Application software (App) is a kind of software that performs specific functions for the end user by interacting directly with it. The sole purpose of application software is to aid the user in doing specified tasks. 

Web browsers like Firefox, and Google Chrome, as well as Microsoft Word and Excel, are examples of application software that is used on a personal computer or laptop. It also includes smartphone apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram, as well as games such as Candy Crush Saga and Ludo. There are also app versions of popular services that people rely on every day, such as weather or transportation information, as well as apps that connect end users with their businesses.

Functions of Application Software

Application software programs are generally designed and developed to help with a wide range of tasks. Here are a few examples:

  • Software for healthcare applications for seamless connectivity and quick response
  • Managing information and data in an organization
  • Managing and checking documents across
  • Software for educational purposes such as Learning Management Systems and e-learning systems
  • Development of visuals and video for presentation purposes
  • Emails, text messaging, audio and video conferencing involved in presentation
  • Management of accounting, finance, and payroll helping the HR department and other businesses
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 
  • Management of any small or large scale project
  • Management of smooth and efficient business processes

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Examples of Application Software

A variety of explicit application software programs are available to help you manage your tasks, jot down notes, do online research, set alarms, keep an account log, and even play games. Application software packages are designed to do certain tasks, ease workflows, and improve team communication.

The most frequent applications used by millions of people on a daily basis are listed below.

  • A collection of Microsoft software including MS Office, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Common Internet browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
  • Graphics and designing software such as Canva, Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw, and AutoCAD.
  • Real-time online communication tools like Skype, Hangouts, Google Meet, Zoom, and Whatsapp for video, and audio calls and messages.
  • Multimedia and music streaming software such as Wynk, Gaana, MX Player, VLC Media Player, Spotify, Pandora, etc. are used for entertainment purposes.
  • Project management software like Teams, Asana, Zoho, Slack, Forecast, etc for official purposes.

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What to Look For in an Application Software?

Whether you are looking to purchase a new tool or replace an existing one, here are 7 things to consider. Use these suggestions to assist guide the software purchasing process if you want your team to feel confident when deciding what software to add to your IT stack.

  • How Much Does It Cost and What Is the Value?

Though pricing is vital to any business decision, it shouldn’t be the only element you consider. If you decide to purchase software only because of its price it might not guarantee your business the best value. Remember, a software's cost is not always associated with its value.

  • Will You Need Assisted Implementation?

Software models that are highly complex and require a great deal of time to learn and master will negatively affect the adoption rates. Spend precious time investigating viable software alternatives so you can make the most effective and useful option for your organization and team that will save your team and project time and energy.

  • Is the Software Firm Willing to Fix Bugs?

Whenever you purchase any new software for your company, you should be well aware of the software company's regular procedures for fixing bugs. Double-check with the company whether your company’s issue with the software will be solved whenever it occurs.

  • How Often Do They Push Updates?

Make sure to discuss with your software agents how often their product is updated and how those updates are conveyed to you. 

  • Is the System Adaptable Enough to Satisfy Your Requirements?

Software that is highly customizable could also be complicated and cumbersome to implement and also the cost might also rise the more and more you try to customize it according to your requirements.

  • What kind of support do they offer?

Before purchasing, make a note of the support hours for every software agents you are considering, as the question of support hours should encompass not only the timeframes during which you can get support, but also how swiftly they can accomplish them. You should be able to check whether you can get just phone support, or if everything is done by email or the ticketing system.

  • What Level of Security Does the Software Offer?

Always take a careful view of the privacy policy provided by any software you are considering purchasing. This should therefore summarize everything you need to know concerning data collection, storage, and usage.

