What is application software , application software , apps

Application Software

What Is Application Software ?

The application software is a computer program designed to offer a specific functionality to the user. The application software are developed by the software companies to provide a specific solution to the user.

Application software provides a specific functionality to the user. These software provide a user friendly interface to the user to operate the computer for the intended purpose.

The computer system consist of both software and hardware components. The computer system needs both system software and application software.

The system software is used by the system itself to communicate with the hardware components.  Whereas, the application software is used by the user to communicate with the system.

Application Software Video Tutorial

As the name suggests, the application software is developed for specific applications such as writing documents, emails, creating presentations, watching movies, and managing accounts.

A large number of application programmes are developed by the software industry for business applications such as customer management, inventory management, or other such applications.

In this article, you will learn what application software is, the different types of apps used for various applications, and how these programmes are developed.

What Is Application Software ?

Application software is an essential component of every computer system. Application software is also commonly referred to as application programs, ap apps, or simply an app.

The computer system is used for many purposes. The user may use the computer for writing email or documents, browsing the internet, watching movies, editing videos, maintaining accounts, playing games, or for any other purpose.

The computer system needs different types of application software to perform different jobs on the system. For example, MS Word is used for creating documents.

Application Software Architecture

Application Software , Operating System , BIOS , How Computer Works

Web applications are another important category of application software that can be accessed through the internet.

The user can access the web applications through the internet and any browser programme, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Safari.

Each application programme provides specific functionality to the user. And therefore, some apps may be preinstalled on the computer system. But the user can always install any software as per the intended use of the system.

For example, if the user intends to use the computer for composing music, then sound recording and editing software will be required. Likewise, if the user is an accountant, then accounting software is required.

Application software, often simply referred to as “apps” or “applications,” is a category of computer software designed to perform specific tasks or functions for end-users. Unlike system software, which includes the operating system and utilities necessary for the computer’s functioning,.
Whereas application software is created to meet the needs and preferences of users in various domains, these applications enable users to perform a wide range of tasks, from productivity and creativity to entertainment and communication. 

Difference Between Application Software And System Software ?

Both the application software and the system software are essential for the computer system to function. Each of these pieces of software is used by the system for a different purpose.

The system software is used by the computer itself to control and communicate with the various hardware components connected to the computer system.

The operating system itself is a type of system software that internally makes use of another set of system software programmes to manage and drive the system hardware components.

Application Software , How computer System Works
System Software , How computer system works

Whereas, the application programs are developed to provide the specific service to the user. Depending upon the user requirements, various application software ( programs ) are required to be installed in the system.


What is System Software ?

Types Of Application Software

The application software can be broadly be grouped into two main categories . The first category is general purpose application software and the second category is custom made software.

On the basis of platforms and the technology used , the application software can be developed as desktop application , mobile application , web application and the latest cloud based software applications

General Purpose Application Software

The general purpose application software are developed to serve some of the most commonly used applications.

These applications include software used for writing emails , documents , music players for listening to the music and media players for watching the movies.

Since , these apps are developed to address the requirements of large number of people , these apps are relatively much cheaper as compared to custom made software.

General Purpose Application Software

General Purpose Application Software

For example , one of the most commonly used general purpose software include Microsoft Office which include MS Word , MS Power Point , MS Excel  and MS Access for database applications.    

Custom Software Application

As the name suggest , the custom software are developed keeping in mind the requirements for specific user. Most software development companies work on the assignments to develop a custom software.

For example , a business corporation might assign work to the software company to develop a software application tailor made for their requirements. Developing a custom software is relatively very expensive.

The custom made software is generally designed and developed for a large organizations to help them manage the business operations spread across different locations. 

And therefore such application software are web applications based on the client server architecture.

Desktop Software Application

The desktop software applications are developed for the personal computer users such as desktops and laptops.

These application programs are developed for specific platforms. And for this reason , we need to specify the operating system while downloading and installing any software application.

For example , a software developed for the Windows platform needs to be installed on the computer with windows operating system.

Desktop Software Application

Mobile Software Application

Mobile Apps

The mobile software applications are developed for the mobile device users such as smart phones and other hand held mobile devices.

The android apps are developed for the mobile devices and will need a mobile device with an android operating system. Similarly , apps for apple mobile devices will run on iOS operating system.


