What is the difference between Software and a Mobile App?

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Software and mobile applications are terms used to understand computer technology.
In other words, applications are a form of software. Let us dive into each of them separately.

What is Software?


Software is a set of instructions that provide a framework to the computer. It tells the computer what to do with the information inputted by the user. The software comprises a different set of programs, procedures that enable the computer to follow the instructions.

The software was introduced as a term to commonly understand the difference between hardware. Hardware is the physical components of a computer system. To summarize, the software is the set of instructions that directs the computer’s hardware to perform a certain task.

Software is divided into two categories

  • System Software: This software controls the computer’s internal functioning. It executes the operations through the operating system. It also controls peripherals such as monitors, printers, and other storage devices.
  • Application Software: This software directs the computer to perform commands given by the user. The commands in turn perform the necessary action to achieve desired results for the user. It includes word processors, spreadsheets, database management, etc.

As mentioned, that software is a set of instructions programmed to allow the computer to perform certain tasks. So, this software is stored on external memory devices such as hard drives or magnetic disks. When the user inputs particular information or tries to execute a task, the computer reads the information from the storage device.

After understanding the instructions, it places the instructions in random access memory (RAM). This process of storing and performing instructions is called ‘running’ or ‘executing’ a program.

Features of the Software

Software is a collection of programs, procedures and documentation. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) explains that the software has no mass, no volume and no colour which makes the software a non-degradable entity over a long period.

The set of functions managed by the software allow the hardware components to execute the task daily. The software integrates and manages the peripherals of a computer system. By giving a set of commands, the computer is made aware of how to perform a certain task.

One of the examples is printing a document, the software instructs the hardware – how to print the document by taking the input from the user and thus displaying the output.

The features of the software are listed as follows

Features of the Software

It is so evident that users will define in their way and every user deals with the software differently. For example, basic users want the software for their basic requirements, whereas developer users will require much more integrated software to perform different tasks.

  • Reliability: This feature refers to the ability of the software to execute desired functions under predefined conditions.
  • Functionality: This feature speaks about the degree of performance of the software against its intended purpose.
  • Usability: The emphasis is on the use of the software with ease:
  • Efficiency: The ability of the software to accommodate system resources and make effective use of each for desired results.
  • Maintainability: This feature refers to the simplicity with which certain modifications can be made in the software system. This will allow it to extend its functionality, improve its performance.
  • Portability: The act of transferring from one platform to another. In simpler terms, the ability of software to function efficiently on different hardware components and software platforms.
  • Robustness: Refers to the extent to which the software is successfully running despite being provided with invalid data.
  • Integrity: Through this feature, unauthorized users can have no access to the software data.

What is a Mobile App?

Mobile App

App, shortly abbreviated for mobile application is a type of software designed to run on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet computer. The services on mobile applications are similar to those accessed on desktop PCs.

Apps are individual software units with limited function. Other terms used for a mobile application are app, web app, online app, iPhone app or smartphone app. Examples like calculators, game applications or mobile web browsing are mobile applications.

Features of a Mobile App

Features of a Mobile App
  1. Simplicity: The idea behind building mobile applications has to be simple. Users tend to lose interest if the app is difficult to navigate. If the customer loses interest, they switch their medium, say like the computer applications. Uncluttered screens and no ambiguity will help improve the customer experience and will allow them to stick to mobile apps for a long period.
  2. Performance: The faster the app opens, the better it is for the user. In the early days, mobile applications opened after a certain pause, which frustrated the users. Hence, in the newer technologies, it is visibly seen that mobile applications with high-performance rate are more likeable.
  3. Social integration: This is an important feature connecting different consumers to their favourite brands. The collaboration with social channels simplifies the signing up process for the user. The integration allows users to share posts about various events within the app.
  4. Security: A very important feature to protect data confidentiality is security. Necessary steps should be taken by the app developer to ensure the data is both private and secure. This helps to increase and to improve the trust factor of the mobile app.
  5. Feedback System: A system that allows the user to report bugs, complaints or suggestions should be set up. This feature is widely appreciated as it leads to enhancing trust and credibility.
Differences between the Software and a Mobile App

Whether you know the technicality of the software of a mobile app or not, you definitely know how to use both of these on a daily basis. And you definitely agree that they have become an essential part of our daily lives. If you are going to use them and continue to use them in the future, it’s always better to know which one is more advantageous than the other or we need to use software for certain things and a mobile app for certain other things.

So, let’s understand that in the next section.


Advantages and Disadvantages of the software

Mobile App

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Mobile App

Open source or free softwares for you to try handson!!

Are you curious to get your hands on some software that might help you develop an application or programs for computers and mobiles? Well, we are fueling your curiosity with our top 3 picks which are a must try for all you beginners out there.


Would you believe us if we told you that you can make an App or program without a simple piece of code? This software makes that happen for you. This software is helping individuals and businesses grow by helping them create Apps and software programs without applying any coding skills or knowledge. So, on a beginner level, this becomes a boon for you.

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Alpha Anywhere

If there is something different about this software – it would be its mobile usability. Yes, you can build your App or program from the comfort of your mobile. Ofcourse, it supports a web page as well, but still, if you are more comfortable on your mobile, this one’s for you to try out. Again, this too works without any or little coding. We would recommend using this one if you have at least basic knowledge of coding. Would be helpful.

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Wish to build a mobile App for Android or iOS? This software makes this possible for you without a single piece of code and that too in a matter of minutes. Amazing isn’t it? So, if your brilliant mind has an idea that you think can benefit the world – go ahead and build your first App right here. It’s your playground.

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Various factors should be taken into consideration to understand the equation between software and mobile app. Skills like user experience, time and cost of development are the pointers. In a nutshell, there are hybrid apps if you don’t want to overthink things. And native apps that cannot be ignored when it comes to aiming performance.

Citations :

Skillioma Home (June 13, 2024) What is the difference between Software and a Mobile App?. Retrieved from https://repo.skillioma.com/what-is-the-difference-between-software-and-a-mobile-app/.
"What is the difference between Software and a Mobile App?." Skillioma Home - June 13, 2024, https://repo.skillioma.com/what-is-the-difference-between-software-and-a-mobile-app/
"What is the difference between Software and a Mobile App?." Skillioma Home - Accessed June 13, 2024. https://repo.skillioma.com/what-is-the-difference-between-software-and-a-mobile-app/
Skillioma Home November 14, 2023 What is the difference between Software and a Mobile App?., viewed June 13, 2024,<https://repo.skillioma.com/what-is-the-difference-between-software-and-a-mobile-app/>
Skillioma Home - What is the difference between Software and a Mobile App?. [Internet]. [Accessed June 13, 2024]. Available from: https://repo.skillioma.com/what-is-the-difference-between-software-and-a-mobile-app/
"What is the difference between Software and a Mobile App?." Skillioma Home [Online]. Available: https://repo.skillioma.com/what-is-the-difference-between-software-and-a-mobile-app/. [Accessed: June 13, 2024]

Power Words :

  • Framework
  • Daunting
  • Peripherals
  • Seamless
  • Processors
  • Navigation
  • Robustness
  • Executing


Critical thinking challenge question :

Why do you need a mobile app when you can simply open a browser, type the url and access the website from a mobile? Why do companies have both the website and a mobile app when you can access the website from the mobile phone at any time, anyway.

Watch this video for further learning :

What is the difference between Software and a Mobile App

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