Guy English explains the difference between an “app” and applications:
“Apps” is fun. It’s fun to say, it sounds unthreatening, it’s a word sufficiently abbreviated that it takes on a life of its own without dragging to the forefront of peoples minds the more sterile and technical sounding “application”. Apps are not Applications – they are their own things. They are smaller. They are more fun. Apps are treats atop your technological sundae. They are not potential time sinks. They are neither burden nor investment. They each represent a nugget of fun, of fleeting amusement. Apps are gobbled up in the millions by people who would never rush so willy nilly to buy desktop software. Apps are Pop Software writ large in blinking neon lights.
Are Apps good business? No, they’re not. From a small developer’s perspective the App Store is a total disaster.
He wrote that in 2010, but it’s important to remember when thinking about Sparrow’s acquisition. When something has to be a hit for it to be a success, it’s going to be difficult for smaller market, detailed apps to exist.