App Activation

App activation is a common way for vendors to authenticate customers when using their software or app product. Most commercial software nowadays provides unique activation codes on store-bought software for exclusive access.

However, modern software developers that utilize cloud computing services apply an alternative solution to app activation codes in the form of licensing. This is where software or services that are purchased through the internet are accessed on a subscription basis.

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Purpose of App Activation

App activation is mainly used for added security to protect unwanted access from hackers and exploits. For apps, it’s used to provide exclusive application access to a user. A conventional activation procedure for apps is a unique activation code or key.

Most app activation procedures are done to link a computer or another device to the app and avoid intruders from stealing app access. Typically, activation keys are only valid for one device and are quickly made invalid.

Also, it’s used to prevent software piracy and will only run in a restricted or trial mode for apps. For instance, the Windows OS displays “This copy of Windows is not genuine” once it’s not properly activated with a product key.


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App Activation Methods

Activation Keys

As mentioned earlier, the most common app activation procedure used by software or app developers is through an activation key or code. It’s an alphanumeric code separated with dashes for readability but typically has no standard format. Activation keys are also called product keys, software keys, license keys, access keys, or serial numbers.

Conventional activation keys contain at least ten alphanumeric characters but can go longer than thirty characters. Most software developers have a copy of a directory or database of valid activation keys. Once a user enters an activation key that’s on the database, the app is successfully activated.

Another more advanced method of utilizing activation codes in app activation is through the user’s email address or other registration data. Each email address is dynamically assigned an activation code and is then verified by an algorithm.

Remote servers are also used to store activation keys for online activation. This gives the administrator more control over the number of keys and invalidates overused keys.

QR Codes

QR codes or Quick Response codes are unique codes that contain URLs or other human-readable data. For apps, it’s used to store unique activation URLs that link a certain user or account to the app. It’s a quick and handy way for app activation since most modern phones support QR codes.