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Are applications called "apps" now?


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Old 21-10-2013, 00:26
Grand Dizzy
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I just watched a promotional video for Windows 8. The video consistently referred to applications as "apps".

I know "apps" has been around for decades as informal slang, but I'm surprised to see an official Microsoft video using this word. I know "apps" is commonly used in the world of mobile phones, so has this term now become standard across the board for all computer devices?

Personally I never liked the word. It's a bit weird. What's wrong with saying "application"?

I mean if I've just spend like £500 on a sophisticated piece of computer software, I want more to say about it than "I bought an app." That small word makes me feel I've been short-changed somehow!
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Old 21-10-2013, 02:48
d'@ve
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Exactly right.

Proper programs are applications. Toy programs are apps. End of.

Luckily, Classic Shell lists them separately, so I know what to ignore. All the Apps.
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Old 21-10-2013, 10:34
John259
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For years marketing departments have been terrified of using the word "program", thinking that it implied complexity and that would put off potential customers.

So instead of programs we had macros, scripts, executables, solutions (ugh!) and so on.

Then we had applications.

Now we have apps, which used to refer only to programs for mobile phones and tablets but which is increasingly also being used for desktop EXE programs in Windows (and perhaps their equivalents in Apple and Linux).

Because different people use the word "apps" to refer to different types of programs, it's potentially confusing.
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Old 21-10-2013, 10:53
Stig
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I wouldn't call GarageBand on an iPad a 'toy program' for example. Some are very powerful and complex.
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Old 21-10-2013, 11:09
barky99
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For years marketing departments have been terrified of using the word "program", thinking that it implied complexity and that would put off potential customers.

So instead of programs we had macros, scripts, executables, solutions (ugh!) and so on.

Then we had applications.

Now we have apps, which used to refer only to programs for mobile phones and tablets but which is increasingly also being used for desktop EXE programs in Windows (and perhaps their equivalents in Apple and Linux).

Because different people use the word "apps" to refer to different types of programs, it's potentially confusing.
partly agree with grand exception of the 'only to programs for mobiles/tablets' ... app is just an abbreviation of application .. decades old ... a generic term ... only real confusion has been via apple's lawyers & marketing people associating app with apple & trying to create idea that (in some cases @ least) apps were an 'invention' of apple
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Old 21-10-2013, 11:20
swingaleg
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It's very confusing in horse racing with all these App companies sponsoring races because App to a racing person means 'Apprentice'

So when you see something like 'The Skybet Best Prices App Handicap' you think it's a handicap race for apprentice jockeys ...............whereas in fact it's not, the App refers to Skybets program for mobile phones

They should do something about it...............
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Old 21-10-2013, 11:34
chrisjr
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It's very confusing in horse racing with all these App companies sponsoring races because App to a racing person means 'Apprentice'

So when you see something like 'The Skybet Best Prices App Handicap' you think it's a handicap race for apprentice jockeys ...............whereas in fact it's not, the App refers to Skybets program for mobile phones

They should do something about it...............
Imagine if they did sponsor an apprentice race Then it would be

'The Skybet Best Prices App App Handicap'

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Old 21-10-2013, 13:08
Grand Dizzy
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only real confusion has been via apple's lawyers & marketing people associating app with apple & trying to create idea that (in some cases @ least) apps were an 'invention' of apple
I'd never heard of that association before, but it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that Apple have tried it. They'll use every sneaky trick they can to monopolise every market, trying to convince customers that the only option is to buy Apple's gimmicky overpriced, badly-designed products. (Did I mention I'm not too keen on Apple?)
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Old 21-10-2013, 13:12
d'@ve
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I wouldn't call GarageBand on an iPad a 'toy program' for example. Some are very powerful and complex.
First I have no idea what that even is; second, I'm never likely to even investigate anything called an 'app' and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Whether that's the fault of Apple or not I'm not sure but the terms has certainly come to be associated with the thousands of bedroom-built 'toy' programs for smart phones that you can find in the various 'app' stores.

The odds of finding one that's powerful, complex, of interest to me and usable on my desktop PC for things I can't already do with a 'proper' application seem to be low, so I just won't bother looking.

Others will differ as I'm sure they have their place but if they really are powerful, complex and better at what they do on a PC than existing software, I think they do themselves a disservice by being promoted as "apps" and whether or not that will change as more people get used to the idea remains to be seen. Public perception is important in such matters.
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Old 21-10-2013, 13:21
swingaleg
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Imagine if they did sponsor an apprentice race Then it would be

'The Skybet Best Prices App App Handicap'

'Appen it would be.............
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Old 21-10-2013, 14:14
emptybox
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I just watched a promotional video for Windows 8. The video consistently referred to applications as "apps".

I know "apps" has been around for decades as informal slang, but I'm surprised to see an official Microsoft video using this word. I know "apps" is commonly used in the world of mobile phones, so has this term now become standard across the board for all computer devices?

Personally I never liked the word. It's a bit weird. What's wrong with saying "application"?

