What is an application (app)?

An application (app) is software designed to fulfill a specific need or perform tasks for users. Apps have a variety of uses, such as providing entertainment, communication, education, productivity, and e-commerce platforms where people can shop. They are available on smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Applications can also run on existing services and other supporting applications to provide additional value or services. For example, Salesforce is a service and DocuSign has an application that helps users send and receive documents on top of Salesforce.

A mobile app is a type of application software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Apps have historically been small, individual software units with limited functionality, but as the size of mobile phone storage is increasing, mobile apps have evolved to have more complex functionality. This use of mobile apps has been popularized by the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Generally, mobile app strategies are broken down into steps: mobile user acquisition, mobile user activation and onboarding, mobile user retention, and mobile user referral.