Application Software, its purpose, examples, types and difference

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Purpose, Examples, Types and Difference Of Application Software

What is an Application Software?

A software is a program that contains a set of instructions to execute a particular task. It can be primarily categorized into two parts- Application software and System software. The second part, System Software is a program that provides a base for running all the applications or application software on the system. Operating systems are one major example of system software. This article is in view of the first part- the Application software which acts as an intermediary between the system and user. Through this software a user is able to perform his operations on the system.

Article Summary

The content of the article focuses on Application Software which is a type of software program that is designed to perform a specific task. The primary motive of an Application Software is to provide convenience to its users for carrying out their specific task. These computer programs are also known as end-user programs because they are primarily developed for assisting users in completing their tasks in a much more effective manner. This article talks about the Application Software in detail, its uses, types and differences from the System software.

Most often, software applications are recalled as just ‘applications’ because they facilitate users in performing their tasks in an easy and effective manner. A wide range of operations can be performed with these application software. These include creating spreadsheets, composing email and playing games. It is imperative to know that every application software is designed to perform certain specific tasks such as a calculator is meant to perform numeric calculations only. Another popular example of application software could be Microsoft Word Application which is a single suite that comprises multiple functionalities. In this a user can even change the settings according to his convenience. From this, it can be stated that a software application is a single suite that inhibits numerous functionalities in it.

Features of Application Software

An application software is developed to facilitate its users with numerous capabilities, to ensure smooth operations of the respective task. Following are some of the key features of an application software:

  • An application software is specifically designed to perform a set of tasks. Thus, it can be viewed as an efficient tool used for solving a particular set of problems.
  • Application software accumulates and manages huge amount of available information so that it can be used to create easy to understand data visuals.
  • An application software provides an easy interface through which the user interacts with the computer to perform a specific task.
  • It is easy to design an application software.
  • It requires more space for its storage because of its size.
  • An application software designed for end-users is developed using high level language.

Purpose of Application Software

  • Assists the end user with specific tasks:

    Application Software is created with the end user in mind. They assist the end user with specific tasks which may be related to different fields such as education, business and entertainment. For example, Microsoft Word is a popular application software which enables the users to create word documents, edit, delete and perform other functions with them.

  • Manages and manipulates data:

    Application software is widely used by business organizations to manage and manipulate employees, customers and other databases. Two widely used examples of application software are Enterprise resource management systems and customer relationship management systems.

  • Enables the users to manage information well:

    Application software helps individual users to create and manage huge amounts of information properly.

Application Software Examples

Nowadays, most often, users come across different software applications which help them to execute their tasks in a much effective manner. There are many examples of software applications which assist in performing normal day-to-day operations. These include image editing software applications, word processor for documents, video marketing tools web browsers for surfing purposes and various other tools.

Some commonly used examples of an application software include- Microsoft applications such as MS Office, excel, word, PowerPoint and many more. Not only this, the web browsers that are usually accessed for surfing operations are also part of applications software that incorporates- Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and many others.

Apart from these, the mobile applications such as Pandora, Skype are all real time examples of application software that are widely used by people across the globe. The pictorial representation of various application software can be depicted as follows:

Application Software Examples

Types of Application Software

The end user programs i.e. application software programs assist users in a number of ways. It helps in completing their tasks in an easy manner. These tasks may include small functions like setting an alarm, jotting notes or even performing complex calculations or online research. Depending upon the various user needs, the application software is categorized into following types:

Word Processor

These are the applications which mainly deal with creation, editing, formatting and printing of word documents. With the assistance of these application software programs, one can store their large amount of data easily. In addition to this, it permits users to perform various operations as well. Following are some of the most widely used word processor based software applications programs:

Google Docs

It is an online word processor application that allows its users to create and manipulate documents in an easy and effective manner.

MS Word

It is one of the most popular and widely accepted word processors used for documentation purposes.

Database Application Software

These software programs work with the creation and management of databases and are most often called Database management systems. These software applications are mostly used by organizations for storing and handling their backend databases. Some commonly accepted database software programs are:


It is one of the most effective database management systems that allows an organization to add, update, delete and perform various other operations on the database.


It can be viewed as an integrated cross platform software application that combines the database engine along with GUI for gaining access to database elements for modification purposes.

