App

An app is a software application which operates independently of the technical functionality of an operating system. Apps provide functions which are only available if you install a particular app and it is not part of the operating system.

General Information

The term “app” is an abbreviation for application software and is now a commonly used term. However, “app” usually refers to mobile applications for smartphones or tablets. Since the launch of Windows 8, regular computer programs are also called apps.

Apps are intended to provide specific solutions for user problems and requirements. The focus is on solving clearly defined problems or needs. An example is the route plan of a train. If a person wants to get from A to B by train, an appropriate app would calculate the best route and display arrival and departure times, as well as transfer stations. Another example is the function of a dictation device which is simulated by an app.

Apps that are only available for a specific system are called native apps. They can only be used on the specific target platform and are downloadable in online portals. For Android phones that would be the Google Play Store and for Apple’s iOS operating system, the App Store. Windows phones have the Windows Phone Store preinstalled. Sometimes you have to create an account in order to use these online portals.

Just like websites, apps can be tracked, too. This is known as app tracking

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The magazine app Flipboard

To organize all the apps on a mobile device and be able to display it in magazine format, you can use the Flipboard app. This app makes it possible to compile information from social networks and other sources into a separate magazine.

Development of Flipboard

Flipboard has been on the market since 2010. It was invented and developed by Mike McCue and Evan Doll, who jointly co-founded the software company Flipboard Inc., in Palo Alto, California. Flipboard was first an exclusive iPad app. Once the app showed some success, the software was quickly expanded to include compatibility with other mobile devices, initially for the iPhone and iPod touch, and later also for Android smartphones and tablets. By December 2013, Flipboard had more than 100 million users. Company founder Mike McCue expects an increase of users up to 150 million by the end of 2014.

Flipboard Features

In Flipboard you can merge information from multiple sources into a single app, select your areas of interest and bundle them into one or more separate magazines. Flipboard is similar to a social bookmarking service. Interesting content can be bookmarked and retained for later reference. Unlike simple bookmark lists, content is prepared by Flipboard in a visually presentable way, so it looks like a magazine.

These magazines can be shared through the app and also via the web browser with other users. A separate account is not required. However, the use of Flipboard is basically always bound to the app. An account can only be created through that app and you can create new magazines only with it. The most important basics on how to use Flipboard are shown in this video Video.

Interfaces

Flipboard has partnerships with numerous online media providers. You can add accounts for the following services in the app:

This allows smartphone users to dramatically reduce the volume of necessary apps, since although they need accounts for the applicable media, they don’t have to install the corresponding app to retrieve the information. Contacts cannot be contacted via Flipboard, however.

Use of other magazines

Each user can decide whether he wants to create his magazines just for personal use and make it visible only to himself or make them available to the public. Many use the platform to share their interests with others. Accordingly, countless magazines can be found on Flipboard that other users have created. This often results in excellent compilations of interesting topics. You can add these magazines to your own favorites.

Criticism

So far, it is debatable whether the use of services such as Flipboard is legal. Once a user collects copyrighted material in their magazine and in turn provides it to others, he/she could be considered guilty of copyrights infringement. No legal precedence has been set on this in Germany by a similar case, and consequently no legal remedies exist currently. Therefore, experts advise to manage Flipboard carefully.

Apps for personalizing

“Personalization apps” refers to the personalization of one’s own smartphone or tablet. Such apps are available for Android, iPhone, and other devices. Various areas of your device can be individualized with these apps. Some familiar apps for Android and iOS are as follows:

  • Smart Launcher (Android): Quick access to frequently used apps from the lock screen in several hundred styles, sorting of installed apps into categories, hiding of infrequently used apps
  • Backgrounds HD Wallpapers (Android / iOS): over 10,000 unique wallpaper and screen backgrounds in HD quality
  • Magic Locker (Android): personalizing the lock screen (e.g. wallpaper, date, security checks, quick access to apps, etc.)
  • Launcher 7 or 8 (Android): the user interface of Android turns into the Windows Phone Microsoft 7 or 8 mobile operating system
  • Pimp your screen (iOS): wallpapers, icon skins, app shelves, changes in the status bar and much more
  • Dockstar (iOS): personalization of screen backgrounds

Importance for SEO

With mobile devices continuing to develop, the Internet is increasingly searched via smartphones and tablets and not only through an installed browser, but also through special apps that connect to an online store. Since the indexing of websites on mobile devices works similarly, search engine optimization for responsive designs and mobile screens is as important as for regular Internet browsers. Various criteria for the development of mobile apps or sites that are displayed on mobile devices must be taken into account. Examples of these criteria are: quality content, well-chosen titles, descriptions, formatting and speaking URLs.

In the case of mobile apps usability and fast loading of page content are also particularly emphasized because users of mobile devices typically have a slower Internet connection and navigation on small screens should be as simple as possible. Flash or JavaScript elements should be dispensed with entirely, since search engines do not crawl this content and they can affect the user experience negatively. Even with the development of mobile apps, Google’s premise that such media must have added user value, applies. Additionally, app store optimization can contribute to increased sales.

To get more traffic to a page, an app can also be utilized for marketing purposes (app marketing, in-app advertising). For example, this can be achieved through the use of QR codes that direct to a specific landing page which contains the same website domain. Apps can be used for mobile coupons. Usually coupons for which you can get a discount are sent to you as part of such an app.

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