Chris Hunter’s technology column: Acronym - what do they mean?

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

In the tech and mobile community we all love an acronym. WE band them about like they are going out of fashion, forgetting that, although we know what they mean, most people won’t have a clue and usually don’t like to ask.

This week I’m going to explain a few of the more commonly used acronyms to help you understand your NFC from your 4G. I’ll start with one from last week.

NFC - This stands for Near Field Communication. Now that’s all cleared up, removed “then”) I’ll move on. In all seriousness, this is a way of two devices connecting without using wires and sharing data. This could be a photo between two phones, paying for something in a shop using contactless payment that’s on your credit card or even connecting a pair of headphones to your phone.

4G - All this stands for is “Fourth Generation Mobile Network” In plain English this just means faster data or internet access than 3G (no prizes for guessing that one). This is being rolled out by all mobile networks at the moment and allows internet speeds on your device that are comparable to home broadband speeds.

OS - This just means Operating System. This is the software that first loads on a device that makes it work. Examples are Microsoft Windows on a PC, Android or iOS on a phone. Without one of these on your device, you will have nothing more than an expensive paperweight.

Apps - This is short for application. Before Apple launched the App Store these were just called programs. Programmes are pieces of software that run on a device in order to do a task such as read Facebook, check the weather or write this column. The word ‘apps’ has come to mean a piece of software that is designed to run on a smartphone or tablet.

I hope this makes a few of the more commonly used tech acronyms clearer.

I will be doing my best to answer questions that you can email in to me at with the word Guru in the subject line or make an appointment with me by going to and clicking on ‘book an O2 Guru’ and then searching for Mansfield, or another store if that suits you better.