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A mobile application (or mobile app) is a software application designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. They are available through application distribution platforms, which are typically operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Marketplace and BlackBerry App World. Some apps are free, while others have a price. Usually, they are downloaded from the platform to a target device, such as an iPhone, BlackBerry, Android phone or Windows Phone 7, but sometimes they can be downloaded to less mobile computers, such as laptops or desktops. For apps with a price, generally a percentage, 20-30%, goes to the distribution provider (such as iTunes), and the rest goes to the producer of the app.
The term “app” has become popular, and in 2010 was listed as “Word of the Year” by the American Dialect Society. Technologist Michael Saylor has referred to the newer mobile app enabled smartphones as “app-phones” for their distinction from the earlier smartphone models. He states that these app-phones can support many applications and programming languages and should be considered computers first and phones second.