Updated: 08/02/2020 by Computer Hope

An application may refer to any of the following:

Twenty-five mobile app icons arranged in a square

1. Application and app are synonymous with the word "program" when discussing software designed for a specific task. However, application in its full form often describes application software that runs on a computer. See our program overview for comparisons between apps and programs, application examples, and information about computer programs.

2. Abbreviated as app, this shortened version of the word "application" first became popular with the Apple and Facebook crowd. Both companies allow their developers to use toolkits to develop programs for their products.

For example, Apple operates the App Store, an online service used by owners of Apple products to purchase, download, install, and manage applications for their devices. See our app page for full information and related links on this term.

3. When describing an application run through a browser (e.g., Google Docs), this type of application is known as a web-based application. See our web-based application page for further information on this term.

4. Applications is a folder on the Apple macOS Dock that gives users a quick way to show and open applications on the computer.


To see all Applications, right-click the Applications folder and then choose the Open "Applications" option.

5. An application is a document with the information required by an individual or organization for a position, financial grant, or another limited resource. For example, a job application is a document answering questions to be considered for a job.

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