Industry slang

Buzzwords from A to Z. Just to make sure we understand each other.

  • Accessibility is all about giving all persons access to the operation of an app. In particular, people with special needs due to a disability are to be integrated. Thus, development should take voice control for the visually impaired into consideration, for example.

  • The Application Programming Interface (API) is a program component of a software system which serves to connect other programs to this system.

  • These days, an app refers to a small program that can be executed on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

  • App deployment means the provision and distribution of a software or and app on the desired end device, such as smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

  • Distribution options are a recurrent theme in the development of apps. The app distribution process describes the transmission and installation of mobile applications. Generally speaking, users download their apps from the well-known app stores by Google and Apple but internal apps are often made available for download via email link, rather than being distributed through the app stores.

  • App entitlements are user-specific access and/or use authorisations. An app entitlement would be, for example, a specific user with a Netflix subscription being able to use this subscription on his/her iPad, smartphone and desktop without having to pay again for the service on each platform. Entitlements are also defined in connection with the use of the iCloud, push notifications, Apple Pay and app sandboxing.

  • Through integration of the app indexing SDK/API, Google can crawl deep links of Android or iOS and have them integrated in the Google index for the mobile search results. From this point on, in the case of a mobile search request, the organic search results are expanded by content from the indexed app and allow fast, easy access for the end user. Further details are available in the “App indexing” blog post.

  • To ensure that app indexing works in their own apps, developers must integrate app indexing SDK or app indexing API depending on whether the app is for Apple iOS or Google Android.

  • The app lifecycle begins with the first idea for an app and ends with the phase-out (deletion) of the app from the app stores. It includes activities such as: conception, design, software development (front end and back end), user research, app marketing, app publishing, further development, maintenance and operation, monetisation and phase-out. It is becoming ever more important to manage the whole lifecycle of the app efficiently.

  • App modularisation describes a process in which the app is fragmented into various autonomous app modules. These modules can then be streamed directly through the mobile browser (e.g. Chrome) as individual components without the entire app having to be downloaded onto the end user’s smartphone.

  • In order to ensure security and transparency for the system and the end user, apps (and their developers) have to first ask the end user for permission before they can access certain system or user data or functions of the smartphone. Depending on how sensitive the accessed data is, “permissions” can be given automatically or otherwise only through the express consent of the end users.

  • App publishers are all organisations, companies or private persons who have published one or more apps in one or more app stores.

  • Through app remarketing, smartphone users who have already opened an app at one time and in doing so were recorded by app CRM are urged at a later date to use the app again by means of targeted advertising via the web in the browser.

  • The app retention rate is the percentage of app users who still use the app after a certain time following installation. The figure is calculated by dividing the number of unique users who have opened the app at least once a day by the total number of installations within a defined period. On average, the retention rate after three months is only around 20%.

  • App streaming is an approach in which apps do not have to be initially downloaded as a whole from the app store but rather are transmitted “on request” via streaming, just like videos, and displayed in the browser. This makes Cloud apps more flexible and faster to use for end users. The term “app streaming” is used particularly in reference to Google Instant Apps.

  • Since mobile applications are the perfect carriers for malicious codes or hacker attacks and can thus be detrimental to the privacy of the user, it is imperative to protect them. There are various methods that can be used to make a software more secure and to ensure that hackers would have to go to massive effort and time to access it.

  • An appreneur is an entrepreneur who goes into business for themselves with an app idea.

  • In relation to artificial intelligence, Elon Musk has spoken of the great threat that we face as a civilisation. AI is basically a subdivision of IT which deals with the automation of intelligent behaviour. AI requires machine learning in the background for it to work. Currently, AI is used especially in the areas of robotics, language and image recognition and process optimisation. In the future, AI can and will be used in many more areas.

  • Whereas real neural networks exist in our brains, we talk about artificial neural networks in connection with artificial intelligence and IT. An artificial neural network is nothing more than a collection of many individual neurons (information processing units), which are arranged in layers into a network architecture. This ultimately enables computers to recognise images and understand them.

