App, short for application, is a word that has exploded into common usage over the past couple of years. Used to describe a variety of different kinds of software, the word conjures strong associations with one company in particular—Apple. Turn on an iPhone or an iPad, and you will be confronted with a long list of apps which strive to make life a little easier and a little more fun.
There are apps for everything, from cooking apps that give you quick and easy recipes, to travel apps that help you find the best deals on holidays. There are even apps that most people would consider completely pointless but which are, nonetheless, entertaining. Take the Annoy-a-Teen app, which plays an irritating high-pitched sound that only teenagers can hear, or the Rimshot & Crickets app which provides ridiculous sound effects on demand for any occasion.
There are over half a million apps available for download from Apple’s App Store, and so far over 15 billion apps have been downloaded by users eager to fill their devices with versatile , useful, and entertaining software.
One of the most popular apps so far is the ubiquitous Angry Birds app, a popular game which can be found on just about anyone’s iPad or iPhone. Other successes include the Kindle app, which allows users to read thousands of e-books on their iPads, and the Photoshop Express app, which gives the user a stripped down and accessible version of the famous photo editor.
Buying an app is easy. You can browse the App Store directly from your device and get an app instantly or browse the store via iTunes and transfer your downloads onto your device later.
The App Store has been a real success for Apple, though it has also been a profitable area for software developers, who get 70% of the revenue from app sales, while Apple takes a 30% cut. Many developers have complained that this is an unfair split. However, this pricing model has now been adopted by online book retailer Amazon for its e-book sales and is becoming something of a standard model for sales of downloadable content.
app可以用在任何事情上，從料理app給你快速又簡單的食譜，到旅遊app幫你找出最佳的假日方案。甚至有些app對大部分人來說沒什麼用，但卻很具娛樂效果。例如「騷擾年輕人」（Annoy-a-Teen）這個app，播放只有青少年才聽得到的高頻惱人音訊，還有Rimshot &Crickets app提供各種情境下你需要的荒謬音效。
目前最受歡迎的app是無所不在的憤怒鳥app，你可以在大部分使用者的iPad或iPhone裡面找到這款受歡迎的遊戲。其他成功的案例包括Kindle的app和Photoshop Express app。前者能讓使用者在iPad上閱讀數千本的電子書。後者則提供使用者使用著名影像編輯軟體 Photoshop的簡易基本功能。
內容出自：寂天英語學習充電報 << 本篇選自焦點英語閱讀：六大技巧輕鬆讀英文 (Level 3) >>