But what does it all mean? – Jargon Buster Blog


5 minute read
Alumni: Charlie Harman

Alumni: Charlie Harman

Marketing Manager

Digital Insights

Like most specialist areas, there’s a whole world of words, phrases and acronyms associated with app development. While in other jargon filled sectors you may feel like your having to learn a new language, when developing in concerned… you actually are!

To help out, here’s our list of lingo we use most often and what it all means…

      • Operating System – An operating system is the thing that makes your phone or tablet actually work. It controls the screen, the sound system, the WiFi and allows your phone to run apps. Without an OS your phone wouldn’t even turn on!

      • Android – An operating system created by Google that runs over a billion phones and tablets around the world. It was created by Google and it is the main opposition to iOS

      • Programming Language – A method of writing instructions to tell a computer what to do, for example to create an app or game. Examples of programming languages include Javascript, HTML.

      • Javascript – A programming  language used to create interactive web pages and some apps

      • HTML – Stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It’s used to set up the content you see on web pages such as the text of an article

      • Swift – Swift is a brand new developing language created by apple for creating iOS apps

      • IOS – an operating system used for mobile devices manufactured by Apple. Read our blog about iOS8

      • OS X – is an operating system used for Apple macintosh computers

      • NDA – Stands for Non Disclosure Agreement. If you have a great idea for an app that you are nervous about sharing in case someone should ‘steal’ your idea you could write an NDA for your chosen developer to sign. Or you could ask your developers if they have an NDA you could sign

      • GPS – stands for Global Positioning System. GPS uses satellites in space to provide navigational information to allow a devise to find out where you are on earth. This is useful for apps such as SatNavs. We use this technology for our AppTrails service

      • API – Application Programming Interface. An API is a system provided by an online service or website such as Flickr or Google Maps to allow apps to use the website’s data or services. For, example, including a Google Map or set of Flickr photographs in an app

      • Apps – A piece of software that performs a task, such as a mail program or game

      • Push Notification – A push notification is a message that an app can send which will show up on your iPhone in a similar manner to a  text message would. They contain information about the app they are from. For example; if you might be reminded that you have been invited to a party via your calendar

      • UX – User Interface / Design –  UX means many things to many people. We take it to mean ‘how the user interacts with your app’

      • Native Apps – We use this to mean an app created without using HTML5. Generally Native Apps are faster and smoother and work more like the rest of the Operating System. The vast majority of popular apps are Native

      • Device – refers to whatever object you are using. Ie. your smartphone is a device, as is your iPad and your tablet, etc.

      • Bluetooth -A way of wirelessly connecting your device to accessories such as speakers, keyboards, and wireless headphones

      • Bluetooth 4.0 /Bluetooth Low Engery / Bluetooth Smart – See our blog explaining Bluetooth LE in depth

      • Firmware – Firmware is a software program or set of instructions programmed on a hardware device. It provides the necessary instructions for how the device communicates with the other computer hardware

      • Software – Computer software is a general term that describes computer programs. Software can be difficult to describe because it is “virtual,” or not physical like computer hardware. Instead, software consists of lines of code written by computer programmers that have been compiled into a computer program

      • Hardware – refers to physical technological things that you use. Your computer, it’s motherboard, hard drives etc. are all pieces of hardware

      • Widget – an application, or a component of an interface, that enables a user to perform a function or access a service. For example you might have a twitter widget on your mobile app that will allow you to share data via twitter

      • Coding – Coding is the name given to the action of writing code. Writing code is what programmers do to create a set of instructions for the computer

      • Hybrid Apps – A hybrid application (hybrid app) is one that combines elements of both native and Web applications. Native applications are developed for a specific platform and installed on a computing device. Web applications are generalised for multiple platforms and not installed locally but made available over the Internet through a browser

      • Objective C – is another programming language used by Apple for programming OS X and IOS operating systems

      • PHP – Stands for “Hypertext Preprocessor.” (It is a recursive acronym, if you can understand what that means.) PHP is an HTML-embedded Web scripting language. This means PHP code can be inserted into the HTML of a Web page

      • Geotag – an electronic tag that assigns a geographical location to a photograph or video, etc.

      • Geolocation – Obtaining information as to your physical whereabouts via the networks on your device


Have you encountered a head scratching word or phrase that we haven’t mentioned? Comment below or tweet us @Calvium and we’ll explain it for you.

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