View Full Version : What's the deal with apps?

08-04-2012, 09:53 AM
I will admit I'm actually not much of a techie so I just wanted to sort of get this off my chest about something I know very little about.

I saw that windows 8 is heavily reliant on using apps which I initially thought was stupid because apps look like something for a mobile phone or tablet and I thought windows would make its operating systems under the assumption that people used... normal computers and knew how to work something without an app. I figured I could just avoid them because I could stick with 7. Maybe 8 will flop as hard as Vista did and they'll put out an even better operating system the year after.

So I thought for the most part apps were avoidable. However, my college just put out a beta UI yesterday (like the first time in years) and it's entirely reliant on apps and drop-down menus. This felt a little strange because surely someone isn't going to do all their courses through a mobile phone. One of the ITs in college told me the primary purpose for the UI change is because they wanted to work away from using outside vendors for things like their forums, so they're building everything from the ground up so they can have control of their software.

I heard windows is using apps because they're so easy even an intern can make them. Perhaps that's the same for a college, and it's an easy way to make a new UI. Someone told me that apps are also easier for users and how dare I make even a tiny little rant because the college should be allowed to innovate (without announcing/scheduling and without tutorial). I was also told that apps are the way of the future and I should expect them to eventually appear in the work place. Am I really going to have to muck around app interfaces in an accounting position? I can probably adapt to it but I just don't see apps as anything other than just a menu feature and I don't see computers needing them, especially since you have menu and desktop shortcuts. Maybe I am wrong about this and apps aren't such a big deal, but it's so jarring to see a UI overhaul right as classes are starting and seeing this UI look more like they tried to cram everything on one page.

08-04-2012, 09:58 AM
Oh, so it's like when flash-based websites became popular and the Internet was riddled with REALLY BAD DESIGN.

It's not so much that apps are bad, but the fact that not everyone has a good sense of design and can create an intuitive and/or attractive UI (See: FurAffinity)

Sounds like this is what your college is experiencing, and needs to tone itself down just a bit... it'll happen eventually, as the thrill of OH WOW NEW TECHNOLOGY!!!1 wears down.

08-04-2012, 10:07 AM
They do have some good ideas with the apps, like making the assignments apps and attaching the forums to specific assignments that require it. But without any instruction (which they're now giving me because I called them on the phone) I was searching for the forums for awhile. It's in beta and they're testing but I feel like they should have tested this with.. testers, or have students opt-in. I mean, everyone would have it eventually but if you're paying to take their classes and they throw you for a loop like this it can feel jarring.

They explained that only specific courses are getting this right now, that being graduate courses and higher-end undergraduate courses, so they aren't trying with the new students. I at least have time to adjust but I just have a feeling some of my classmates will be lost, and there's no orientation or announcement for this because it's still in its early beta. I do feel like they jumped the gun but I hope something good comes out of this because I'll be using this for at least another two years.

08-04-2012, 10:13 AM
Sadly, Windows 8 will be a huge success because people are retarded and addicted to smart phones.

08-04-2012, 10:30 AM
But do you think it'd have any place in an office? Do you think an accountant would be pushed to use apps? Someone told me they would but I don't really know if they would make that change unless a business is really pressed on innovating. Then again I'm speaking out my arse with this one.

08-04-2012, 11:06 AM
Most companies use Windows Server or XP.

08-04-2012, 11:09 AM
Oh man windows 8 is going to be so bad...

08-04-2012, 05:02 PM
I'm looking forward to windows 9, seems they do better with every other OS.

08-05-2012, 08:47 AM
Hey now, don't knock it before you try it. Just because it seems strange or stupid doesn't mean it's not actually a good idea.

Remember when we all made fun of the Wii for its stupid name and silly controls? Remember when the PS3 "had no games" and had a banana shaped controller? Remember when the iPad was a clunky, redundant gadget that would never catch on?

People are often wary of new things - and they should - but it is a personal rule that I try things "three times for science". If you've tried it and still don't like it, fine. You can still call it shit. You're allowed. But every single piece of new technology has an uncomfortable teething ground, and it's not fair to hate it from a first impression.

08-05-2012, 07:50 PM
The good news is I hear Windows 8 is a hell of a lot harder to get viruses on. Other than that, I'm a bit worried games won't be compatible with it and hopefully it'll be as customizable as Win 7 instead of a carbon copy of smartphones/Lion.

Hopefully it'll be pretty good--the added virus resistance makes me want to get a cheap laptop with 8 on it just for internets and shits.

08-05-2012, 07:55 PM
I dislike that there are so many apps for everything. Not everyone has, or wants, a smartphone. I know that I don't. I barely even make/receive phone calls so I have no real need of a fancy phone. Not to mention I don't want to pay for one or its plan.

