Explained by Common Craft
An explanation of apps - how and why they evolved to become smaller, cheaper and mobile.
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Video Transcript:

The chances are you’ve been using apps for years. Your home or work computer has apps like a spreadsheet program, calculator or photo editor. Recently these apps, or applications, evolved in a big way.

Let’s start with platforms. You know, a place to put things. A table, in a basic sense, is a platform. You plug in some plates, cups and flatware and it turns into a great place to eat.  

Computers work the same way. They create platforms for software applications. A spreadsheet and an accounting app can turn a computer into a business tool. Music and video apps can make a computer a studio.

For most of their history, apps have seemed big and expensive. We often bought them at a store and loaded them onto a computer with a disk. And most of these apps didn’t connect to the Internet.

Recently platforms have changed in big ways.  Our mobile phones and tablets became useful platforms just like our computers, and this enabled a different kind of app. Instead of big expensive programs, many apps became smaller and cheaper. Instead of coming in a box or taking hours to download, they could be purchased or downloaded for free from the Internet with a click, even on the go.

This made apps collectible. For little investment, we could collect apps on our devices that reflect our needs and interests.  One person’s collection may focus on gaming, another, business, or both. Now apps may wake you up in the morning, give you a snapshot of the news, play the music you like, help you get to the airport, check you in and help you read your new book all from the palm of your hand.

To support all these new apps, we need online marketplaces that make them easy to purchase and download. This way, small teams and large organizations have a way to market, give away or sell thousands of new apps.

And these new apps have another advantage. Many are built to work with the Internet.
This means they can back up your work, play your music, or connect you with friends, wherever you are - without opening a web browser. But it’s not just phones and tablets.  Computers, browsers, social networks and gaming systems have all become platforms for a new generation of apps.

So apps aren’t really new.  What have changed are platforms and marketplaces that make them easy to purchase and collect for whatever you need to do.


What it teaches:

Within the last few years, applications or “apps” have gone from being big software programs on computers to small and downloadable apps on mobile devices. This video explains what caused this evolution and how it is impacting our lives today. It teaches: 

  • The big idea of applications and how they work with computers
  • The role of “platforms” and how they changed thanks to mobile devices
  • The evolution to smaller, cheaper apps that become collectible
  • The role of online marketplaces for marketing and distributing apps
  • How apps are now becoming a part of browsers, social networks and game systems

Video Info:

  • Duration:  02m 43s
  • Captions Available:  YES
  • Lesson Plan:  YES
  • Category:  Technology
  • ISTE Standard:  Empowered Learner, Indicator 1d

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