A mobile application is designed to run on mobile devices like a phone or tablet. Applications were originally supposed for productivity assistance, however the public demand for apps caused fast growth into different areas such as mobile games, factory automation, GPS and location-based services, order-tracking, and ticket purchases, in order that there are currently a lot of apps available.

Mobile applications usually stand in distinction to desktop applications that are designed to run on desktop computers and internet applications that run in mobile web browsers rather than directly on the mobile device.