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Glossary

This page explains some of the technical terms we use on our website and in our blog. Please contact us if you think we've missed something out.

Accelerometer

A device that measures the acceleration being applied to a mass inside it. When an accelerometer is at rest on the Earth's surface it measures an acceleration equivalent to the force of gravity. Accelerometers are included in most modern phones and, amongst other things, they will allow the phone to tell which way "up" is, meaning the screen can rotate automatically as you re-orient the device. They can also be used in games to provide a very accurate idea of how the device is being moved and which way it's oriented.

API / Remote Server / Web Service / REST

An application that runs on a server or collection of servers that can be accessed over the Internet by mobile devices. The application returns information requested by the device. In the case of an app the service may return content or allow the apps that connect to store or send content.

REST is an acronym for REpresentational State Transfer, which is a communications protocol that some Web Services use.

Geo-location

The process of identifying the geographic location of an object. In the case of mobile devices it refers to the ability for the device to determine its own location - usually using the built-in GPS receiver, data network cell towers, nearby WiFi networks or a combination of all three.

NFC

An acronym for Near Field Communication. A set of standards for mobile devices to allow them to communicate by bringing them within a close proximity of each other. One implementation of NFC is "contactless payment", where your phone or an NFC-enabled bank card can be presented to a device in a shop to immediately debit the card.

Operating System

One or more pieces of software that work together to manage the computer hardware and provide core system services. An Operating System is required for applications to run. Examples of Operating Systems are Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS. The abbreviations "OS" or "O/S" are sometimes used.

PowerShell

A command line system management utility and framework created by Microsoft primarily for task automation. PowerShell allows system administrators to perform tasks on local and remote computers across a network. Scripts can be written that run in the PowerShell command line utility to automate these tasks.

Push Notifications

A message that is sent from a central system to single devices or broadcast to many devices simultaneously. Users of the device can usually disable push notifications on a per-app basis or change the way they appear. Push notifications usually displayed on mobile devices as an alert or promenant, highlighted text.

SEO

An acronym for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of improving the ranking of a website in organic search engine results, "organic" refers to those results that are not paid adverts or sponsored. The optimization process involves taking a wide range of issues into consideration, then changing the website's content and functionality to improve its relevance to certain search terms. SEO is a varied and complex speciality that can generate high traffic for a website when implemented properly, although some methods that are usually referred to as "SEO" can actually make the site's ranking worse and should be avoided.

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