I mean if I've just spend like £500 on a sophisticated piece of computer software, I want more to say about it than "I bought an app." That small word makes me feel I've been short-changed somehow!
If you've spent £500 on a computer program, I'd call it a 'Software Suite', if I were you.
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Old 21-10-2013, 17:13
cnbcwatcher
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In Windows 8 they seem to be. It does seem ridiculous using the term when talking about desktop software. I use the term program when talking about desktop OS software and the term app when talking about phones.
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Old 21-10-2013, 21:14
PsychoTherapist
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I remember using GEM Desktop many years ago, running on top of DOS. GEM applications had the file extension .app and I'd often refer to them as an app or apps, ie. the "config app".
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Old 21-10-2013, 21:23
Grand Dizzy
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Oh this is weird. A few people are agreeing with me! My views are often treated as out-of-touch, and I was half expecting to be told "get with the times grandad, everyone calls them apps these days!"

Hurrah!

If you've spent £500 on a computer program, I'd call it a 'Software Suite', if I were you.
Ha ha! Amazing how a name can make you feel better about what you've totally wasted your money on. I paid another £200 for the Extended Software Suite. I'm not exactly sure what I got, but it says Extended on the box so that's money well-spent!
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Old 21-10-2013, 21:30
gomezz
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My perception is that apps are mini-applications specially designed to run on lower-spec devices like mobile phones (and these days tablets and phablets). I could never imagine something like Visual Studio or Microsoft Office or Photoshop being called an app.
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Old 21-10-2013, 21:34
Grand Dizzy
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Then of course we have applets, but that's beside the point. I bet everyone thinks Apple invented the applet!
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Old 21-10-2013, 21:39
gomezz
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And widgets. Invented by Widl.
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Old 22-10-2013, 10:02
DotNetWill
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People have been using the term app for about 2 decades. I don't understand why everyone suddenly has a hard on about it.

People on usenet, IRC, etc talked their app and why it didn't work. Or where to get this app from or that app.

Nothing is new here.
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Old 22-10-2013, 10:04
DotNetWill
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First I have no idea what that even is; second, I'm never likely to even investigate anything called an 'app' and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Whether that's the fault of Apple or not I'm not sure but the terms has certainly come to be associated with the thousands of bedroom-built 'toy' programs for smart phones that you can find in the various 'app' stores.

The odds of finding one that's powerful, complex, of interest to me and usable on my desktop PC for things I can't already do with a 'proper' application seem to be low, so I just won't bother looking.

Others will differ as I'm sure they have their place but if they really are powerful, complex and better at what they do on a PC than existing software, I think they do themselves a disservice by being promoted as "apps" and whether or not that will change as more people get used to the idea remains to be seen. Public perception is important in such matters.
Yes because dismissing things based on your own ill thought out pre convinced notions is clearly the best course of action in all areas of life.
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Old 22-10-2013, 10:06
psionic
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App is just shorter and less of mouthful, especially if you're talking/discussing software a lot.
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Old 22-10-2013, 13:25
Grand Dizzy
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People have been using the term app for about 2 decades. I don't understand why everyone suddenly has a hard on about it.

People on usenet, IRC, etc talked their app and why it didn't work. Or where to get this app from or that app.

Nothing is new here.
I strongly suspect you didn't read my OP?

I quote:
I know "apps" has been around for decades as informal slang, but I'm surprised to see an official Microsoft video using this word.
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Old 22-10-2013, 13:28
DotNetWill
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I strongly suspect you didn't read my OP?

I quote:
In that case what's the problem. Tech companies are trying to be 'hip' and embrace popular culture so why wouldn't the term app become official?

You see big companies trying to pull off memes as advertising and all kinds of popular internet culture crap. The use of the term app is completely in line with modern mass appeal tactics.
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Old 22-10-2013, 13:32
Grand Dizzy
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Tech companies are trying to be 'hip' and embrace popular culture so why wouldn't the term app become official?
Are you saying "app" is more commonly used in today's pop culture than it was 20 years ago? In my mind, it's gone out of fashion, especially since the word has lately been adopted by the mobile phone world, so if anyone said "app" today, surely most people would probably think of mobile phones? This is why I am surprised at Microsoft using this term with reference to PC software.

Another weird thing… the Windows advert I saw placed so much emphasis on touch-screen ("you can tap or click here…"), as though half their customers are going to be touch-screen users! Seriously, does anyone care about touch screen? I remember using touch screen computers in the 90s and they were horrible. Who wants to have to reach over to the screen and waggle their arm around all day when they can just sit back and relax with a mouse? Surely the vast majority of people will use a mouse? Anyone here think touch screen is good?
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Old 22-10-2013, 16:07
cnbcwatcher
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My perception is that apps are mini-applications specially designed to run on lower-spec devices like mobile phones (and these days tablets and phablets). I could never imagine something like Visual Studio or Microsoft Office or Photoshop being called an app.
Programs or software suites like Photoshop and Microsoft Office are programs, not apps. No way will they ever be called apps. In fact no Windows or OSX software should be referred to as an app.
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Old 23-10-2013, 02:07
d'@ve
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Yes because dismissing things based on your own ill thought out pre convinced notions is clearly the best course of action in all areas of life.
Well I'm just saying why I don't like it. Feel free to enjoy your apps but I'll stick with my applications and programs, thanks.
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