5 Technology Terms You Should Know

Home & Family, Technology
on November 10, 2011

New technological terms appear all the time, and it sometimes can be tricky to keep up with them and put them into context. To add to the confusion, it is not uncommon for technological terms to be in the form of an acronym, which means that you have to know not only the words represented by the acronym, but also the meaning behind them. Here is an explanation of five technological terms that you should know.

QR Code. The QR (Quick Response) code is becoming a popular way to connect smartphones with particular companies. You've probably seen QR codes even if you don't know what they are. The QR code is a square logo with a lot of dots that do not necessarily have a distinguishable pattern. When the code is scanned by a smartphone camera or similar device, the device is immediately connected to additional information or a website, and data may be placed on the device itself.

The cloud. The cloud is a term used in reference to services hosted over the Internet. Data, including documents, pictures, videos and music, is stored online. Referring to the "cloud" signifies that the data is not stored in a physical location with the user, but is instead accessible from anywhere via the Internet. Technically, the "cloud" has been around for quite some time, as many email services are essentially in the cloud. In practical terms, consumers may eventually have all of their software and data on a website or a server, rather than their own stand-alone computer.

iPad. What is unique about Apple Inc. is that the company has found a way in recent years to make its products appear to be a standalone item, even if other companies produce similar models. Essentially, the iPad is a touchscreen computer, as it has an operating system and can run simpler software programs called apps. The iPad has become very popular due to its versatility. The portable device can be used for communication, productivity, research and wide range of entertainment.

Smartphone. The “smart” in smartphone does not necessarily refer to artificial intelligence. Rather, the popular communication devices are typically categorized as smartphones when they can do more than just provide voice plans and texting. Smartphones are small computers; they have operating systems and can run various types of app-based programs. The smartphone is increasingly popular because it can provide so many practical solutions for daily life in the information age. According to a recent poll conducted by Google, 79 percent of consumers use a smartphone to help with shopping, which is why advertisers are so keen to come up with smartphone applications.

Google+. Facebook has become an extremely successful social network, and now the popular search engine Google has a service for connecting people. Google+ has different terms, structures and services, but it is still a social network that is intended to compete with Facebook.