A cell phone app, sometimes called a mobile app, is any cell phone app lication, particularly those that are directly purchased and installed by phone users. These are smartphone add-ons that perform functions other than making a phone call, ranging from games to medical monitoring. To term “app" can be used to refer to any application for any device, but when used alone, it most commonly refers to software downloaded onto cell phones.
Early cell phone apps often integrated computer-like functions, such as email and a web browser, into a phone. While these are still common, stand-alone software — including games, calculators, and even books — have become widely available and very popular. Mobile apps can also make use of a phone’s other features, like GPS , microphone, or motion sensors, to perform a new function; maps and direction services can incorporate the GPS tool, for example, or even tie into the phone’s to-do list to remind users when they are near a location they need to visit. They may connect to other devices, such as calorie monitors and cars, to integrate those capabilities as well. Because of the phone’s portability, some tasks can be completed faster and better than on a computer, despite the phone’s reduced power.
Most applications work alone, but some cooperate with tools in other media. For example, a website may have a variety of apps for mobile devices , allowing communication between the phone and the website itself, allowing the user to sync data using the Internet. Some apps can be used to control digital video recorders to set shows to record or play, while still others link to cable or satellite systems and allow premium television content to be played through the phone.
In most cases, apps must be purchased and downloaded through a retailer associated with the operating system (OS) of the phone being used. Even phones sold by the same cellular service provider may run on different operating systems, so apps are usually available only through a store run by the company that makes the OS software. Often, the easiest way to get new applications is to access the store on the phone itself, choose the software, pay for it, and download it directly to the phone. It may also be possible to download some programs to a computer, then upload them to the phone separately.
The price of phone software is typically determined by the person or company that created it, not the retailer, although there may be standards for pricing in place. Usually, these applications cost significantly less than computer software , and many are available for free, often with integrated advertising. Some apps require a paid subscription, however, which can add to the cost over time.
While most apps can only be installed on one type of device, some purchases will work on multiple phones. If a user owns multiple compatible phones, for example, it is sometimes possible to install the software on all devices while only paying once. The details of the purchase are usually available either through the retailer or the designer.
Installation and Recovery
To install a cell phone app, a user will typically either drag and drop an icon to the phone or click a button to agree to the installation. Uninstalling one is also straightforward, and typically involves deleting or dragging the icon away from the phone. When a user uninstalls a cell phone app, he or she may also lose all the data relating to it because, in many cases, it is not stored separately. The number of applications that can be installed on a single phone depends on the phone’s memory.
When an app is lost, either because the the phone is missing or its memory has been wiped, it is sometimes possible to recover the program. If the data on the phone is backed up regularly, there should be a copy save; not all users remember to back up their systems, however. Some retailers track purchases and allow users to download ones they have purchased as many times as they need. If a phone user has lost an app, it may help to contact the company and ask if there is any way to restore it.
While designers try to solve any potential user problems before they release their apps, people often discover both minor and major issues with software. Comments on the store page may reveal any number of issues, from the program shutting down unexpectedly to data being lost. Because of the limited size of most apps, developers are usually able to fix these problems quickly and provide updates free of charge to people who have purchased the software. New features and improvements are also regularly available for most applications.
Design and Programming
Designing applications for mobile devices often requires diverse skills, ranging from graphic design to computer programming . While it is possible to work alone, most are created by teams of people working together on specific programs or a series of related ones. There are a number of companies that have become quite successful designing and selling popular apps.
Some schools offer courses in cell phone app design, which may focus on programming languages and user interfaces, but many designers are self-taught. Online resources offer information for beginners to start creating software. Communities of programmers often offer help with specific problems, and sample code is widely available. Common programming languages include Java® and Objective-C, but the language used depends on the operating system.
The potential sales of a cell phone app often justify the cost of hiring a designer, and the convenience to end users may promote a valuable product even when the program itself is free. As such, app development can be a lucrative opportunity for programmers and businesses.
10 Phone Apps That Can Help You Make Money10个手机应用程序，可以帮助你赚钱
Remember when phones were a convenient way to talk with friends and family from your home? If you’re not that old, maybe you can recall when you used your cell phone just to talk to people from any place you happened to have service. No? Well, it really doesn’t matter; if you’re like most people ( but not all ), you use your smart phone for everything from time management, to navigation, to entertainment. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use it to make a few extra bucks? Here’s a list of apps that can help you do just that.
