Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > App vs Program

Photographer

P O T T S

Posts: 5471

Lake City, Florida, US

Has anyone else noticed that suddenly, everyone calls programs, apps? I always understood that an app was a single, executeable file while programs were made up of several files. An example is that photoshop is not an app, its a program.

Jul 07 12 03:50 am Link

Photographer

Virtual Studio

Posts: 6368

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

P O T T S wrote:
Has anyone else noticed that suddenly, everyone calls programs, apps? I always understood that an app was a single, executeable file while programs were made up of several files. An example is that photoshop is not an app, its a program.

Nah - two terms are utterly interchangeable.

For many many years now all the apps you will have run have been made up of several files.

Jul 07 12 05:29 am Link

Photographer

R_Marquez

Posts: 4657

San Francisco, California, US

App=application

App is the lazy/short form. A program is an application.

Jul 07 12 05:37 am Link

Photographer

SillyEddy

Posts: 2246

Coventry, England, United Kingdom

I usually associate "app" with 'lite' programs - Such as mobile device software or other times when the software is designed to be as small as possible.

Program is my mental name for 'large' software - The 'full beans' version. So Adobe CS5 on your desktop is the program, on your phone is the app.

Jul 07 12 06:24 am Link

Photographer

R A V E N D R I V E

Posts: 15867

New York, New York, US

SillyEddy wrote:
I usually associate "app" with 'lite' programs - Such as mobile device software or other times when the software is designed to be as small as possible.

Program is my mental name for 'large' software - The 'full beans' version. So Adobe CS5 on your desktop is the program, on your phone is the app.

thats cute

but no, they are interchangeable


the main point has been to make everything computers to be cute and intuitive to tap into a broader audience, it has worked. people that weren't interested in computers now are addicted to mobile devices

Jul 07 12 06:34 am Link

Photographer

SillyEddy

Posts: 2246

Coventry, England, United Kingdom

R A V E N D R I V E wrote:
thats cute

but no, they are interchangeable

Well after looking, the Oxford English Dictionary associates "app" with self contained programs, often in the context of use on mobile devices.

Program is of course the actual instructions.


So the app contains the program, but it seems to say that it's the way in which it contains the program which is important. I've noticed that phone apps will generally be the stand-alone files which may produce a data log, but not always. And desktop programs will often fragment the data across the computer.

Jul 07 12 06:43 am Link

Photographer

R A V E N D R I V E

Posts: 15867

New York, New York, US

SillyEddy wrote:
Well after looking, the Oxford English Dictionary associates "app" with self contained programs, often in the context of use on mobile devices.

Program is of course the actual instructions.


So the app contains the program, but it seems to say that it's the way in which it contains the program which is important. I've noticed that phone apps will generally be the stand-alone files which may produce a data log, but not always. And desktop programs will often fragment the data across the computer.

OSX "applications" and iOS "apps" both keep their programs as standalone files, in reality they are archives that can be extracted to reveal all the fragmented files within them

they both store data outside of these archives whether you notice it or not

android has a similar approach but can cache files to other places in storage

windows simply calls applications "programs"

there is no difference

Jul 07 12 06:55 am Link

Photographer

4 R D

Posts: 1082

Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

"app" is one of the latests "sexy" version, more marketable terms created to get people into buying stuff

Jul 07 12 07:08 am Link

Photographer

Svend

Posts: 25135

Boulder, Colorado, US

SillyEddy wrote:

Well after looking, the Oxford English Dictionary associates "app" with self contained programs, often in the context of use on mobile devices.

Program is of course the actual instructions.


So the app contains the program, but it seems to say that it's the way in which it contains the program which is important. I've noticed that phone apps will generally be the stand-alone files which may produce a data log, but not always. And desktop programs will often fragment the data across the computer.

If they weren't before, they are interchangeable now.  An app, at least on the Mac is a full application or "program".  They have the app store built into the operating system now, where they sell "apps" like Adobe Photoshop, etc.  Full versions, not mobile.  So, if it was different before, times have changed.

Jul 07 12 08:03 am Link

Photographer

Carlos Occidental

Posts: 10558

Glendora, California, US

P O T T S wrote:
Has anyone else noticed that suddenly, everyone calls programs, apps? I always understood that an app was a single, executeable file while programs were made up of several files. An example is that photoshop is not an app, its a program.