  • This means the computer-assisted augmentation of the perception of reality. This can involve all of the senses. In comparison to virtual reality, in which the user is immersed completely in a virtual world, the focus in augmented reality is in presenting additional information.

  • Small transmitters which transmit a code up to a pre-determined distance by means of Bluetooth technology. Example: payment process in the Twint app

  • The release for testing purposes of an app that is still at the development phase.

  • The goal behind blockchain technologies is that the protagonists are in the foreground and so-called peer-to-peer communication exists between the acting persons without an individual, large intermediary such as a bank getting involved to manage the desired transaction (information, cryptocurrency). The blockchain can be imagined as an infinitely extendable list of blocks (data sets) which are linked (chained) to each other by means of a cryptographic process. Usually, each data set contains an encrypted variance coefficient (known as hash) of the previous block as well as a time stamp and the transaction information.

  • A bug is a software or design error. The elimination of this error in the app is known as a bug fix.

  • In app building, all developed components and content of an app are put together and thus form a functioning app. This can be accomplished excellently with our “Updraft” app, which can be found in our products.

  • This is the description of the product/project in just a few sentences.

  • What should the core of the app be? The app content is decisive for the development and choice and the design.

  • In what context will the users use the app? If it will be used while jogging, the design will differ from one for an app used while relaxing. If it’s an outdoor app, there will have to be a solution for when no internet is available, etc.

  • Continual integration is a term from software development that describes the process of the continuous assembly of components into an app. The aim of the continuous integration is an increase in the quality of the software.

  • Conversational interfaces (CIS) are text and voice-based operational elements which are used in chat apps such as WhatsApp and in connection with chatbots, for example. Since the spoken word is still the most natural form of communication, conversational interfaces could also be described as the interfaces of the future. However, it will still take a while before users can really communicate efficiently via CIs with intelligent chatbots in their usual and most natural communication form. Before that happens, language recognition and artificial intelligence still require a great deal of development.

  • This is a “machine learning” platform by Apple, which was developed for iOS 11 and offers developers ready-made modules and simple integration in apps. CoreML allows developers to integrate trained machine learning models into apps. For example, an app that has a model integrated that is trained in car makes and models, can display the name and model of a car when the user points the camera of his/her device at the car.

  • The Swiss city of Zug has made its name as a centre for cryptocurrencies and is therefore also known as Crypto Valley: “crypto” in reference to cryptocurrency and “valley” as a nod to “Silicon Valley” from whence most technological innovations of the last five years have come from companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, google and so on. In Zug, the main focus is on Bitcoin and blockchain.

  • Bitcoin is the best-known cryptocurrency. The biggest difference between a cryptocurrency and a normal currency is that the former only exists virtually and makes it possible to undertake financial transactions without banks as the “middlemen” thanks to the so-called blockchain technology.

  • DAU is the German abbreviation for “dümmste anzunehmende User” or “dumbest assumable user”. The closest English equivalent is “luser”. It is important to take these into account in the development.

  • A decentralised app (also called dApp) is a computer application that runs on a distributed computer system. DApps were made popular by distributed ledger technology such as the Ethereum Blockchain, where dApps are often referred to as smart contracts.

  • Small pixel image used in the app as a design element.

  • This is an innovation approach with a focus on the user’s point of view and used to solve existing problems or develop new ideas.

  • DLT is a concept in connection with the blockchain technology and describes a decentralised accounting system controlled by many participants. Even though the accounting takes place peripherally, this approach still aims at consensus for the accuracy of the accounting. The decisive point in doing so is that future transactions build on past transactions and confirm these as being correct in that they can and must prove knowledge of the earlier transactions. This makes manipulation or deletion of past transactions impossible without destroying all future transactions.

  • Electronic publication is a standard for e-books. E-books based on this standard allow dynamic adjustment of texts to fit the size of the screen. Epubs can contain interactive elements such as audio and video.

  • Fragmentation means creating and testing screen formats.

  • Freemium apps are apps which have a free-of-charge basic model but which involve charges for the full product version or add-ons. This payment can be made within the basic app.

  • The scope of function of an app. What is the app’s core function? What does the user do with it? Verbs help to create function groups and synergies.

