Part of the Wireless and mobile glossary:

A mobile app is a software application developed specifically for use on small, wireless computing devices, such as smartphones and tablets, rather than desktop or laptop computers. 

Mobile apps are designed with consideration for the demands and constraints of the devices and also to take advantage of any specialized capabilities they have. A gaming app, for example, might take advantage of the iPhone's accelerometer. 

Mobile apps are sometimes categorized according to whether they are web-based or native apps, which are created specifically for a given platform. A third category, hybrid apps, combines elements of both native and Web apps. As the technologies mature, it's expected that mobile application development efforts will focus on the creation of browser-based, device-agnostic Web applications.

This was last updated in December 2013
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

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Glossaries

  • Wireless and mobile

    - Terms related to wireless and mobile technology, including definitions about consumer mobile technology devices and communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, WiMAX and LTE.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

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