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Need of Application Software

End-users can use application software to perform any type of single or many tasks. Following are a few reasons you would definitely need application software (App) on your computer:

  • Helps the user in completing specific tasks: Any application software should, in general, be created with the end user in mind. They will primarily benefit the end-user by assisting them in doing specialized activities in a range of industries, including education, business, and entertainment. Microsoft Word, for example, is a commonly used application software that allows users to create, edit, delete, and perform other actions on word documents.
  • Manages and manipulates data: Application software is used in businesses to manage and alter employee, customer, and other databases. An enterprise resource management system or a customer relationship management system are two common examples of application software.
  • Allows users to effectively organize information: Data can be created and handled efficiently by individual users using application software. For example, Microsoft Excel is a very popular application software amongst companies that allows users to manage datasheets.

Types of Application Software

Application software can also be classified depending on how much it costs and how easily it can be accessed. Here are some examples of application software:

1. Word Processing Software

Word Processing refers to the act of using a personal computer (PC) or laptop to create, edit, save and print documents which can be performed only with specialized software known as a Word Processor. One example of a Word Processor is Microsoft Word which is widely used by all professionals. 

2. Spreadsheet Software

Spreadsheet software is a type of computer program that enables a user to perform numerical functions and explore numbers through an automated version of an accounting worksheet. Best example of spreadsheet software is Microsoft Excel.

3. Presentation Software

Presentation software also commonly known as presentation graphics is a particular category of application program used to construct sequences of words and a series of pictures that tell a story or help support a speech or public presentation of any type of information or a launch of new products or services.

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4. Multimedia Software

Multimedia software can be described as the combination of text, audio, images, animation, or video to produce a wide scope of interactive content for both professional and personal use. You can easily learn about media players, file formats, and how to operate audio and video software on the whole.

5. Web Browsers

A web browser can take you all over the internet. It retrieves data from other parts of the web and shows it on your desktop or mobile device for your viewing. The data is transmitted using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which describes how text, images, and video are shared on the World Wide Web.

6. Educational Software

Educational software refers to any computer software designed solely for educational reasons. It includes a wide range of software, including language learning software, classroom management software (CMS), and reference software for students and other professionals.

7. Graphics Software

Graphics software can rework with bitmap and/or vector graphics and can be utilized to create label templates. Graphics software generally includes Canva, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, CorelDraw, Inkscape, Microsoft Paint, and Paint.Net.

8. Freeware

Freeware is typically marketed for profit but might be allocated specifically for a business or commercial purpose with the aim to expand the market share of any newly launched premium product. Some of the widespread examples of closed-source freeware include Adobe Reader, Free Studio, and Skype.

9. Shareware

Shareware is software that is supplied for free on a trial basis in order for the user to test or use the programme for a specific amount of days with the understanding that the user may need or want to pay for it later if they are satisfied with the product usage. Some software manufacturers provide a shareware edition of their product with an expiration date built in, such that after 30 days, the user or customer will no longer be able to access the application for further use.

10. Simulation Software

Simulation software authorizes engineers to evaluate, optimize, and compare product designs with other similar software by modeling real-world events in a computer-generated environment.

11. Open Source

Open source software is a specific code designed to be publicly accessible so that anyone can see, modify, and distribute the code as they see which fits the purpose. It is designed in a decentralized and coordinated way, depending on peer assessment and community production.

12. Closed Source

Closed source software is where the source code is not freely accessible. It is developed and delivered to the customer as a fully compiled, executable set of files. The developer often provides aid to users after purchase and ensures that the software works as foreseen by the creator.

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Advantages of Application Software

  • It meets every client’s particular requirements and needs. The client usually recognizes that they must utilize only one explicit program to finish the task because it is designed explicitly for one reason.
  • Businesses that are related to specific applications can restrict access and think about strategies to monitor their activities.
  • Standard updates from engineers for Licensed application programming can be obtained using general logic of health.

Disadvantages of Application Software

  • Developing and evolving any application software to achieve specific goals can be quite pricey for developers but this can have a strong impact on their financial plan and income stream, particularly if an unreasonable high amount of time is spent on a product that is not normally worthy.
  • Application software that is widely used by many of us and then disseminated on the internet is inherently vulnerable to infection by a bug or other malicious initiatives.

