Why I hate the word "App"

"There's an app for that."

We've all heard the phrase over and over again. For some reason this term has taken over the mobile world. If you talk to any iPod/iPad, Android, or Windows Phone user they will consistently use this term to refer to the software that they've loaded onto their device.

At one point in time, before the advent of smart phones, the term "app" and "application" meant the same thing and simply referred to an individual piece of software, a program if you will. In fact, Wikipedia still gives us that as the definition: Application software.

Somehow though, the marketing masters in the smartphone arena have twisted this definition in the public's eyes. Now, an "app" only refers to a nicely bundled, hand-fed piece of software that you buy from an "app store" and add to your phone/mobile device. If I mention that I have some software running on my N900 that allows me to remote access my server, some smart alec iPhone user will say "Well, that's great and all, but I have an app for that.", "I have an app that let's me draw pictures with my finger. :P", or something along those lines.

In what way is an "app" superior, or even different from "a program", "software", or "an application". How is an application running on non-mobile device, or installed from somewhere other than an "app store" any different than an "app"? They do the exact same thing, and "app" is actually an abbreviation of the word "application".

My point I guess is this: I'm sick and tired of the rampant consumerism that has permeated the world, especially the "smart" phone market. People buying an oversized version of a device they already own, that has less features than equivalent products, and costs $700, just because some guy in a turtleneck says it's awesome is absolutely sickening to me. A product is not automatically better just because Apple, Microsoft, etc. made it or endorse it. Products should be put up to a comparison test and stand or fall based on their own merits. We all have this thing called a brain, don't rely on someone else's.


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