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Application streaming

Application streaming definition

Application streaming refers to technology that allows users to use software applications or access digital content over the internet without needing to download and install them. It makes starting to use software faster and reduces the need for large downloads. However, despite its flexibility, application streaming depends on network quality and may not be suitable for all types of applications.

See also: streaming network telemetry, remote desktop

Application streaming use cases

  • Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). In VDI environments, applications are streamed to virtual desktops, reducing the need for storage and or management.
  • Software as a service (SaaS). Many cloud-based SaaS applications use streaming to deliver updates and patches seamlessly to users' devices.
  • Gaming. Game streaming services like Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce NOW use application streaming to deliver a high-end gaming experience without requiring powerful local hardware.

Application streaming examples:

  • Google Docs. When you use Google Docs to create documents, you don't need to install any software on your computer. You can start writing and editing right in your web browser.
  • Netflix. You can use various streaming services to watch shows and movies instantly rather than waiting for the media file to be downloaded first.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud. While Adobe Photoshop can be installed on your device, the company also offers the ability to use application streaming to edit pictures without downloading and installing Photoshop on your device.