  • Game design describes the activities involved in the conception of game universes, rules and characters for digital games.

  • Swipe, tap, long press, double-tap, pinch and multi-touch are terms for operating metaphors in an app. These are specific finger movements that trigger various interactions on the screen.

  • Google Pay (formerly Android Pay) is the Google equivalent of Apple Pay, i.e. a mobile payment solution. It enables contactless payment using a smartphone. In January 2018, Google Pay was merged with Google Wallet, thus resolving the restrictions for Android systems. This means that Apple users will also be able to use Google Pay in the future. Pre-requisites are a Google Play account and a valid credit or debit card. The built-in NFC chip is used to transmit data between the smartphone and the payment terminal.

  • This is short for “Google Accelerated Mobile Pages” and means just what the name suggests: faster websites. It is a project started in the autumn of 2015 under Google leadership with the aim of enabling a better experience for mobile internet use. It provides website developers with the necessary tools for implementing fast mobile-optimised websites.

  • The Google Play Console is a platform that can be used by Android developers to manage all phases of the app publication. It enables, for example, the distribution of Android apps (download) to a test group before release, records information such as the app title, app texts and screenshots, manages sales and the prices, and observes and improves the performance of the app in the Play Store.

  • The Google Search Console is a free-of-charge tool from Google, which allows web and app content, which is indexed in the search algorithm, to be checked and optimised.

  • This is an acronym from the United States which stands for “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act”. It stipulates that all companies in the health industry must comply with the regulations defined by the HIPAA with regard to the confidentiality, privacy and integrity of patient data. Blockchain technology could help make compliance with these strict standards easier.

  • A hybrid app is a combination of native and web app components. The inherent advantages of both of these technologies are exploited.

  • Google Instant Apps first appeared at the I/O 2016. A huge advantage of instant apps is that these don’t have to be found and installed completely via the Google Play Store but rather are displayed directly in the mobile search results and only modules of the app have to be installed for the end user to be able to use the content and functions. This means that this Android app content can be found and accessed much easier and the boundaries between web and native apps are greatly eroded.

  • The iOS simulator allows apps to be run on a computer during development instead of on a real device. In doing so, it provides an environment similar to a real device, including functions such as the simulation of a GPS location.

  • Means Internet of Things. For example, the blinds on the office windows can be controlled using the Apps with love office remote app and the toilet stall doors announce when the stall in occupied.

  • Java is a programming language as well as a runtime environment. It is the oldest mobile application platform. Many apps and websites won’t function if Java isn’t installed on the end device.

  • If the user’s location is known, specific information on a specific topic can be forwarded to them. For example: Where is the closest Italian restaurant? How is the weather at a destination? And so on. GPS or short-range positioning is used to determine the exact location of the user. GPS uses satellites whereas short-range positioning is a sensor-based system which works through near field communication (NFC), Bluetooth or radio waves.

  • Machine learning simply means the “artificial” acquisition of knowledge through experience. In this, an artificial system learns by means of examples, recognises patterns and can define and use generally-applicable rules after the learning phase.

  • How is a user base achieved before the app launch? Involve test users and bloggers in beta tests during development.

  • A mobile back end as a service (MBAAS for short) enables the seamless interaction between apps and a back-end system. MBAAS are geared towards scalability, self-service aspects and containerisation from the beginning. For this reason, from our perspective, these support the agile development approach in order to develop, deploy and integrate native, hybrid or web apps. Ideally, deployment is enabled on private, public and hybrid Clouds.

  • MDM stands for mobile device management. It involves the centralised management of mobile devices such as smartphones, sub-notebooks, PDAs or tablets by one or more administrators using a software. MDM includes the activation of mobile devices, and the roll-out and controlled provision of smartphones and tablets in a company.

  • This describes advertising on smartphones and tablets. Free apps often drown in it. When an app achieves a high level of reach (many users, high degree of use), developers can earn money with it.

  • This describes software solutions that are integrated into mobile apps and are used for executing, managing and automating mobile marketing tasks and processes. For example, personalised push notifications are triggered automatically on the basis of a pre-defined event, e.g. the user has completed registration.

