A mobile application (app for short) is software designed to run on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet computers. They serve a large variety of purposes such as viewing maps, emailing, banking, making shopping lists, editing photos and playing games. Mobile apps are dependent on the mobile operating system such as iOS for Apple devices and Android for Google devices.
Apps in Action
This mobile app which was developed by the UK Food Standards Agency can be used by customers to search for hygiene ratings of food businesses in areas where the scheme is run.
This mobile app from Inspect2GO is used by food safety inspectors when conducting an inspection of a food premises.
This is a game created by the centre of disease control (CDC) which rates how well players can handle a fictitious disease outbreak and allows the public to better understand the work the CDC does on a daily basis.
Advantages of Mobile Applications
- Mobile applications can be more than just providing the same information of an organisation’s website in an appropriate format for mobile devices. They offer useful additional features such as notifications, location and other preferences.
- Mobile applications can combine many features in a user experience that is optimised for mobile devices and is based on portability and convenience.
- Mobile applications can be a very functional and effective way of providing tailored or general information and services to mobile users.
- Mobile devices are very popular and a large proportion of the global computing activity has become mobile.
Disadvantages of Mobile Applications
- Due to the fragmentation of devices and operating systems, a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate.
- As new devices with different screen sizes and operating systems emerge, maintaining a mobile application might require additional resources.