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Applications software can be written for a particular operating system (OS), such as Android, iOS or Windows. App developers typically specialize in a specific development area, such as mobile phone applications, graphics software, accounting software, or office suites.

Marketing firms often conduct research in order to gather information relating to consumer needs. This information is then passed on to app developers who create new applications that meet the public's needs in terms of use and cost. Several versions are made of the same basic application that can be read by different types of devices, such as cell phones, tablets and personal computers.

Once an app is complete and goes into production, the app developer works on creating patches (upgrades), that are periodically released to the public. App developers work for themselves just as often as they work for small, medium and large sized companies, building ‘native’ experiences that allow people to complete tasks, consume content and interact with brands and other people.