  • MAMP tools give the app publisher the opportunity to maintain an overview of the app’s performance, to recognise problems quickly and thus optimise the user experience. They include monitoring for crashes, the reaction speed of the app on various devices, start-up speed, battery consumption, resource consumption (CPU power), memory requirements, mobile internet data consumption, information on the user’s usage behaviour, in-app transactions, etc.

  • Mobile commerce or mCommerce for short describes electronic transactions via a smartphone and mobile internet.

  • These are mobile software solutions for customer relations management and allow fast and intuitive access to relevant customer data while on the move.

  • Deep links have greatly changed the world of linking between web and app content, creating new options. Instead of a link only to an app site (App Store), deep linking allows direct linking to the content of a sub-page in the app. To make this possible, the same content has to be hosted on the web and linked to the content of the app via a so-called URI scheme (uniform resource identifier). Once deep links exist and an app indexing SDK has been integrated, Google can index this content in its own search algorithms and then display it in mobile search results.

  • The search engine page rank describes the position of a website, app or other web content in the search results of a search engine. The mobile search engine rank is the position of a website or app in mobile searches, which may not be the same as in a desktop search.

  • App monetisation means the monetisation of the product. This can involve charging both advertising customers and end users. Advertising customers pay for the integration of mobile ads and branded content, whereas the user generates revenue for the app owner either already in the App Store or through in-app purchases in the freemium model.

  • MVP stands for minimal viable product: for example, an app which contains only the core functions so that these core functions can be validated by the end users as quickly as possible.

  • Native apps are programmed for a specific operating system and so run only on the corresponding devices. This ensures that the interfaces to the hardware will work perfectly. Web apps are apps for mobile devices based on HTML5, JavaScript and CSS. They are not restricted to an app store. Once the app is developed, it will work on most mobile devices. When does a native app make more sense than a web app? When it needs push notifications. When the app should also work well offline, as well as for complex animation and rich content. A native app is also advantageous for the use of device sensors and the camera.

  • Near field communication (NFC for short) is a radio frequency identification technology. It can be used to determine the position of a user but also to transmit data. It is more secure than the transmission of data via Bluetooth.

  • Operating systems form the interface between the hardware components and the users’ application software. The tasks of the operating system are, for example, the loading, execution, interruption and ending of programs, the management and distribution of processor time, the management of the internal memory for apps, and security functions such as access limitations.

  • A paid app is an app that requires payment.

  • Peers are equal partners. In IT, peer-to-peer communication means nothing more than communication between two or more computers of equal rank. These computers can both access and add information. In doing so, a central server is by-passed and the strengths of a peripheral system are harnessed. Peer-to-peer became really well-known through video and music download services. Other examples are Skype, instant messaging, distributed computing (e.g. the processing of large quantities of data by a network instead of just one computer) as well as the blockchain technology.

  • This refers to mobile advertising that is automatically customised and delivered based on existing user data. Within milliseconds, the advertising spaces are allocated to the highest-bidding advertising customer in an auction process.

  • Progressive web apps (PWA) are maximally optimised mobile websites which have properties that only native apps had until recently. Thanks to so-called bridge technologies, PWAs can access sensors, the local memory, the smartphone camera and other proprietary functions, depending on the mobile browser, and thus offer the end user an almost native experience without having to download an app for this purpose from the app store. Unfortunately there are still huge differences at the present time between the various mobile browsers in terms of which options can be offered at all. In this regard, Google Chrome is the furthest developed and the Safari browser, which is installed on all Apple devices as the default browser, offers half-decent options only from iOS 11.3.

  • Prototyping allows an idea to be tested quickly before big investments have to be made. A prototype can rapidly produce initial findings, whether as a clickable dummy app or as a functioning prototype, and thus provide early feedback as to the suitability of a solution approach.

  • A push service is a communication service between the server of an application and the device of the end user. Information in the form of messages on the screen of the smartphone or tablet are sent to the user, even when the application is not currently open.

  • This involves developing a working or merely visual prototype as quickly as possible in order to test it at an early stage with potential end customers.

