Can we just call them apps?

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Apps are everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere you look, you’ll find apps.

It wasn’t always that way.

On Windows, apps were “programs.” On a Mac, they were “applications.”

When Microsoft took up the term, following Apple’s App Store — THE App Store — Apple fans cried foul: They should be “progs,” they said, because Windows has programs, they said, and Mac has applications.

On gaming consoles, apps were once games, or discs, or cartridges. Music used to be CDs, or tapes, or vinyl. Cameras used to be cameras, but now they’re apps. Everything is an app. Social networks are camera companies now, which, again, are just apps. Websites were once just websites — now, if they’re any good, they’re web apps. Mail went from paper to website to app.

Apps are everywhere. On watches. On TVs. Inside other apps.

Apple trademarked the App Store, so Google called its app store a Play Store. It’s still an app store. You don’t download “plays” in a Play Store. You download apps.

Amazon made an app store and went to court over it. Amazon made its app store one word: the “Appstore.” We call it an app store, because it’s a store for apps.

Now apps aren’t just something you touch or click, or even something you can see. Siri. Alexa. Google Assistant. Cortana. There are apps for your voice now — voice apps.

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But Apple calls Siri apps “extensions.” And Amazon calls Alexa apps “skills.” Microsoft, not very original, calls Cortana apps “skills,” too. Google calls Google Assistant apps “actions.”

But they’re just apps. Voice apps. Like phone apps and laptop apps. So really, can we just call them apps?

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