Graphics Software

As the name says, a graphics software facilitates users to develop or edit visual representations. In addition to edit photos, these software application programs make use of several picture editing software programs. The examples of graphics photo editing software applications include the following:


CorelDraw, which is a vector based graphics editing software is a cogent tool. It is used for developing logos, brochures and many other 2d graphic objects. Not only this, it allows users to add animation effects on the graphics to increase its interactivity.

Adobe Photoshop

It is one of the most effective photo editing software that is primarily used for enhancing picture quality of the photos. The GUI of the software application is so easy that anybody can easily work on it without requiring any specific skill set.

Presentation Software

It is a software suite that aims at representing the information in slides. These slides do not only contain text information, but it can also store graphics elements, audio or other multimedia for better comprehension of the topic. The most popular example of Presentation software is Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation that allows its users to create highly informative presentations.

Web Browsers

It is a software application that is primarily used for gaining access to the information made available on the world wide web. In short, it is used for surfing the internet. Also, when a particular user sends an access request to any web page, then web browsers look for the appropriate page. It then provides access to the requested page by the user. The different types of web browsers available are:

Google Chrome

Chrome is one of the most popularly used web browsers around the world. It is used for surfing the internet and collecting information.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is another most common web browser that was launched by Microsoft to be used in Windows OS.

Difference between System Software and Application Software

BasisSystem SoftwareApplication Software
Specific DesignThese are specifically designed to manage computer resources that may include process management, hardware controls and many more.They are specifically designed to meet customer requirements for completion of particular tasks in an easy and convenient manner.
Language UsedThese system software application programs are developed using low level programming languages such as machine or assembly language.Application Software programs are developed using high level programming language.
WorkingThe system software works when a user switches on the system and is the first software to be executed on the system. Also, it works continuously unless the user switches off the system.It can be seen as a non existential software which will have no significant impact on the system. It is up to the user whether he wants to use the application software or not.
DependencyThe system software must execute so as to enable other application software programs to run on it. Without system software, no application software would be able to run itself.An application software requires system software to be executed on the system for its execution. This is because the system software provides a base for all other applications to run.
PurposeIt can be viewed as a general purpose software program.It is a specific purpose software application program which aims to perform a dedicated task.
InteractivityUsers do not interact with system software because it runs in the background process. Also, system software is the one that interacts with core hardware elements of the system.Users directly interact with the application while running it on their system or mobile phone.
ExamplesOperating system, etc.Google Docs, Adobe Photoshop, Web browsers like Google Chrome and many more.

Steps to install Application Software

For installing any software application on a system, there are certain steps that one must follow so as to run the application on the system effectively ("Application Software 101 | Quick Base", 2020). There are two ways with which users can install an application software on windows operating systems. These include-

Installation of software application from a CD

In this, the user needs to insert a CD drive into the system. This will prompt a set up dialog box on the screen. After this, user is required to follow below given steps to install it on the system:

  • Click ‘My Computer’ folder
  • From the folder, look for the drive that contains installation setup files.
  • Select the appropriate “setup.exe” file for installing a particular application onto the system. Double click on the file, this will start the installation process for that particular application software.

Installation after downloading a file

In case, user wants to install an application after downloading it from web, following steps must be followed:

  • Download the setup.exe file for that particular software application from a genuine website.
  • Click download folder
  • Double click the setup file for executing its installation process. Note that, if the file is compressed i.e. in .zip format, then the user needs to decompress the file. For this, the user needs to extract the files from it by selecting an appropriate folder and then double clicking its set up file.

In this manner, any user can easily install a software application onto their system.


At last, it can be concluded that an application software is the one whose primary objective is to help users in performing their operations effectively. These include managing information, researching online, performing complex calculations and many more. Unlike system software programs, these programs interact with users while running the applications on their system. Also, there lies a huge difference between the two, i.e., system software is especially designed for managing computer processes and hardware components along with better scheduling of resources. Whereas, Application Software is specifically designed for providing assistance to users in completion of their particular tasks. In fact, the application software lies upon the system software for its execution.

Article By:

Micheal Brown

A financial management expert with a relative degree from the University of Melbourne, he is an expert in conceptualising and drafting assignments of management students. Alongside, he invests his valuable time working as a consultant for management firms.

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What is the difference between an application and software?

Software is an overall term which is used to describe computer data, whereas an application in itself is a type of software that is directed to perform a specific task.

What are the examples of application software?

Examples of software applications can be listed as various products in the Microsoft Suite, various internet browsers such as chrome and Safari and mobile software like Slack, Pandora and Skype.

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