What's the deal with "apps"

August 8th, 2013 at 9:26:07 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
It used to be that "app" was short for "Application." It meant a kind of software used for prodcutivity, entertainment, etc, distinct from other types of software such as utilities, maintenance, shells, etc. But the term wasn't used much. There was the search for the "killer app" in the 80s and 90s, when computer manufactureres kept looking for the holy grail that would put the computer in the home. But little or nothing beyond that.

Then in 2007 there came forth the iPhone, followed eventually by the iPad and other smartphones and tablets. These devices all run what are, essentially, simplified or stripped-down programs called "apps." Basically they can do a few things, simply and using up few resources. Like touch for input, this is a consequence of having a computer-like device that's not as powerful or versatile as a full-fledged PC.

Perhaps I'm in no position to judge, as I lack both a smartphone and a tablet. I carry a Blackberry brick around, but the tiny screen makes it a lousy choice for running almost anything. To be sure, there's a mail app, a Facebook app and I downlaoded the Audible app. But we come back to the same thing. The Facebook app, for instance, lacks the full functionality of the facebook website. This is ok on a phone, which I don't amke much use of, but why would I want a similar thing in my desktop PC?

I ask this question because it seems that's what the Modern (if it's still called that) interface in Win8 seems dedicated to the running of such things.. Which would be fine on a tablet or phone, but falls rather short on a PC.

To be sure the traditional desktop/laptop PC uses programs designed for one thing. But these programs have tremendous depth.. For example, Word does a great deal mroe than simply allow one to write text. You can, if you so wish, produce complex illustarted documents on Word, linked with spreadhseets, presentations and more. A program that merely allows you to write text would be Notepad, for example.

So what's going on? Is Win8 supposed to be reduced to running "apps" rather than real programs? If the desktop is on the way out, and all signs point to that, then Windows is on the way out with it.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
August 8th, 2013 at 1:58:31 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 129
Posts: 17891
I got a tablet in May and now can't live without it.
I go to the local Starbucks everyday and sit in the
outside covered terrace and play roulette in London
on it. I buy a cookie and feed the birds. I watch Netflix
movies on it in bed at night. It sits on a little stand on
my belly and I use kickass headphones. The apps are
very fast for everything. Get an 8" screen, 7" is too small.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
August 9th, 2013 at 1:16:51 AM permalink
1nickelmiracle
Member since: Mar 5, 2013
Threads: 16
Posts: 549
Probably will be the future because you can't steal an app and they can get you to keep paying. Businessmen love their control and don't know any other way.
September 18th, 2013 at 8:56:52 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
I stand by my earlier assesment regarding "apps." More so now that I've been using a Nexus 7 tablet for a few weeks.

To be sure, some apps are very convenient on the tablet. Like the Kindle and Kobo readers, for example, with integrated stores. Although I prefer to shop for books on the PC, then download them to the tablet. One app that is fantastic on the tablet is the Pinterest app. For one thing it's faster, especially for repinning pinned pins (say that 3 times fast!) But it's lacking when it comes to following the links embedded in the pins, and for viewing the repinning lists.

The Facebook app is convenient for quick updates, but overall I prefer the Facebook website. For one thing you cannot run some Facebook apps in the Facebook app (confused?) like My Vegas or the Price is Right slots. They mostly won't run on the Firefox app, either.

So why apps for Windows8? Because it's focused on being a tablet/phone OS, despite Microsoft's claims to the contrary. Still, I thought a Pinterest app working as well as the tablet version would be nice, as a complement, on the desktop. But there's no Pinterest app for Win8 yet <sigh>.

In fact, "apps" are a bit of a messy fragmentation right now, split between Apple, Android and Win8. More so if you include regular, desktop programs in the list. You can't get iTunes for Android, for instance. Some apps that look interesting, such as the Khan Academy app, are available for apple and Win8, but not Android.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
September 18th, 2013 at 10:57:04 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
Posts: 10021
Quote: 1nickelmiracle
Probably will be the future because you can't steal an app and they can get you to keep paying. Businessmen love their control and don't know any other way.


I think it is the future because software seems to be getting smaller but more specialized. Instead of hundreds of features you cannot figure out you have just a few for one need.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
September 18th, 2013 at 12:19:28 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 136
Posts: 7427
Quote: Nareed

In fact, "apps" are a bit of a messy fragmentation right now, split between Apple, Android and Win8. More so if you include regular, desktop programs in the list. You can't get iTunes for Android, for instance. Some apps that look interesting, such as the Khan Academy app, are available for apple and Win8, but not Android.


Reminds me of the early cry on the new WWW about browsers and html needing to be standardized.

Also Apple and Microsoft both used tactics for exclusivity. Same old same old, I guess.
Nobody learned anything from the global financial crisis.
September 18th, 2013 at 12:40:43 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
Quote: rxwine
Reminds me of the early cry on the new WWW about browsers and html needing to be standardized.


I run IE sometimes because some sites won't display properly on Firefox. I keep Chrome around just in case.

Quote:
Also Apple and Microsoft both used tactics for exclusivity. Same old same old, I guess.


Sure. But this is getting ridiculous. There are billions of phones and tablets running Android. Apple would make more money by making iTunes available to them, than by witholding it in an effort to get some suers to buy their overpriced hardware. Likewise Microsoft witholding Office from Apple and Android.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar