Is there an app for that?

Mobile applications begin to gain traction in the roofing industry

With the widespread use of the iPhone and iPad (and their Android-based counterparts), mobile technology has become more accessible and easier to use than ever. And as smart phones and computer tablets become more common on job sites, more roofing- and construction-related applications, or "apps," become available.

Mobile device basics

Similar to computers, mobile devices use operating systems that organize and control software and hardware. The two most prevalent mobile operating systems are iOS by Apple Inc. and Android by Open Handset Alliance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google Inc. iOS is used exclusively on the iPhone and iPad, products only offered by Apple. In contrast, Android can be found on a variety of devices and tablets by numerous manufacturers, such as Samsung Electronics, Motorola Inc. and Sharp Corp.

When it comes to the number of available apps, the clear frontrunner is Apple. Apple's iTunes store boasts more than 500,000 apps for business and personal use. Android's Market website offers more than 200,000 apps.