what is an app

What is a mobile app?

“Download our app!” Do you hear this often but you’re not quite sure what it means? Here’s some information about mobile apps, how to download them and some benefits.

A mobile app (short for application) is a software program you can download and install on your tablet, smartphone or other mobile device. Most apps have a specific function, like a music player, game, social media, or a store or service (like streaming media, food ordering, a bank, etc.).

To download an app, you need a mobile device with internet access. Apps are downloaded using the app store on your device. Depending on the type of device you have, you will use the app store that works with your operating system. For instance, Apple uses App Store, Android uses Google Play and Microsoft uses Microsoft Store. When setting up an account on the store you may need to provide a credit card for payment, as some apps cost money. Many apps are free and just offer advertising within the app. However, it should be clear when browsing if an app costs money to download and when downloading, you will need to provide additional consent to pay.

When downloading apps, you may be asked to allow access to information on your device. Pay attention to the permissions you grant. Most apps need to use your internet data. Some apps may need access to your contacts, calendar or other data. Also, many apps will ask to use information about your device’s location. Consider only allowing the location if you’re using the app. For instance, if you’re using a retail store’s app, using your location can be helpful to find your local store information, ads, etc. You can also deny access to your location. If you have concerns about how your data is being collected or shared, check the Privacy settings on your device to see what permissions are granted for your apps.

Once an app is downloaded, it may require data or internet access to use. The app may require you to setup a username and password and login for each use. Also, when you download an app, remember that it takes up memory on your device. So if you’re looking to free up space, review your apps and delete any that aren’t in use. If you end up needing the app again, you can always re-download.

Every app has a purpose and its own unique benefits. In general, apps provide a convenient and secure way to access your accounts or information. In addition, because mobile apps are specifically designed for use on a mobile device, they are typically user friendly. For instance, some retailers offer an app for their store that’s specifically designed around use on a mobile device, creating an optimal experience for their customers.

To help manage your home internet experience, WiFi, connected devices and more, Blackfoot offers our Smart Home app. Learn more about the benefits and how to download here »