How Computer Applications Help Us Perform Specific Tasks

What is an application?

You may have heard people talking about using a program, an application, or an app. But what exactly does that mean? Simply put, an app is a type of software that allows you to perform specific tasks. Applications for desktop or laptop computers are sometimes called desktop applications, while those for mobile devices are called mobile apps.


When you open an application, it runs inside the operating system until you close it. Most of the time, you will have more than one application open at the same time, which is known as multi-tasking.

App is a common term for an application, especially for simple applications that can be downloaded inexpensively or even for free. Many apps are also available for mobile devices and even some TVs.

Desktop Applications

There are countless desktop applications, and they fall into several categories. Some are more full featured (like Microsoft Word), while others may only do one or two things (like a clock or calendar app). Below are just a few types of applications you might use.

Web Browsers

A web browser is the tool you use to access the Internet. Most computers come with a web browser pre-installed, but you can also download a different one if you prefer. Examples of browsers include Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari.


Google Chrome Browser. Photo Credit: RoboForm

Word Processors

A word processor allows you to write a letter, design a flyer, and create many other types of documents. The most well-known word processor is Microsoft Word.


Microsoft Word 2013. Photo Credit: PCWorld

Media Players

If you want to listen to MP3s or watch movies you’ve downloaded, you’ll need to use a media player. VLC Media PlayerWindows Media Player and iTunes are popular media players.


VLC Media Player. Photo Credit: Portable Apps


There are many types of games you can play on your computer. They range from card games like Solitaire to action games like Halo. Many action games require a lot of computing power, so they may not work unless you have a newer computer.


Sonic Dash Game. Photo Credit: Windows Able

Mobile Apps

Desktop and laptop computers aren’t the only devices that can run applications. You can also download apps for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Here are a few examples of mobile apps.


You can use the Gmail app to easily view and send emails from your mobile device. It’s available for Android and iOS devices.


Gmail App. Photo Credit: Google Play


With a combination of quizzes, games, and other activities, this app can help you learn new languages. It’s available for Android and iOS.


Duolingo App. Photo Credit: Amazon Web Services


You can use the Facebook mobile app to quickly update your Facebook status, check your news feeds and notifications, share posts and photos with your friends and family. It’s available for Android and iOS.


Facebook App. Photo Credit: App Samurai

Installing New Applications

Every computer and mobile device will come with some applications already built in, such as a web browser and media player. However, you can also download and install new applications online and from app stores to add more functionality to your device. While many apps are free, some need to be purchased and installed.

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