Difference Wiki

Applet vs. Application: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 5, 2024
An applet is a small program designed to run within a larger application or webpage, whereas an application is a standalone software program that performs specific tasks.

Key Differences

An applet is a small, embedded program often written in Java, designed to be executed within a web browser or other applications. An application, on the other hand, is a larger, standalone software program that operates independently, executing specific tasks for users.
Applets are typically used to provide interactive features on websites, such as calculators or games. Applications encompass a broader range of software, from word processors to games, operating independently of a web browser.
Applets are limited in functionality compared to applications due to security restrictions and their reliance on a host program. Applications are more powerful and versatile, capable of performing complex operations and processes.
Applets generally require an internet connection to function, as they are often part of web pages. Applications can often function offline, as they are installed on a user's device.
Applets are usually smaller and quicker to load, designed for specific tasks within a web environment. Applications, being larger programs, offer a wider range of features and capabilities.

Comparison Chart


Small program, often Java-based, embedded in webpages
Standalone software program, operates independently


Limited, specific to web-based tasks
Broad and versatile, covering a wide range of tasks


Requires a host program or browser to run
Operates independently, no host needed

Internet Connection

Often requires an internet connection
Can function offline

Size and Scope

Smaller in size, quicker to load
Larger, more feature-rich programs

Applet and Application Definitions


An applet is a small application designed to run in a web browser.
The currency converter on the website is a useful applet.


Applications can run on various platforms like computers, tablets, or smartphones.
I downloaded a fitness tracking application on my smartphone.


Applets are embedded programs that perform specific functions within web pages.
I played a chess game on the website through a Java applet.


Applications vary in complexity from simple utilities to complex systems.
The video editing application offers a range of complex features.


Applets are often used to provide interactive content on websites.
The interactive map on the travel site is powered by an applet.


An application is a software program designed to perform specific tasks.
I use a graphic design application for my digital artwork.


Applets run within a web browser and are limited by the browser's capabilities.
The animation on the site is smooth thanks to a well-designed applet.


Applications often require installation on the user's device.
I installed a new antivirus application to improve my computer's security.


Applets can be written in various programming languages like Java.
The calculator on the webpage is actually a Java applet.


Applications can be standalone programs or part of a larger suite.
Microsoft Word is an application part of the Office suite.


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


(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.


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


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


What is an application?

An application is a standalone software program that performs specific tasks.

Can applets function independently?

No, applets cannot function independently; they require a host like a web browser.

Do applications need a host program?

No, applications are standalone and do not need a host program.

What are common uses of applets?

Common uses include interactive features on websites like games or calculators.

What is an applet?

An applet is a small program designed to run within a larger application or webpage.

Are applets platform-dependent?

Yes, applets often depend on the platform and browser they are run in.

Can applications be customized?

Many applications offer customization options for user preferences.

What is the future of applets?

The future of applets is uncertain due to newer web technologies and security concerns.

Do applications require updates?

Applications often require updates for new features, improvements, and security patches.

What can applications do?

Applications can perform a wide range of tasks, from word processing to gaming.

Are applets still widely used?

Applets are less common now due to modern web technologies and security concerns.

Can applications run without the internet?

Many applications can run without an internet connection.

Do applets pose security risks?

Applets can pose security risks, which is why their use has declined.

How do applications differ from applets in size?

Applications are generally larger and more comprehensive than applets.

How do users access applications?

Users access applications through installation on their devices.

Can applications interact with other software?

Yes, many applications can interact with other software and systems.

What programming languages are used for applets?

Java is a common language for applets, but others can be used.

Are applications available for all operating systems?

Applications are developed for specific operating systems, but not all are cross-platform.

Do applets require installation?

Applets do not require installation; they run within the host program.

Are applets suitable for large-scale tasks?

No, applets are not suitable for large-scale tasks due to their limited scope.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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