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What is Smartphone Freeware?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Smartphone freeware is free software to run on a smartphone, a mobile phone with additional capabilities such as Internet browsing and email handling. Such phones typically have memory limitations, and software must be small to fit and run comfortably on the phone's operating system. There may be other limitations as well, depending on the phone's manufacturer and the operating system on the phone. Developers of smartphone freeware can provide products through official application stores, as well as their own websites.

Freeware can serve a number of functions. People with smartphones often want access to games and other applications, such as those designed to help them stay organized. Smartphone freeware can include calendars and schedulers, applications to help people with activities like finding restaurants and calculating tips, and social networking tools to allow people to stay in contact while traveling. Many companies offering website-based services also have smartphone freeware so users of their websites can take the functionality of the site on the go.

With some types of phones and operating systems, smartphone freeware can be obtained through an official store associated with the product. This allows people more security, as the freeware is evaluated before being approved for download. Malicious software and software that does not work properly will not be approved, keeping phone users safe. In other cases, people can directly download, although this may expose them to risks like viruses if the download is not from a trusted source.

Developers of smartphone freeware may offer several versions of their software. A basic free version may appeal to users, encouraging them to purchase the paid version, allowing access to more functions. Freeware can also be entirely free in any version, with developers receiving income through other sources like advertisements and investors. Sometimes the software is only free in a trial version and will expire after a set period of time or number of uses. It is a good idea to read the terms and conditions before downloading to make sure they are understood.

Specifications for different phones and operating systems are available to assist developers in the process of creating smartphone freeware. When manufacturers and service providers upgrade operating systems, there is a chance the upgrade may impair the functionality of freeware users have loaded on their phones, and it is important for developers to provide support after releasing their products so users can continue to use the freeware as companies update operating systems to address security holes, functionality problems, and other issues.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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