A software application meant for smart phones and other mobile devices offering a host of special features that are compatible to the operating systems of the handset makers like Nokia, Samsung, Apple and Black Berry.
The word ‘app’ is the short form of ‘application software’ and has become popular in the last three years. In fact, it was listed as the ‘Word of the Year’ by the American Dialect Society in 2010. Nowadays, smart phones are also called as app phones as they come with add-on features of mobile apps.
The online distribution platforms owned by the makers of the mobile operating system began to market these mobile apps in 2008. Though some apps can be downloaded free of cost, certain others have to be bought. If the apps are priced, then usually 20-30% of it goes to the distributer and the rest will be pocketed by the app producer.
Some of the popular app distributors are Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry App World. Mobile apps were initially used to improve the productivity in the workplace and to easily retrieve the information required from a labyrinth of sources and layers.
With the growing public demand and the availability of development tools for the software packages, the apps have begun to be made for applications in desktop computers too. The sheer explosion in the number and variety of mobile apps for smart phones have spawned a range of services like review and recommendation sources including blogs and app discovery services
India has witnessed the fastest growing market for mobile apps for the smart phones in 2014, a trend being followed from the previous year.
A recent study says that the apps downloads in India is likely to increase from 1.56 billion in 2012 to 9 billion by 2015. This joint study by Assocham, a trade body, pointed out that it would be a staggering 75% growth of the apps downloads in the country.
It is pointed out that among the entire range of mobile applications, shopping apps was topped the list as mobile commerce is poised to overtake e-commerce in the coming years.
It was found that majority of the mobile apps are downloaded by those in the age group of 16 and 30 years in India.