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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

What is Android?

A mobile phone operating system platform created by Google. Android and iOS (the iPhone and iPad system) are the two largest mobile operating systems in the world.

Android differs from iOS in that it's a partly open-source system: Google releases the source code and allows product manufacturers to adapt the original code to create custom operating systems for their devices. Amazon famously did this with its Kindle device, replacing many Google services with its own.

What is an app?

Short for application: the name that Apple gives to programs you install on iOS and Mac OS X devices. (However, there are such things as pre-installed apps, and on non-jailbroken iOS devices you won't be able to delete these.) 

What is an Apple ID?

An account used to make purchases from the Apple Store. Also used to access other apple services like iCloud and Find My iPhone. Can be set up from Settings > iCloud in iOS and Settings > iCloud in Mac OS X.

What is Apple Maps?

A replacement for Google Maps first launched in iOS, and integrated with Mac OS X in Mavericks. Controversial because some people claimed Google Maps was a better service. Okay, pretty much everyone claimed Google Maps was a better service, and remains a better service. It's improving, though, and at least it gets public-transport directions (which Google Maps had before Apple Maps launched) in iOS 9.

What is Apple Pay?

Apple's mobile payment system, based on the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and NFC wireless antennae built into the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (although the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 can also use a more basic version of Apple Pay). Launched initially in the US only, but has since come to the UK.

What is Apple Script?

Easy-to-learn Mac OS X programming language created by Apple to automate programs.

What is the App Store?

This refers to the digital stores where Apple sells apps for iOS and Mac OS X (the iOS store is usually just called the App Store, whereas the Mac equivalent is called the Mac App Store). It also refers to the Apple programs on each of those platforms that allow you to access the stores, and buy, pay for and download the apps. 

What is Arrangement Mode?

Mode that enables you to rearrange the icons on an iOS home screen or within Dashboard in Mac OS X. Identified by the 'jiggling' around of icons and small crosses appearing at their top-left corners. Accessed by holding down any individual app icon for a second or two. Quit Arrangement Mode by pressing the Home button.

iOS Arrangement Mode jiggling icons


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