I HATE calling programs apps.  Hate it!

Jul 07 12 08:38 am Link

Photographer

Designit - Edward Olson

Posts: 1643

West Hollywood, California, US

I have always understood that App was short for Application and that all the programs that run on computers are Applications, but I will never call a program that I run on my computer an App. Never!

When I'm old and people wear their devices on their heads with an interface directly into their brain, I will be the guy who still has a rotary dial telephone.

Jul 07 12 08:48 am Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32502

Poulsbo, Washington, US

Designit - Edward Olson wrote:
I have always understood that App was short for Application and that all the programs that run on computers are Applications, but I will never call a program that I run on my computer an App. Never!

Not all programs that run on computers are applications. A program is a set of code that performs one or more functions. An application is a program that performs some human-oriented task, possibly/usually with heavy human interaction. An operating system is a program, but not an application; it's more an operating environment and set of system utilities. Word, Photoshop, accounting software and Solitaire are most definitely applications, regardless of the degrees of massiveness and modularity of the software.

Jul 07 12 09:32 am Link

Photographer

Designit - Edward Olson

Posts: 1643

West Hollywood, California, US

Designit - Edward Olson wrote:
I have always understood that App was short for Application and that all the programs that run on computers are Applications, but I will never call a program that I run on my computer an App. Never!

Orca Bay Images wrote:
Not all programs that run on computers are applications. A program is a set of code that performs one or more functions. An application is a program that performs some human-oriented task, possibly/usually with heavy human interaction. An operating system is a program, but not an application; it's more an operating environment and set of system utilities. Word, Photoshop, accounting software and Solitaire are most definitely applications, regardless of the degrees of massiveness and modularity of the software.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Another thing I will never do is call an Operating System a program.

Jul 07 12 09:40 am Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32502

Poulsbo, Washington, US

Designit - Edward Olson wrote:
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Another thing I will never do is call an Operating System a program.

Well, if you want to stay clueless and angry, stay clueless and angry.

Jul 07 12 09:42 am Link

Photographer

Erik Manwaring - Philly

Posts: 665

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

semantics

Jul 07 12 09:43 am Link

Photographer

R A V E N D R I V E

Posts: 15867

New York, New York, US

I would also like to point out that this is nothing a programmer or developer ever debates, even with clients.


Maybe somebody studying IT at a bullshit technical institute with false hopes of getting an accredited associates degree MIGHT debate these things, but it really has no basis on anything

Jul 07 12 10:03 am Link

Photographer

Designit - Edward Olson

Posts: 1643

West Hollywood, California, US

Designit - Edward Olson wrote:
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Another thing I will never do is call an Operating System a program.

Orca Bay Images wrote:
Well, if you want to stay clueless and angry, stay clueless and angry.

I guess you win since you take my lighthearted comments and then start namecalling.

Jul 07 12 10:08 am Link

Photographer

Eastfist

Posts: 3558

Green Bay, Wisconsin, US

What? The prevalence of the term App has nothing to do with Apple? Apple's subliminal marketing strategy? Windows was dominating the software market until Apple took over the hardware market (popularity-wise), at which they started selling "apps" for their own devices.  It's short for "application" but it also looks like the word "apple".  Hook, line, sinker.

Jul 07 12 10:15 am Link

Photographer

291

Posts: 11911

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, California, US

an app-lication is a means to execute program(s) in part or whole.

starbucks has an application to find the nearest store.  to do so it is not the application that finds it, but a means to execute a mapping program that works in tandem with your location.

it has nothing to do with "apple."  it was a term used long before the marketing of their app store.

Jul 07 12 10:37 am Link

Photographer

Stay Puft

Posts: 2413

Ofu, Manu'a, American Samoa

Designit - Edward Olson wrote:

I guess you win since you take my lighthearted comments and then start namecalling.

I thought he was being lighthearted.

Jul 07 12 05:03 pm Link

Photographer

P O T T S

Posts: 5471

Lake City, Florida, US

Carlos Occidental wrote:

I HATE calling programs apps.  Hate it!

Ditto. Stop calling programs apps.

Jul 08 12 06:15 am Link