environments.
Differentiation from system-related software
Application software is (according to ISO / IEC 2382) in contrast to system software and utility programs . These include "the programs that are required for the correct operation of a computer system, as well as all programs that support program creation, e. B. Provide translators and test tools and general services [... formatting, file management, data transfer ...] ", but which do not bring any end-user- related 'benefits'. Examples are the operating system , compilers for various programming languages or database systems .
Application software can be installed locally on a desktop computer (desktop application) or on a mobile device , or it can run on a server that is accessed by the desktop computer or mobile device ( client-server or web application ). Depending on the technical implementation, it can be executed in batch processing mode or in dialog mode (with direct user interaction). These two distinctions apply to all computer programs , in principle also to system software.
- Jeff Desjardins: The Apps Winning the Battle For Our Attention Span . visualcapitalist.com, August 30, 2018 (graphics and information on "The apps that win the battle for our attention span")
- Application program definition from PC Magazine Encyclopedia. In: pcmag.com. Retrieved September 13, 2016 .
- Hermann Engesser (Ed.): Duden Informatik. A subject dictionary for study and practice. 2nd, completely revised and enlarged edition, corrected reprint. Dudenverlag, Mannheim a. a. 1993, ISBN 3-411-05232-5 .
- Apps in Mac OS X. Apple; Retrieved December 11, 2012.