What is the meaning of applet technology? Some of you might think apples have something to do with it, but the word actually comes from the word "application." Just as a cigarette is like a small cigar, so is an applet like a small computer application, usually run from a Web browser.
More Than An Application Within An Application
A few sources further define an applet as an application run within another application. While the prevalence of Java applets, typically run in a Web browser, does not contradict this definition, it is historically incorrect, as several of the small stand-alone applications packaged with old versions of Windows were also called applets.
Moreover, the explosion of online apps challenges the definition of an applet as an application within an application. With so much of our computer usage occurring through a browser (itself an application), nearly everything we do on a computer would be done with an "applet" by this definition. All of Zoho's incredible online applications, WordPress's free blogging software, and Big Medium would all be incorrectly called "applets" since they run inside a Web browser.
Even defining an applet as a small application can be problematic. Multimedia or data-heavy "applets" can take a while to load and chew up far more memory than an "online app" that is not considered an applet. However, an applet as a "small application" befits its etymology of the word and is the most common definition for it.
The most frequent types of applets are Java Applets, which are applications that load within a Web browser or other Java-enabled application. To use Java Applets, Web browsers need to have Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which extends the capabilities of the Web browser. Because of the universality of Web browsers, applets made with Java are ostensibly cross-platform and usable on nearly any computer.