These days, almost everyone has a smart phone. Smart phones are great for making business and personal calls, texting, sending photos and videos, and surfing the internet from your condo to find out important facts while you're on the go. But these features do not account for the immense popularity of the smart phone. That can be attributed to a relatively new invention: the app. Apps, which stand for applications, allow you to do just about anything with relative ease on a phone. We love them so much we dedicated our website to them.

Most apps require an internet connection, but using an app is not the same as surfing the web. While you might bookmark a page that has a list of local restaurants on it, an app about local restaurants goes several steps further by allowing you to easily search the list by menu, price, location, and restaurant guide rating. Apps are all about making it quicker to find a dentist in Waterloo for example, and easier to perform tasks, which is why people are more apt to turn to their phone than their laptop when they need to look something up.

Though apps were originally developed for smart phones to compensate for the fact that their small screens, low processing power, and lack of mouse control made most websites difficult to load and surf on a phone, apps have since expanded onto new platforms such as tablet computers, e-book readers, and even computers. Apps must be downloaded to these devices from the internet and they may or may not cost money depending on the developer and the app, though most paid apps will come with a trial period so you can use before you buy.

There are apps for just about everything, which you will see when you visit your smart phone's app store. Software developers often launch their careers by designing phone apps, as it is cheaper and quicker to do than almost any other type of software. Some popular and innovative apps out there include games like Angry Birds, song recognizers like Shazam, accounting programs like CheckPlease, search engines like Google Mobile, restaurant-finders like OpenTable, and search engines, like Firefox.

The type of device you have will often determine the apps you can download onto it. Apple apps for iPhone, for instance, cannot be downloaded to your Windows phone, and vise versa. Some other popular smart phone operating systems include Blackberry OS, Android, and Symbian. If apps are the main reason you're buying a smart phone or tablet, you should check the availability of your favorites on each device's operating system before making your choice.

Here are some favorite apps and websites people like to have on their phone:
Keep your business life organized with Evernote
Stay in touch with friends and family on facebook
Follow celebrities and trends on Instagram
Watch what your favorite blogger or photographer are pinning to their boards on Pinterest

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