Talking about application software may seem confusing to some, even redundant, but an important detail must be clarified to understand it better. Application software is direct at the user within everything that software encompasses. We can divide and separate it into two large groups: the application software and the other the system software.

The main difference between one and the other is that, as we already mentioned, the application software is the one that users use. In contrast, the system software is programs and scripts used only by the operating system of our device and is not aimed at being used by users.

What is Application Software for?

What is Application Software_ – its Features, types, and Examples (1)

The helpfulness of application software can be reduce to a straightforward concept: to use these applications to carry out activities or tasks that benefit the user. As we said, the possibilities of application software are genuinely endless because as it is user-orient software, we can find all kinds of tasks to perform. We have enormous amounts of functions depending on the program in question.

Main Features of Application

The massive majority of application software meets one or more of the characteristics listed below.

  • User-oriented: as we said at the beginning, application software is everything that is user-oriented; therefore, the fact that the user can use it is one of the main characteristics that define it.
  • Free: an additional characteristic that applies to application software, while it should be mention that it is not universal, is that it can be found for free, also known as freeware.
  • Paid: Like the earlier case, there is a lot of application software that is produced; that is, it is distribute under a paid license, although again, it is not a universal feature. This kind of software is usually available to download from official sites, although you need to pay for a license to use it, or in some cases, you must pay directly to download it.
  • Pre-installed: Many software frequently comes pre-installed or even on the devices we buy. In general, these are modest tools that most operators use or may need at some point, although there are also applications that most users do not require on other occasions.
  • Available to install: Similar to the previous point, many application software can be downloaded from the Internet or installed on our devices by other means. This type of software is usually quite specific to the user who requires it since it is not typically essential software such as a word processor.
  • Compatibility: an essential feature that we must consider earlier installing or using an application is its compatibility with our operating system.
  • Though there is a lot of multiplatform software: It runs under different operating systems. It is value mentioning that there are also applications only available for a particular operating system.
  • It’s a bit of a fewness to see these days: as most software is design to be compatible with many different environments, it’s still a feature that many tools comply with.
  • Hardware requirements: Some applications may require specific hardware to work correctly. This type of software is usually use for quite specific tasks, such as video rendering or emulation.

Types of Application Software

As application software is the most common type and new programs of this class are constantly being release, it is impossible to list all the types of application software; however, we can mention some of the leading, most used, or popular on the market.

Business Applications

Within this software group, we will find tools mainly intended for the workplace and business administration. It is made up of software that allows us to carry out tasks such as resource planning and other types of business management.

Applications for Education

As its name indicates, these are tools intend to be used mainly in educational centres. Where teachers and students can have access to them to carry out different tasks and jobs thanks to educational technology. There are also tools of this type that aim to provide information to the user without performing tasks, as could be the case of electronic encyclopedias.

Programs to Access Content

These are applications design to open and view different types of content and sometimes also allow you to modify it depending on the software in question and the content used.

Some common examples can be Internet browsers or applications to play music or videos.

Engineering and Science Software

It is all that program used for purposes that involve the work of professionals such as engineers and scientists of different kinds. There are programs from software for planning bridges and structures to others to carry out astronomy projects, among many more.

Software Package

An overall software package, known and used, is Microsoft Office. Which includes various tools such as the Word word processor, the Excel electronic spreadsheet, or the PowerPoint presentation program. It is a suite of programs. That is, several grouped programs are available from a single application. It class of programs usually has characteristics or functions in common, which sometimes allows interaction between them.

Media Creation Software

These are programs used to create multimedia content, such as the case of videos, music, or graphic design programs. These applications are widely use in various sectors such as advertising agencies, graphic and web design, and musicians and sound engineers.

System Acceleration Software

These applications are ideal for improving the operating system’s performance and speed in general. They can be use to help slow or not-so-good hardware computers with reasonable amounts of RAM or powerful CPUs.

Examples of Application Software

Let’s look at some mutual examples of application software commonly used daily in many different work environments. Several of the tools mentioned here are among the most popular on the market in their category.

Google Chrome

It remains the maximum popular and widely used web browser in the world. Millions of persons worldwide use it every day to carry out all kinds of activities on the web. It allows us to access our favourite websites to inform us, entertain us, or work. We find Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge (successor to the well-known Internet Explorer from the same company).


It is one of the most usually use chats and video calling programs worldwide. With millions of users using it to communicate every day. Its use is widespread in the workplace, and it even allows us to carry out chat and video call sessions between several people.

Microsoft Word

Word allows us to make all kinds of articles and texts with many purposes, both at work and academic levels; writers can even use it. It has many functions and extensions that greatly enrich the work we do. Without a doubt, it is the most widely use word processor worldwide and one of the most use programs at the office level.

Vlc Player

It is one of the maximum use free software players to listen to music and watch videos worldwide. Its easy-to-use interface, compatibility with many formats. And the fact that it is free and multiplatform software have made it one of the most used multimedia players on the market. It also has a great development team that constantly improves it.

Avast Antivirus

It is one of the most widely use virus detection and removal programs on the market. We listed it a long time ago in our free antivirus for Windows list. It has both a free and a premium version, and the latter integrates several additional functions compared to the free version.

Whats app

It is a messaging application used for mobile devices, although it is also accessible in its web version if you prefer a different interface. WhatsApp is the most used chat application worldwide and, in general, one of the most used applications in the world.


it is a program use to share all kinds of content; it can even transmit other programs. This tool works through a torrent system, where many users share all types of content, data, and programs.


another viral program at the office level is part of the well-known Microsoft Office suite. It is spreadsheet software widely use in different work and student environments.


is the image design and manipulation program par excellence, being the most widely use in the world in its field for many years. Photoshop is so widely use that an image is often said to have been “photoshop” rather than modified.


is a video game management and distribution platform, the most used globally in its sector. Millions of video game players around the globe use it daily to download and play their favourite titles.