Mobile: Mobile Apps Glossary

Updated on November 22, 2018
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Brief Overview

This glossary provides a brief intro to general mobile app terminology, and contains definitions to terms you will see used throughout the Mobile Apps category. You may wish to keep this page open in a separate tab and refer back to it as you browse. If you notice a term that should be included here but is not, please contact Support and it will be included here if appropriate.

Android

Android is Google’s mobile operating system. Android is distributed in many versions through various device manufacturers, the most popular being Samsung. Android is considered the most popular mobile/tablet operating system in the world. Android native apps are developed using the Java coding language and deployed through Android Studio.

Application Programming Interface (API)

An application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications and when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components. APIs also specify how software components should interact, and enable an app to access and interact with other parties’ applications or platforms.

The WalkMe Mobile SDK provides access to different functionalities through API, including setting Goals, User Attributes, setting End User IDs, starting a campaign by a key and more.

App Store Optimization (ASO)

App store optimization (ASO) is the important process of app-creators optimizing their apps’ visibility on the Apple App Store and/or on Google Play. Implementing a strong ASO strategy can result in higher search visibility and more downloads.

ASO practices include A/B testing of images and texts/keywords within the app store page, as well as asking app end-users to rate the app and offer reviews. High-quality reviews and ratings increase app visibility and likelihood of end-user downloads.

WalkMe Mobile helps our customers’ apps get more end-user ratings by offering a ShoutOut that prompts end-users for a review while they are using the app.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that humans would consider “smart.” AI and ML are very similar, and both apply to WalkMe Mobile technology.

Deep linking is a methodology for activating an action inside a mobile application via a link. Deep linking connects a unique url to a defined action in the mobile app, whether it’s routing to a location or activating an action. Due to the lack of a common protocol amongst native apps, deep links must be set by the app’s developers. If deep links are not implemented, there is no way for WalkMe Mobile to automatically move the end-user from one app-screen to another within the app.

iOS

iOS is Apple’s official mobile operating system and is supported on all iPhone, iPod and iPad devices. iOS is the second most popular operating system in the world after Android. iOS native apps are developed using the C++ or Swift coding languages and deployed through Apple’s XCode software.

Machine Learning

Machine learning (ML) is the science of getting computers to act in certain ways without being explicitly programmed to do so. In the past decade, ML has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome. ML is so pervasive today that you probably use it dozens of times a day without knowing it.

WalkMe Mobile offers ML algorithms that automatically learn about end-user behavior as it relates to customer apps, and it does so through the analysis of over 300 parameters collected by the SDK.

MDM

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a type of software used by organizations to manage and deploy applications to employees’ mobile devices (read more here). For customers, WalkMe uses an MDM as a way to distribute third party apps that we have fused with our SDK. Internally, WalkMe uses MDM to distribute playground, demo and organizational apps without the need to add them to the Google Play Store or to the Apple App Store.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps, as opposed to browser apps, are developed specifically and exclusively with mobile devices in mind. They can be native, or hybrid, both of which are mobile-specific frameworks, but they differ in the degree to which the coding language is in sync with the mobile OS.

Native Apps

native application (native app) is an application program that has been developed for use on a particular platform or device, e.g., iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system), and Android (Google’s mobile operating system).

Because native apps are written for a specific platform in its native language, they can interact with and take advantage of operating system features and other software that is typically installed on that platform. E.g., native apps can use device-specific hardware and software, thereby taking advantage of the latest technology available on mobile devices, such as global positioning system (“GPS”), device sensors and cameras. This can be construed as an advantage for native apps over Web apps or mobile cloud apps.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps leverage native technology for each platform (iOS and Android) but include web views (HTML) content within the app. This is a useful way for some companies to develop a single app that works on both Android and iOS. This strategy has become popular due to the emergence of solutions like Cordova, Adobe’s PhoneGap and Microsoft’s Xamarin solutions, which enable the development of an app in one language, primarily HTML, and distribution of native apps to iOS and Android simultaneously.

Mobile Publisher

Mobile publishers are mobile app developers, owners, and people or companies that redistribute native apps through an app store.

Mobile Push Notifications

A mobile push notification is a message from an app that pops up on a the mobile device, inside or outside the app. Mobile publishers can send notification to their users at any time; WalkMe Mobile does not offer this tool at the moment. WalkMe Mobile focuses on in-app experience, and does not focus on what happens once the end-user closes the app.

React Native

React Native is Facebook’s solution to the hybrid apps market but has some technical differences from the rest. The solution allows you to develop in JavaScript but compiles the app in a native fashion rather than showing web views like the hybrid apps discussed above.

SDK

A Software Development Kit (SDK) is a set of software development tools that assists in the creation of apps for a specific platform. Typically, an SDK includes one or more APIs, programming tools, and documentation. For example, if you want your app to support Facebook login, you can use Facebook’s SDK to build the framework.

There are many SDKs. Each mobile app has 10-20 SDKs installed on average. Popular SDK categories include the following: Analytics software, advertising, social, R&D-related, etc.

Session

A Session occurs when a user launches the app or returns from background mode, and occurs if an end-user actively uses the app, even if only for a second. Sessions help customers to learn about usage and retention of end-users. Average Session time is a key mobile metric that indicates how engaging an app is.

Sessions can be defined differently on different analytics platforms. For example: some services group the different interactions a user makes with the app in a certain time span as the same session, even if the user leaves the app and only returns after 30+ minutes. WalkMe Mobile counts every app start as a new session. That is why some customers may find discrepancies between the Average Session Time or number of sessions per user that WalkMe Mobile presents and other Analytics services they may be using.

 

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