This is something that really gets my goat; a couple of years ago, the word "App", to the majority of people, meant "Applet" or 'small, simple, mobile application', i.e. software coded specifically for mobile devices. To me, this is a clear, understandable definition.
Previous question from 2011: Appropriate use of “app” vs “application”
Now, however, windows has started annoyingly calling any program an "app" and it seems to be spreading.
The Meaning of APP:
APP means "Application (computer program)"
ABBREVIATION for application: a computer program that is designed for a particular purpose:
You can run an app on your PC that will find the files and burn them to a CD.
ABBREVIATION for application: a computer program or piece of software designed for a particular purpose that you can download onto a mobile phone or other mobile device:
There are apps for everything, from learning a language to booking movie tickets.
- An application, typically a small, specialized program downloaded onto mobile devices:
The best GPS apps for your iPhone.
Origin of app:
1985-90; shortening of application
British Dictionary definitions for app
- (computing, informal) short for application program
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Related Abbreviations for app:
- [software] application
Are these remnants of the original, lesser-known "application" abbreviation, which it seems was mostly used by professionals? Or is it a new meaning, brought forward by the awful desktop/tablet "hybrid" operating systems i.e. windows 8/10? If it's the latter, then to me, it seems that the word is to be made redundant, and there is no longer a common word to distinguish between a desktop program and a mobile device-specific program.
Note that almost all uses of the word "app" on the internet today are referring to an applet. Will this change in the next few years?