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An app is computer software, or a program, most commonly a small, specific one used for mobile devices. The term app originally referred to any mobile or desktop application, but as more app stores have emerged to sell mobile apps to smartphone and tablet users, the term has evolved to refer to small programs that can be downloaded and installed all at once.There are thousands of apps designed to run on today's smartphones and tablets. Some apps can be downloaded for free, while others must be purchased from an app store.