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How Computers Work: The Evolution of Technology, Tenth Edition by Timothy Edward Downs, Ron White

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Chapter 6. How Applications Work So You Can Play

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Whether you use a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or even a smartwatch, the quick definition of an application—or app, if you prefer—is this: It’s everything except the operating system. Windows, OS X, UNIX, iOS, Android, and other operating systems exist only so you can run applications. The long definition of apps encompasses everything from first-person shooter games such as Bioshock: Infinite, to the most strait-laced accounting program, to that app on your phone that tells you how many steps you’ve taken today.

The lines between the operating system and apps have grown increasingly blurry in recent ...

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