What is a Third-Party App?

by Editor, Sunday, 14 April 2024 (1 month ago)
What is a Third-Party App?

A third-party app is like a guest-made app for your device or website. Imagine your phone comes with built-in apps from its maker (that’s the first-party), but third-party apps are made by others. For instance, the web browser on your iPhone is from Apple, but you can also get other browsers from the App Store. These extra browsers are third-party apps. Similarly, Facebook allows some apps on its site that it didn’t make, these are also third-party apps.

TYPES OF THIRD-PARTY APPS

Official App Store Apps

Apps you find on official stores like Google Play Store or Apple App Store but aren’t made by Google or Apple are third-party. For example, if someone else makes an app for Facebook or Snapchat, it’s a third-party app. But if Facebook or Snapchat makes it, then it’s first-party.

Connected Apps

Some apps link to other services to add features or get profile info. For example, Quizzstar is a quiz app that might ask to see parts of your Facebook profile. You don’t download this type of third-party app directly; it gets access through its link to another service.

HOW FIRST-PARTY APPS DIFFER FROM THIRD-PARTY APPS

First-party apps are made by the same company that made your device or its software. Like Apple’s Music or Google’s Gmail, these apps are tailored for their specific devices. Even if an app is first-party for one device, it can be third-party for another. For instance, Google apps on an iPhone are third-party because they’re not made by Apple.

WHY SOME SERVICES BAN THIRD-PARTY APPS

Some apps and services say no to third-party apps due to security concerns. When a third-party app accesses your profile, it can be risky. Hackers might get your info or even make a fake account. For kids, it can be even riskier. In our Facebook quiz example, if you give permission, the quiz can see and keep your Facebook info, even if you stop using it. This info could become a security issue.

Using third-party apps isn’t against the law, but if a service says no to them and you still use one, your account could get locked or deactivated.

WHO USES THIRD-PARTY APPS ANYWAY?

Third-party apps come in handy for all sorts of things! Some help manage multiple social media accounts, like Hootsuite and Buffer. Others help with banking on the go, tracking calories, or even controlling home cameras.

Check your phone’s app list. Got games, social apps, or shopping apps? Most likely, these are third-party apps.

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