Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss a woman playing the violin during her surgery, MGM’s data leak, a video doorbell detecting app, Uber’s latest update, gif vs gif, intelligent speed assistance for a bike, GPS and whales, tricking a Tesla into speeding, and more.
Ruth in Westland, Michigan and asked: “When I see an app offered for download, how do I know if it’s just for a smartphone or if I can download it on my tablet or laptop computer?”
Ruth, “app” is basically an innocuous term that was highjacked by the marketing department. It’s just short for application and a software application may run on a number of different platforms, but if someone pitches it as an app it’s very likely to run on your phone.
Most apps that run on phones will run on tablets in some form, it may be by stretching to an awkward format that they clearly have not been designed for, but they are likely to run.
Computers are a different story, computers are far more flexible than smartphones and tablets, and the software that runs on them has the potential of being far more powerful, not just because of the availability processing power and other resources, but because the way computer software is able to run is far more permissive than what’s possible for sandboxed mobile applications.
It’s less likely that a random mobile app will work on a computer, but many, many mobile apps are little more than a native interface for a webservice that a computer can access, so that’s worth checking.
How to know if it will work on other platforms, the most straightforward way is probably to check at the source. If it will work on a tablet you will be able to download it from a legitimate app store, and if it will run on a computer you will be able to download it from the apps website – or via the Microsoft Store app if you have a Windows computer running version 8 or newer.
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