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Applet vs. Application: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on February 20, 2024
An applet is a small, embedded program designed to be executed within another application, while an application is a standalone software program that runs directly on the operating system.
Applet vs. Application

Key Differences

Applets are small programs typically written in Java, designed to be embedded and run in a web browser or other host application. Applications, on the other hand, are standalone software programs that operate independently, running directly on a computer's operating system.
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Feb 18, 2024
The functionality of applets is generally limited and dependent on the hosting application or environment. Applications offer extensive functionalities, operating independently and utilizing the full resources of the system.
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Applets are often used for specific functions within websites, like interactive features or multimedia content. Applications are comprehensive programs fulfilling a wide range of tasks, from productivity to entertainment.
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Security restrictions are usually tighter for applets to prevent unauthorized access to the host system. Applications have broader access to system resources and permissions, allowing more comprehensive interactions with the user's device.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Applets require a compatible web browser or host program to run, whereas applications are directly installed and executed on the operating system, with no need for an external host.
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Comparison Chart

Execution Environment

Runs within a web browser or host application.
Runs directly on the operating system.
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Functionality

Limited, specific to the host's capabilities.
Broad, independent functionalities.
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Usage

Common for interactive web features.
Wide range, from simple to complex tasks.
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Security

Subject to strict security restrictions.
Has more access to system resources.
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Dependency

Requires a compatible host for execution.
Standalone, no external host needed.
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Applet and Application Definitions

Applet

An applet is a small program embedded in a webpage.
The website used a Java applet for its interactive currency converter.
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Application

Applications run directly on an operating system.
The photo editing application was available for both Windows and macOS.
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Applet

Applets are often used to provide interactive features.
The online form was validated using a small applet.
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Application

Applications can be tailored for various platforms.
The game application was available for both desktop and mobile devices.
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Applet

Applets are typically limited in functionality.
A simple applet displayed animated weather maps on the site.
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Application

(Computers) A computer program designed for a specific task or use.
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Applet

An applet runs within another application.
The educational website featured an applet for language games.
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Application

(computing) A computer program or the set of software that the end user perceives as a single entity as a tool for a well-defined purpose. (Also called: application program; application software.)
This iPhone application can connect to most social networks.
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Applet

Applets require a specific runtime environment.
The chat feature on the webpage was powered by a Java applet.
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Application

A program that gives a computer instructions that provide the user with tools to accomplish a task;
He has tried several different word processing applications
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Applet

A small program designed to be downloaded from the internet to run on a webpage that a user is accessing.
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Application

An application is standalone software that performs specific tasks.
Microsoft Word is a popular word processing application.
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Applet

(computing) a small program module that runs under the control of a larger application, typically a web browser
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Application

Applications can be comprehensive and multifunctional.
Adobe Photoshop is a complex application for graphic design.
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Applet

A Java application; an application program that uses the client's web browser to provide a user interface
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Application

An application is often installed on a device.
She installed a mobile banking application on her smartphone.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Do applets have access to a computer's file system?

Generally, applets have limited access due to security restrictions.
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What is an application?

A standalone software program that performs specific tasks on an operating system.
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Are applications platform-dependent?

Some applications are platform-specific, while others are cross-platform.
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Can applications function offline?

Yes, many applications can function without an internet connection.
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What is the purpose of an application in computing?

Applications serve various purposes, from productivity and entertainment to communication and data processing.
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Are web-based tools considered applications?

Yes, web-based tools that perform specific functions, like online email services or social media platforms, are also considered applications.
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Can applets run independently?

No, applets require a host application or browser to run.
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What programming language is commonly used for applets?

Java is a common language for writing applets.
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Are applications platform-specific?

Yes, applications are often developed for specific operating systems or platforms (e.g., iOS, Android, Windows).
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What types of tasks can applications perform?

Applications can perform a wide range of tasks, from simple utilities to complex software suites.
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What is an applet?

A small program that runs within another application, typically a web browser.
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Are applications and software the same thing?

"Software" is a broader term encompassing all types of programs, while "application" refers specifically to user-focused software programs.
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Are applets still widely used?

The use of applets has declined due to security concerns and newer technologies.
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Can applications be customized or extended?

Some applications allow customization through plugins or extensions, but it depends on the software's design.
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Can applications run on multiple devices?

Some applications are cross-platform and can run on different devices and operating systems, while others are specific to one platform.
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Can applications interact with hardware components?

Yes, applications can interact with various hardware components of a device.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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