Most mobile devices are sold with several programs bundled as pre-installed software, such as an internet browser, email client, calendar, mapping app, and an app for buying audio, other media, or even more programs. Some pre-installed programs may be removed by an ordinary uninstall process, thus leaving more storage space to get desirable ones. Where the software does not permit this, some devices could be rooted to get rid of the undesired apps.
Apps which aren't preinstalled are often available through supply platforms called program stores. They began appearing in 2008 and are typically operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry App World. But, there are independent program stores, such as Cydia, GetJar and F-Droid.
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Some programs are free, while some must be bought. Normally, they are downloaded from the stage to a target device, but sometimes they can be downloaded to laptops or desktop computers. For apps using a price tag, generally a percentage, 20-30% goes to the distribution provider (such as iTunes), and the remainder goes to the producer of this app. The same program can therefore cost a different price based on the cell platform.
Apps can also be set up manually, for example by running an Android application package on Android devices.
Mobile programs were originally offered for overall productivity and information retrieval, including calendar, email, contacts, stock exchange and weather information. But, public demand and the availability of developer tools drove rapid growth into other classes, like those handled by desktop software applications bundles.
Much like other applications, the explosion in number and wide range of apps produced discovery a challenge, which in turn led to the creation of a large range of recommendation, review, and curation sources, including blogs, magazines, and committed online app-discovery providers. In 2014 government regulatory agencies started trying to regulate and curate programs, especially medical apps. Some companies offer programs as an alternate procedure to deliver content with certain advantages over an official site.
Usage of mobile apps has become increasingly widespread across cell phone users. A May 2012 comScore study noted that during the prior quarter, more cellular subscribers used programs than browsed the web on their devices: 51.1percent. 49.8% respectively. Researchers found that utilization of mobile programs strongly correlates with user context and depends on user's time and location of the day. Mobile programs are playing with an ever-increasing role within healthcare and if designed and incorporated properly can yield many benefits.
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Market research firm Gartner predicted that 102 billion apps would be downloaded 2013 (91 percent of them free), which would generate $26 billion from the US, up 44.4 percent on 2012's US$18 billion. From Q2 2015, Apple stores and the Google Play generated $5 billion. An analyst report estimates the program market generates earnings of over $10 billion per year inside the European Union, while over 529,000 jobs have been created in 28 EU states due to the growth of the app market.