This popular app utilizes crowdsourcing to gather data for businesses who register as clients. The “agents” use their phones to provide photos, scan barcodes, verify locations, complete surveys, mystery shop, and perform other useful services. Agents generally earn from $3 to $12 per job and funds can be withdrawn from the agent’s account directly to PayPal. Unfortunately, this app appears to be available only for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, with no word as to when an Android version might be available. Check it out at FieldAgent .
Another crowdsourcing application, this one allows members to choose from “gigs” of all kinds, from photographing business locations for search engines to testing new mobile apps. Most basic tasks pay about 4 bucks, but these simple jobs allow Gigwalkers to build their reputations through a feedback system. As a user’s reputation grows, opportunities for higher paying gigs become available and some can earn almost $100 per instance. It’s currently only available for iPhone, but Android users can sign up to beta test it at GigWalk . I should probably mention that I signed up for beta testing, but didn’t receive the confirmation email, so I can’t vouch for its validity.
While this app doesn’t pay directly in cash, it does give you the chance to earn gift cards, free merchandise, game points or credits and airline miles. You can also opt to make a contribution to one of several charities. Members earn points by “checking in” at their favorite stores, which presents them with a list of products. Additional points can be earned by using the phone camera to scan the barcode of products on the list. If you’re into playing phone games, scanning some products will earn you virtual coins that allow you to play games and earn additional points. Accumulated points are redeemed for the rewards mentioned above. CheckPoints is available for iPhone and Android.
Also available for Android and iPhone, this is sort of the hybrid of the apps listed above. WeReward pays for check-ins and tasks. The most common task involves taking a photo of yourself with a product at a participating business. As of this writing, this app claims to have over 15 million businesses involved. Each business has a profile page outlining the tasks and their value. Points can be exchanged directly for cash at $.01 per point, and users can “cash out” when they’ve reached the $10.00 level. Visit WeReward for details.
Similar to Checkpoints, this app for iPhone and Android app pays you in “kicks” that can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards or discounts. Kicks are awarded for checking in at shopping locations, scanning items and for making purchases. You can also collect extra kicks by referring friends via the phone app and you can connect it to your Facebook account to share your activities. Retailers that participate in the Shopkick program send out periodic discount offers for app users. For information and signup, visit ShopKick .
There’s still a lot of money to be made by selling on eBay, whether you buy lots online and resell the individual items, resell items you buy locally, or sell goods you manufacture. Today, you don’t even need a computer to be an eBay “Power Seller”. Apps are available for iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7, Android and Blackberry to give you full access to account management. Using a smart phone app may even be more efficient in many ways; for instance, you can simply take a picture of an item and jump right to the listing function. You can also set notifications and research buying trends. There are a number of associated apps available, too, depending on the platform. Go to eBay Mobile or visit the app store on your phone to check out what’s available for your device.
Yet another app that’s only available for iOS, this one pays you points for reviewing other apps. Points can be redeemed for cash in your PayPal account or for gift cards from online and storefront retailers. An added bonus is the opportunity to get paid apps for free. More information is available from MyAppRewards
Think how much easier it would be to sell anything, even at your next garage sale, if you could accept credit cards. Intuit’s GoPayment app is free, includes a free card reader and charges a small fee per swipe. You can pay an optional monthly fee to lower the transaction fees. It works with iOS and Android devices.
If you make your money in the stock market, why not use your smart phone to alert you when it’s time to buy or sell? This app tracks both stocks and currencies and sends messages when a preset price is reached. Though there are some similar apps for iPhone, this one is for Android users. Search for it in your Google Play apps.
Paid surveys aren’t going to make anyone rich, but it’s a simple way to make a few extra dollars and make your opinion count. iPinion pays reward points for each survey and can redeem them for cash or gift cards. You can learn more and download the app for your Android, iPhone or Blackberry at iPinionRewards .
I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few apps in this list, but hopefully these will get you started in the right direction to make your smart phone work for you.