What's App?

Most everyone has heard the term "app". What, exactly, is an app?

"App" is short for "application". In the tech world, an application is a specialized computer program that handles a specific task. Have you ever used Microsoft Word on your PC? That's an application. So is Internet Explorer, which specializes in browsing the internet.

Smaller programs, especially for mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, are called "apps". If you have an Apple device, like an iPhone or iPad, you can browse the App Store from your device and find apps to download. Many are completely free, some are trial versions, and others are paid. If you have an Android-based device, you "shop" at the Google Play Store. You should find an icon for your store built into your device. The app concept is so popular that Microsoft even started an app store for Windows 8 machines.

Each store has over one million apps to choose from! What a selection!

What kinds of apps are there? Games of every possible type, medical reference, shopping, recipes, calculators, photo sharing, gardening, maps, entertainment, and news, just to name a few. Most major business have their own apps. KCRG, KGAN, and KWWL have their own apps - in addition, KCRG has a separate app just for the weather!

To "download" an app to your device simply means to install a copy of the software onto your device. Many apps are free, but if you are interested in one that costs money, you can either buy a gift card for the App Store or Play Store at Wal-Mart, or use your credit card.

Getting comfortable with downloading and installing apps onto your device is a very useful skill to have, especially if you want to use your device to its fullest potential.

Here's a 3-minute video demonstrating downloading and installing the KCRG weather app on your Apple device.

Harry Potter

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