Portable applications are one of the fastest growing uses for your flash drive today. These stripped down applications come in as many different varieties as the ones you run from your main computer. The difference is that these are designed to be stored and run from your portable device without leaving a footprint on the computer you are using. Portable applications allow you to keep a key set of applications with you to be run on any computer you use without the need for installation. This tends to be particularly useful when shuttling between computers at home and at work, school, or internet cafes and libraries. Basically, it‚Äôs a way to personalize any computer that you use, but only while you‚Äôre using it.
Common App Platforms
Because of their footprint free design, portable applications need some sort of platform to run. These platforms are stored on the drive and tell the applications there when it is time to launch and how to behave on the computer you are using. There are options available for most operating systems, but platforms for the windows OS are the most prevalent by far. Some of the major app platforms currently available include:
- U3 Launchpad
Some, like U3 come preinstalled in specific flash drives. These cannot be purchased and installed separately. Some are available for free or for a nominal fee from their creators. No matter which one you chose, though, you will need a platform in order to run your other portable applications.
Portable Application Possibilities
In many ways, these portable applications are like the apps available for iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad. Usually, they are created independently to serve a specific perceived need, a portable game or perhaps a portable code compiler, for example. Sometimes they are tied to specific programs as well. Most popular web browsers have apps designed to keep your bookmarks at hand without leaving any personal browsing information on the computer you are using. Either way, you can easily build up a library of personal applications to keep at hand on your flash drive.