synaptics manages one or more "repositories", which are servers on the internet that contain software that can be installed on a particular Linux computer.
This version of Linux uses the "apt-get" manager for installing software, when you install linux apt-get knows of several repository servers. Apt-get can be told to install something by downloading it from the repository, and then doing all that is necessary to incorporate that software into the linux system. It will also keep tabs on what to do when removing the software again.
Apt-get is normally used by giving it a command like
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apt-get install package-of-your-liking
actually as apt-get needs to get the right to do so, so you will actually need to type
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sudo apt-get install package-of-your-liking
sudo which will ask for your password before continuing
For new users all this may be a bit awkward, and also it doesn't give a list of what to choose from, and it doesn't use the comfortable GUI, you may be only comfortable with GUI software.
That is where Synaptics comes into play.
Synaptics is a GUI application (just like all windows programs), and when you start it, it asks for your password, but just once. When Synaptic runs it will interrogate all the repositories it knows about, and build a list of programs it can install. These programs, when coming from the correct repositories should all be able to run on your PI. you can browse through the list, and choose categories to look at, for example games, or office tools. But you will quickly see that synaptics isn't really for a beginner, as it will list so many many things that you can
install that its hard to know what to install.
That why for new users there is another option!
Its called the pi-store
, and may be more to your liking.
the pi-store is both a website you can visit, but its also an application you can run. Its already installed in the raspbian OS you are most probably using. This will give you an experience much more like an "app store".
Note, again, that as a Linux system you can neither install Windows, nor OS X software, but there is a huge amount of software that runs on Linux, and that can be made to run on a PI.
All the software in the PI's repositories are already made to run on a PI.
The PI may take some learning, but for most its fun to do so, so have fun!