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Difference Between System Software and Application Software

The Windows operating system is an excellent example of system software, whereas Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and CorelDraw are well-known examples of application software.

System Software

Application Software

  • The main purpose of this software is to manage the resources available in the system. It serves as an effective forum for the execution of application software
  • Application software designed to achieve a certain set of tasks.
  • System software is documented in a low-level programming language like machine code or assembly language.
  • Application software is composed in a high-level language like Java, C++,.Net, or PHP.
  • Usually, when the computer is switched on, system software begins to run and stops when the computer is switched off.
  • When a user requests, application software runs according to the task it is assigned.
  • Without system software, a computer system cannot even activate.
  • User-specific application software is definitely not required to run the system.
  • The system software has a wide scope of capabilities.
  • The objective of the application software is to achieve or perform a certain task.
  • System software comprises language processors (interpreters, compilers, and assemblers), operating systems, and so on.
  • Payroll software, accounting software, MS Office, and so on are perfect examples of an application software.

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Types of Business Application Software

Application software for business can be classified based on its price and usage by its end customer. Here is some Business application software:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology that manages all of your company's interactions and transactions with customers and future customers. The end goal is to strengthen commercial ties. A CRM system allows businesses to stay connected to their consumers, reduce procedures, and increase revenue.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the software utilized by a company to handle key parts of operations, including accounting and resource management.

Project Management Software

Project management software is the software utilized mainly for project planning, scheduling, resource allocation, and change management. It allows project managers (PMs) to supervise and manage all the official tasks effectively from one place.


A database management system (DBMS) is basically nothing more than an automated data-keeping system. Users of the system are provided specific structures to complete various types of operations on such a system for either data manipulation in the database or database structure management.

Business Process Management

Business process management software (BPMS) is vaguely an enterprise-level software solution to enable the automation of repetitive tasks, manage fundamental processing, and handle specific technique logic involved. BPM systems optimize and accelerate processes, increasing efficiency.

Resource Management Software

Resource planning software, or resource management software, is a device used to handle the human capital and program of an organization. A resource planning mechanism will help you in allotting and assigning people to projects where required.

Educational Software

Educational software involves any computer application that improves the learning process. It possesses classroom management software, student information systems, language software, reference software, and even more.

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Productivity Software

Productivity software is a specific sort of application program that allows end users to produce something such as documents, databases, graphs, spreadsheets, and presentations. Productivity software increases the organization's efficiency by relieving people's tasks largely.

Custom Developed Software

Custom software development is the technique to design, develop, and produce specific software applications. These software products are for specific users, procedures, and business conditions or requirements.


1. What is the difference between an app and an application?

Applications are generally software programs devised and curated for end-users to perform specific computing tasks. Apps, on the other hand, are mostly directed to programs designed for mobile devices.

2. What is the difference between "on-premise" and "hosted" application software?

An On-premise Cloud is when your business owns the data servers within the organization and supervises them internally. Hosted Clouds, on the other hand, are when you spend a certain amount on a software provider to manage your data externally.

3. What is the difference between application software and an application platform?

An application is computer software developed specifically to aid a user to perform any specific tasks. A computing platform generally possesses a hardware architecture and a software framework that permits application software to operate, for example, the operating system and programming languages.

4. How is system software different from application software?

System software programs operate on their own while application software is totally dependent on it. System software programs run in the background when the system is switched on, while application software interacts with its end users.

5. How should I select the right application software?

Check whether the software is flexible enough to meet your future needs. Confirm how long it will take for you to learn and use the software. Also, think about whether the software integrates your chosen driver and other productivity tools like analysis, visualization, and storage.

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Hope this article was able to give you a detailed understanding on what application software is. If you are looking to enhance your software development skills and expertise, we would recommend you check Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Program in Full Stack Web Development. This course, developed in collaboration with Caltech CTME, can help you gain the relevant skills and make you job-ready in no time.

If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to post them in the comments below. Our team will get back to you at the earliest.

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