I was listening to a news broadcast tonight and noted the copious use of the term "app" and "apps" as they apply to those computer "applications" you can download to your iphone, ipad, computer, etc. The thought occurred to me that anybody under about 20 might not even know that the term "app" is a contraction of the word "application" (specifically, a contraction of the terms "application code"). It may not even be known by most computer, iphone, ipad (and similar devices) users if they were not familiar with computers until the last 10 years or so... in other words, the term "app" will shortly be a word by itself without anybody knowing it's a contraction. .
App - computer programing code which provides an end user an application of computer's capability for a practical consumer use.
- differentiates programing code from operating system code which enables a computer's internal communications between the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), memory, and peripherals --- peripherals include disk storage, moniter, keyboard, etc. whether integrated within other computer chips or add-on units or devices.
(Definitions my own)
Parenthetically, once upon a time an application code programer was relatively "bottom of the heap" in the computer programer's world. "Real Programers" were system programers... application programers were just implementing the relatively simple stuff after the system programers had created the computing system environment in which application programs could then become manifest.
Among the earliest applications available for micro-computers were the crude (by today's animation standards) "games" (Pong 1972; Pac-Man 1980), spreadsheet (Visicalc ~ 1978, for-runner of Lotus 1-2-3, and Excel), and various and sundry word processors (WordStar 1978 for CP/M, 1981 for DOS, WordPerfect, MS Word, etc). But applications programing included Stat-Pack and various other math and engineering programs, not to mention the millions of home-grown applications developed for specific purposes (scientific evaluations, drawing / artwork, etc).
Just to give you perspective on how easy it is to write code for "apps" I was writing (and using) my own word-processor integrated with my own fundamental spreadsheet and scientific programing calculator first using the stand-alone PC version of APL (A Programing Language) and then a little later rewriting it using Assembler, then later using C. I even wrote a couple of pixel based image applications (on the original "green" moniter) so I could create & draw real graphs from the spread-sheet I created, then embed them into my word processor documents and print them... WSIWG style (nearly). These endeavors were very educational and enlightening, useful to me for a time, but ultimately for naught as similarIy capable integrated applications with far more functionality finally came out commercially.
The point is only that the term "app" has become a word unto itself and interestingly the younger generation no longer know what it originally (and still) means.