Different Types of Software Applications
4 Main Types of Software
Application software is designed to fulfill specific system purposes. It includes programs like word processors, spreadsheets, and graphics software.
Unlike application and system software, programming software isn’t designed for end-users. It takes high-level computer languages such as JAVA, Python, and C++ and converts them into sets of instructions that a computer can understand.
1. Application software
Application software performs specific functions for end-users on a device like computers or tablets. This category includes everything from word processing programs to music players to search engines. It’s also the type of software that enables businesses/organizations to manage their customers and staff through systems like customer relationship management (CRM).
Application programs can run on hardware platforms with various operating systems. They’re developed in high-level languages like Java and C++. Unlike system software, application software communicates with end-users through user interfaces.
Word processing software helps users input, edit, format and print text content. This type of application software can add a variety of art features to text like colors, fonts and styles. Other examples of application software include spreadsheet programs to make working with numerical data easier and database management systems. Many of these types of application software are bundled together in suites that include word processors, spreadsheets and more. This is a great way for businesses/organizations to get more bang for their buck and streamline processes.
2. Operating system
The operating system is the “master control” software that manages computer hardware and provides common services for application programs. It is the first program loaded when you turn on a computer, and it resides in memory at all times. It shields application programs from the computer hardware specifics that would make them difficult to run, and it performs tasks such as caching frequently used data in memory to reduce disk access, ensuring there is enough memory available for application processes and handling error messages generated by applications.
Other types of application software include productivity and creativity tools like word processors, spreadsheets and graphics and CAD programs; real-time online communication and collaboration software like Skype, Google Hangouts and Web conferencing; multimedia and music player software; and security, maintenance and optimization programs such as antivirus and antimalware. Most of this software is installed according to users’ requirements, while system software is largely pre-installed and handles basic systems functions.
Software system software makes your hardware function smoothly and securely. Without it, your devices would be little more than a collection of circuits and silicone chips. System software is not end-user oriented like application software but it is the base of everything that your hardware and applications do for you.
Device drivers are one of the system software categories that manages computer input devices, such as keyboards and mice that are physically connected to your computer. They translate the operating system’s input/output instructions into a form that your hardware can understand.
Firmware is a set of basic machine instructions coded into a piece of hardware that enables it to function. It’s sometimes referred to as “software for hardware,” but it’s different from software in that it doesn’t usually have the ability to update itself. Some examples of firmware include the BIOS on a computer and the firmware on storage devices like hard-disk drives and USB sticks.
4. Utility software
Like the mechanics of a machine, these computer software programs work tirelessly to ensure that your system stays in top working condition. By performing various functions including disk clean-up, file compression and system security, utility software contributes greatly to the performance and lifespan of your computer system.
While many of these computer software programs come with your operating system, you can find more advanced versions that offer additional benefits. For example, file management programs help you to navigate through the various files stored on your computer by organising them into neatly organised folders. By using compression techniques, these software programs can also reduce the size of these files, freeing up more storage space.
Other examples of utility software include anti-virus protection programs, disk tools and data backup solutions. They are all part of the wider category of system software that helps to support your computer infrastructure, distinguishing it from application software which is aimed at directly performing tasks that benefit ordinary users.