  • Regression testing is the name given to the process of testing already existing functions to see if they still work after the addition of new code elements. These tests are carried out in the course of further development to ensure that the existing functionality is not negatively affected by the new code.

  • “Portrait” and “landscape” view: these terms describe the orientation of the screen. Depending on whether the user uses the smartphone or tablet vertically (portrait) or horizontally (landscape), the arrangement of the app content will change.

  • The software development kit (SDK) contains the necessary tools and applications required by developers for programming apps. These SDKs are provided by the manufacturers of the respective operating systems.

  • The Java Standard differentiates between signed and unsigned applications. The software author is confirmed by JavaVerified, Verisign or Thawte to prevent name disputes.

  • A smart contract is a computer protocol running on the blockchain network that can digitally enable, verify or enforce the signing or execution of a contract.

  • In the development of an app, the text is written in a programming language (e.g. Objective C, Java) that can be read also by humans.

  • The Apple Spotlight Framework allows app content to be indexed in the Apple Spotlight search, found easily and opened/used directly via deep links. For example, we have indexed all of our members of staff and their telephone numbers in the Apps with love Smart Office Remote app so that every one of them can not only quickly find their co-worker’s name via a Spotlight search but also call this person with one click and without going into the app at all.

  • SQL is a database language from Microsoft, based on relational algebra and used for the definition of data structures and for processing and queries of data sets based on them.

  • It is important to define the target group that the product should reach to ensure that the corresponding design and development steps can be integrated into the concept.

  • This is a method that is often employed in the agile development of software. In it, the coder consistently creates software tests before the components to be tested.

  • Whilst the testing team tries to localise and find as many errors as possible (testing), the developing team fixes and eliminated the errors detected (debugging).

  • Functional components of computer programs are tested for correct functionality.

  • The URI scheme was introduced by Android for the deep linking approach. It allows developers to register the app for a uniform resource identifier (URI) in the operating system for certain devices once this app has been installed. Then, when the link is tapped, the relevant app is opened directly on the smartphone.

  • UX is the key to the user and describes the experience had when interacting with the app. In user experience design, the experience chain is developed from the perspective of the end user, shifting the focus from the functions to the customer experience.

  • This describes the navigation scheme of the app. How should the user move around within the app? How do they get from A to B and how can this be made easier through the design? The user flow shows the paths taken by the user within the app in order to satisfy their needs.

  • This is the “dashboard” through which the user interacts with the technology. To make a user interface useful and meaningful, it should be adapted to the user’s needs and abilities.

  • Describes the user experience while using and interacting with the software. We use user journey mapping to guarantee focus on the user and not on the functions in the creation phase.

  • User research is the targeted observation and surveying of existing app users to gain feedback and new insight for the improvement of the user experience. To this end, a group of people are surveyed for research purposes on their preferences, etc. in regard to a particular topic. A product idea can be substantiated or adjusted according to the findings.

  • User research is the targeted observation and surveying of existing app users to gain feedback and new insight for the improvement of the user experience. To this end, a group of people are surveyed for research purposes on their preferences, etc. in regard to a particular topic. A product idea can be substantiated or adjusted according to the findings.

  • The chosen user interface includes design elements, even if no intentional design steps have been taken. Scheduling sufficient time for design development is important. The design of an app differs depending on the platform. That is why the created design should be tested on different platforms.

  • A movement towards the development of technologies and applications in the areas of distributed web software protocols.

  • Wireframes are the sketched-out versions of interface designs of an app at the development stage. The aim is to represent the desired functions as well as the overall user interface. UI guidelines, which vary depending on the chosen platform for the app, have to be taken into account during development.

  • Xamarin.iOS, formerly MonoTouch, is an alternative programming language which forms a bridge between various programming languages. Xamarin is used to simplify the import of existing C# code into iOS (and for Android, Xamarin.Android is used).

  • Xcode is the most frequently used development environment for Apple operating systems (iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS). It is provided by Apple for the realisation of user interfaces in accordance with the design templates, for writing program codes, for defining the functions of the apps and for testing and publishing the developed programs. Xcode is mainly used with the programming languages Swift and Objective-C but can also be used for code in C and C++.

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