What is Application Software: Features and Function

What is Application Software: Features and Function

7 mins read3.4K Views Comment
Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on Sep 11, 2023 13:01 IST

Application software is one of the two main types of software. It performs specific tasks and is for the purpose of end-users’ requirements.


In this article on ‘what is application software’, we will be discussing the characteristics, functions and types of application software. 

Table of Contents

What is Application Software?

When a user interacts with a piece of software directly, it is known as application software. It is a computer program that performs specific educational, personal and business functions. Such software is usually used by end-users. It comes pre-built with elements that can be customized. This is a type of computer program that performs certain functions and completes those tasks that it is developed for. 

Such applications are made up of a single program code or group of programs. These can be operated with the same application flow and functions that an end user must complete. Tasks in such software are completed line by line based on the requirements of the user. These enhance the capabilities of computers with dedicated tasks to fulfil business tasks.

Features of Application Software

The following are the features of application software:

  • It should be affordable and created with the interest of end users in mind. 
  • One of the important characteristics of software application is that there should be a regular procedure for fixing bugs.
  • These types of software applications must help users in effectively organizing information. Data should be created and handled efficiently by users using this software.
  • The application software should help in managing and modifying databases.  

Explore database courses

Functions of Application Software

Application software has the following functions: 

  • Checks users for authenticating their identification and password. After that, it associates proper authorities with the user. The software then validates user authority to perform operations within the application. 
  • Indicates system software about the critical areas in which the shared code modifies databases. 
  • Gives a graphical interface to the user based on the windowing system given by the operating system
  • Remembers the user input history.
  • Checks the validity of user inputs and informs the user about errors and inconsistencies in the data. 
  • Prepares documents that are specific to applications and allows the printing of formatted forms.
  • Prepares presentation of the data in the form of charts so that the analysis can be done easily.

Explore operating system courses

Classification of Software Applications

There are different methods for classifying application software. As per legal considerations, such software is classified with a black box approach about the rights of end users and subscribers. It is also classified in terms of the programming language in which source code is written or executed. There are two main categories of software applications: Closed source and open-source software as well as free and proprietary software. Let us learn about these types of software

  • Proprietary software: It is a type of software that has been copyrighted. Such software imposes limits against use, modification and distribution are imposed by the developer, vendor, and publisher. The ownership of such software is retained by the creator, and end users use this software under predefined conditions. It is called as closed-source software. 
  • Open source software: It is a computer software released under a license in which the copyright holder grants rights to users for usage, study, change and distribution of software and source code to anyone.

Types of Application Software

The following are the different types:

  • Word Processing Software: It is a type of software that is used for formatting, beautifying and manipulating text. Users can change colours, fonts, and styles as per their choice with the word art feature. 
  • Presentation software: This software allows you to put forth thoughts and ideas visually. It allows you to present information in the form of slides. Users are allowed to make slides interactive and informative by adding texts, charts, graphs and images. 
  • Web browser: This type of application software is used for browsing on the internet. It lets users locate and retrieve data from web. 
  • Multimedia software: It allows you to record and create audio, images, and video files. This app software is used for video editing, animations and graphics. 
  • Spreadsheet software: These are used for storing data in tabular format and performing applications. 
  • Graphics software: Such software are used for making changes in animation, images, and visual data. It consists of different editorial software. 
  • Shareware: It is commercial software that is distributed free of cost to users, and they require the user to pay to support the software. 
  • Simulation software: Such applications are widely used for designing equipment to bring in the maximum accuracy in the product without costing for process modification. It provides a way through which alternative designs, plans, and policies can be evaluated on a real system. 
  • Freeware: Such types of software are available free of cost for use. However, users are not allowed to make any changes to the source code of the software. There are no agreed-upon rights, EULA, or license. The rules are defined by the publisher. 

Explore free animation courses

What is System Software: Features and Components
What is System Software: Features and Components
System software is one of the two major types of software. It helps in generating user interface and allowing operating system to interact with the hardware of the computer. In...read more
Authentication vs Authorization: What is the Difference?
Authentication vs Authorization: What is the Difference?
Authentication and authorization are crucial security processes that are used by administrators for protecting the system and its information.
What is the Difference Between Hardware and Software?
What is the Difference Between Hardware and Software?
A computer system is divided into hardware and software. Hardware is a physical component of the system which includes CPU, monitor, mouse and keyboard. Software is a set of instructions...read more

Impact of Application Software in Business

  1. Efficiency and Productivity: Application software helps businesses automate routine tasks, leading to increased efficiency and productivity. For example, spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel allows businesses in managing and analyzing large amounts of data quickly and accurately.
  2. Communication and Collaboration: Software like Microsoft Teams or Slack enables effective communication and collaboration among team members, even if they are located in different parts of the world.
  3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): CRM software like Salesforce helps businesses manage their relationships with customers, track sales leads, market to customers, and provide post-sales service.

Impact of Application Software in Education

  1. Interactive Learning: Educational software can make learning more interactive, engaging, and fun for students. For example, language learning apps like Duolingo or educational games can enhance the learning experience.
  2. Accessibility: E-learning software makes education more accessible to people who may not be able to attend traditional classes. For example, online course platforms allow people to learn from anywhere in the world.
  3. Administration: School administration software helps schools manage student data, track student progress, and communicate with parents and students.

Impact of Application Software in Daily Life

  • Communication: Software like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Skype allows people to communicate with friends and family from anywhere in the world.
  • Entertainment: People use software like Netflix, Spotify, or YouTube for entertainment.
  • Information: People use web browsers like Google Chrome or Safari to access information on the internet.
  • Personal Finance: Personal finance apps like Mint or Personal Capital help people track their spending, create budgets, and manage their finances.
  • Health and Fitness: Health and fitness apps like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit help people track their health and fitness goals.

Difference Between System Software and Application Software

The main difference between system software and application software is in their functionalities.

  1.  While system software controls the internal functioning of the computer, software applications direct the computer to execute commands provided by the user. This includes any program that processes data for the user.
  2. In comparison to application software, the system software is more complex.
  3. While system software is written in low-level languages, application software is written in high-level languages such as C++ and Java

Explore free C++ courses and free Java courses


How do I install application software?

The installation process may vary depending on the software and operating system. Typically, you need to download the software from the official website or a trusted source, run the installer, and follow the on-screen instructions. Some software may also be available through app stores or package managers.

Can I use application software on different operating systems?

It depends on the software and its compatibility with different operating systems. Some applications are designed to run on specific operating systems (e.g., Windows, macOS, Linux), while others are cross-platform and can be used on multiple operating systems.

How do I update application software?

Application software updates are typically provided by the software developer. You can usually update the software by checking for updates within the application itself or visiting the developer's website. Some software may also have an automatic update feature.

How is application software different from system software?

While application software is designed to help users perform specific tasks on a computer, system software serves as a bridge between the hardware and the application software, managing and controlling the computer hardware to facilitate the functioning of application software.

What are the different types of application software?

The different types of application software include productivity software (like word processors and spreadsheets), multimedia software (like photo and video editors), database software, educational software, and simulation software.

About the Author
Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio