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Apple user's dictionary of tech jargon

David Price | May 10, 2016
From Arrangement Mode to Xcode: we explain all the jargon in our plain-English dictionary of tech terms, focusing on concepts that affect Apple fans

Terrified of tech terminology? Baffled by buzzwords and jaded by jargon? You're not the only one. Welcome to the Apple user's jargon-buster dictionary.

The simple fact is that technology companies can't always use normal English because they deal in so many new concepts - concepts that are often newer than the most recent edition of your favourite dictionary. Luckily you've got access to, which is updated a lot more frequently.

In our tech glossary, we explain all the technology jargon that we think an Apple fan is likely to encounter. A lot of the terms here are therefore specific to Apple products or services (Retina displays, Time Machine, Objective C, Xcode), but we've included plenty of broader terms too, when we think they are ones that will affect owners of iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Apple user's dictionary of tech jargon: A-C 

What is 802.11(a, b, g, n, ac)? 

These are different types of Wi-Fi (or AirPort) technologies. IEEE 802.11, to give the technology its technical title, is a set of wireless specifications created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. They create a set of wireless specifications and companies like Apple follow them to ensure that devices (such as the iPhone) can talk to other devices (such as Internet Routers).

The various different flavours of 802.11 Wi-Fi have different speeds, power requirements and so on. 802.11ac is the most recent to be ratified and offers an estimated multi-station WLAN throughput of upwards of 1 gigabit per second; 802.11ac is covered by Apple's most recent AirPort Extreme wireless router.

What is a 3D printer?

A futuristic type of printer that builds 3D objects, typically made from plastic. These can be virtually any shape, and it is possible to download 3D designs and build the object at home.

Some controversial objects have been created using 3D printers, including guns.

Stratasys Objet500 3d printer

What is 3D Touch?

A new touchscreen technology announced by Apple at the launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The screens of those two phones are sensitive to varying degrees of pressure, which means you can activate distinct functions and commands depending on how hard you press.

What is 3G?

This is a network technology used to to deliver internet data over the mobile phone network. You need to sign up for Internet Data with your mobile phone company to access 3G or 4G networks. Also known as Mobile Broadband.

What is 4G (LTE)?

4G and LTE (Long Term Evolution) are newer types of mobile internet. They offer faster speeds and greater reliability than the 3G network.


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