08-06-2012, 04:39 AM
The good news is I hear Windows 8 is a hell of a lot harder to get viruses on. Other than that, I'm a bit worried games won't be compatible with it and hopefully it'll be as customizable as Win 7 instead of a carbon copy of smartphones/Lion.

Hopefully it'll be pretty good--the added virus resistance makes me want to get a cheap laptop with 8 on it just for internets and shits.

Protip: the best anti-virus protection is yourself

Second protip: if there's an OS, there's a virus written for that OS

08-06-2012, 08:33 AM
Protip: the best anti-virus protection is yourself

Second protip: if there's an OS, there's a virus written for that OS

But depending on an OS's security and popularity, the risk for virii may in fact be incredibly low. Linux is pretty risk free especially if you're not running AS root, which is how most malware is able to mess with things in the first place. There are also frequent updates, so when an exploit is discovered, it's usually patched very quickly.

The number of malicious programs — including viruses, Trojans, and other threats — specifically written for Linux has been on the rise in recent years and more than doubled during 2005 from 422 to 863.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_malware - the page also has a list of all known "wild" malware, trojans, etc. It's a pretty small list.

If everyone used Linux, there would clearly be more danger. As it stands currently, however, most viruses are written for Windows systems because Windows is the most-used OS.

10-08-2012, 09:42 PM
Waitaminute where are you getting your data?

My computer says Windows 8 needs no apps. The reason I know this is because my computer is running Windows 8 right now. It has been since the Windows 8 Consumer Preview came out, and I'm really loving it despite some of its flaws... which I'm pretty sure they ironed out already. I'm just using the old preview because I don't want to install the new one. I'll just wait on Windows 8 proper to come out.
Anyway, I don't use apps. I literally haven't touched them since the first month or so, and that was only for curiosity's sake. I don't get why anyone even thinks that APPS developed in the last year or so to be TOUCH compatible could possibly be in any way better than the programs developed for desktop/laptop setups over the last few decades. Those didn't go anywhere, the desktop is still there and literally every program I try works on it just fine. The app store and apps were made for touch devices and compatibility. Nobody in the right mind will use those if they have a mouse and keyboard always available on their computer.

Though, what I personally hate is the word "app". It's being spread to EVERYTHING now. I use PROGRAMS, maybe APPLICATIONS, but 3D Studio Max, Google Chrome, Game Maker, Photoshop, etc are not APPS. @_@

10-20-2012, 06:38 AM
i agree with Bitcoon, the "app/applications" is really a buzzword that means everything and nothing. application is the purpose of a computer or its capability, the thing between the software and the user.

applications are not programs. it's what a computer can do. image editing is an application. sound recording is an application. wordprocessing is an application. web browsing is an application, and i won't deliver the dictionary's definitions.
MSword is a program. photoshop is a program. facebook is not a program. twitter is not a program. winamp is a program. vlc is a program. youtube is not a program. google earth is a program. google maps is not a program. firefox is a program. desktop wallpapers are not apps or programs FFS.

i think the actual buzzword "apps" is meant to format people into thinking they need the appstore to acquire their software and nothing else could. the job MS and Apple are doing is to get the users used to not have the possibility to install and backup whatever they want with their system. it's a model that allows any company to edit, upgrade or remove the users's software without their consent, remotely.

this sounds also like the model they expect to end personal computing / personal storage, based on the fact all your programs and datas will be stored on the fucking cloud. even corporations are falling for this.

it's our role to get opposed to this model and keep with the more efficient and stable, distributed and individual structure we have today. phones and tablets are never supposed to replace a computer.

11-05-2012, 11:01 PM
I honestly don't like the huge popularity of apps. I use my laptop rather than a mobile phone. I recently had a look at tablets and was astonished when I saw the user interface. With a screen that large the user interface could be a simple and organized as a desktop computer. Instead they have it filled with apps each with their own submenus you have to dig through for your files.
I enjoy having fully functioning programs with a variety of features and tools. Next to computer programs, apps look like little toys with a fraction of the usefulness.
When I heard new windows tablets would be using windows 8, I thought that meant they were doing the sensible thing and giving tablets a usability upgrade. Turns out the entire operating system is getting a usability downgrade. I'll stick with my programs.

12-03-2012, 05:42 AM
A long long time ago (read: 5-6 years) Blackberry was the big player in the smart phone world. Competing only with Palm, Blackberry stayed relevant and specific in no small part due to the creation of the Blackberry App World. This gave software developers the ability to build applications to do the things they wanted, rather than the things the phone companies said they should.
Then came the iPhone and everything changed. In June of 2007, the iPhone officially hit the market to rave reviews. Push the hype to one side and you see that the iPhone success was largely due to three major factors: design and marketing, high quality hardware, and the App Store. Copying the idea from Blackberry, Apple too the idea much further and enabled a new generation of capabilities both from a hardware standpoint (easily accessible GPS data, accelerometers, cameras, etc) and from a programming standpoint (Objective C is a language anyone can pick up with just a little study).