Android App Development

Mobile App Development

Web Applications

Web Application Software

A server is another  computer which responds to these requests and provide the data which is presented to the user by the client.  A web server can function as service provider using a server stack which includes a server  operating system. 

The web applications are hosted on the web server and can be accessed using any computer or mobile device. The online banking service provided by the banks is an example of the web application.

How Web Application Works ?

What Is Website

A web application is a computer program that can be accessed through a  web browsers on any computing device .

The web applications are based on the client server architecture and developed using  web technologies. The web applications offer many advantages as compared to other types of software. 

 In client server architecture , a client is a computer ( a browser program )  that sends the requests for the data using http protocol. A client is also referred as service receiver.

Client Server Architecture

Web Server
Full Stack Developer . Client Server Architecture , Server Stack

A server is another  computer which responds to these requests and provide the data which is presented to the user by the client.  A web server can function as service provider using a server stack which includes a server  operating system. 

The web applications are hosted on the web server and can be accessed using any computer or mobile device. The online banking service provided by the banks is an example of the web application.

Cloud Applications

Cloud-Based Application Software

The cloud-based software applications work on the cloud computing technology. The cloud-based applications can be accessed by the user that are remotely hosted and run on the shared computing resources.

The application software that works on the cloud computer architecture are often referred to as “Software As Service” or abbreviated as SaaS.

The cloud-based software offers some major advantages as compared to web server-based software or the desktop applications.

Cloud Based Application Software, Cloud Computing, SaaS

The cloud-based software is cheaper since they are charged on the monthly subscription charges. Whereas, most general-purpose software is sold on one-time total charges.

The software applications that are based on the cloud computing architecture are hosted on the multiple servers maintained by the remote data centers.

Key Characteristics of Application Software

  1. Task-Specific Functionality:

Application software is developed with a specific purpose or set of tasks in mind. Examples include word processors, spreadsheets, graphic design tools, web browsers, and games.

  1. User-Friendly Interface:

Application software is designed to be user-friendly, providing interfaces that are intuitive and accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise. This allows users to interact with the software easily.

  1. Customization and Flexibility:

Many applications offer customization features to allow users to tailor the software to their preferences. This includes settings, themes, and configurations that enhance the user experience.

  1. Platform Compatibility:

Application software is developed to run on specific platforms, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, or mobile operating systems like iOS and Android. Compatibility ensures that users can run the application on their chosen devices.

  1. Regular Updates:

To adapt to changing user needs, address security concerns, and improve performance, application software providers often release updates. Users are encouraged to keep their applications up to date to benefit from new features and enhancements.

Categories of Application Software

  1. Productivity Software:

Includes word processors (Microsoft Word, Google Docs), spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets), presentation software (Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides), and other tools to enhance workplace productivity.

  1. Creativity Software:

Encompasses graphic design software (Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW), video editing tools (Adobe Premiere Pro, iMovie), music production software, and other applications for creative endeavours.

  1. Communication Software:

Includes email clients (Microsoft Outlook, Gmail), messaging apps (WhatsApp, Slack), video conferencing tools (Zoom, Microsoft Teams), and social media platforms.

  1. Entertainment Software:

Encompasses video games, streaming services (Netflix, Spotify), and other applications designed for leisure and entertainment.

  1. Utility Software:

This mainly includes system software such as antivirus programs, file management tools, backup software, and other applications that support system maintenance and security. These are not technically considered as application software.


Application software is integral to the functionality and usability of computers and mobile devices. Whether for work, creativity, communication, or entertainment, users rely on a diverse range of applications to meet their specific needs, making application software a cornerstone of modern computing.

Application Software FAQ

The application software is a computer program specially designed and develop to provide a specific functionality to the user.

Different types of application software are developed by the software companies keeping in mind a specific requirement of the user.

The main function of the application software is to provide an interface and specific functionality to the user.

For example , Microsoft words is used to create and edit the word documents. Similarly, the video editing software is used to edit the video.

The four main types of application software include

  1. General Purpose Software.
  2. Custom Made Software.
  3. Desktop Applications.
  4. Mobile Applications.
  5. Web Applications.
  6. Cloud Based Applications.

The most common examples of the application software include :

  • Internet Explorer And Google Chrome – Web browsers.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint – Presentation software.
  • Microsoft Excel – Spreadsheet software.
  • Paint – Graphic software.
  • MS Word – Word processors.
  • MySQL – Database software.
  • Multimedia software.
  • Education software.

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