5 Main Types of Mobile Apps

After making the decision to create a mobile app and before building it, one of the biggest questions you may ask yourself is, “What kind of app am I making, and what category does it fit into?”. As the market for mobile apps grows, so does the competition for creating valuable and outstanding apps. With so many categories available, it can be daunting trying to find the right one your app belongs to.

In addition to determining what category in the mobile app market fits your app the best, you’ll want to look at how it compares to competitors and what makes it essential for users during the mobile software development process. Does it provide entertainment or focus on education?

Does it help businesses increase their productivity or improve their user’s lifestyles? While there are various categories that a mobile app can fall into, there are five that can be considered the most prominent when compared to other mobile apps. Let’s dig deeper into these main types of mobile apps to help you determine where yours fits so that you can ensure you’re creating an app that’s profitable to your business while also beneficial to your customer


Lifestyle & Utility Apps

Utilities are one of the most commonly used mobile apps, as they allow users to get things done fast and effortlessly. Utility apps are profitable as they are essential to many users and can be easily integrated into a user’s daily routine. A few examples of mobile apps in the utility category include:

  • Flashlight
  • Reminders
  • Calculator
  • Weather
  • Stocks
  • Clock

While utilities make everyday tasks manageable, lifestyle apps work to improve a user’s overall way of living. You can often find lifestyle apps associated with travel, dating, music, fitness, shopping, or food. These apps are readily included in a user’s routine and often utilized on a daily basis, making them invaluable. Here are some common lifestyle apps you’ll see on the market:

  • Lyft
  • Venmo
  • Fitbit
  • MyfitnessPal
  • Yelp
  • Headspace

Creating a utility or lifestyle app that is distinctive, intuitive, and indispensable to users will be key to a developer’s success.


Social Media

Since users also tend to check into social media apps daily, this makes it one of the more prevalent categories. These apps allow users to build social networks, connect with family or friends, and share their lives with others, inside or outside their social circles. Even apps that aren’t solely focused on social media usually have some aspect of social media sharing involved in their interface. Many of these apps make it effortless for users to share news or videos, chat, or post photos and other updates within their social network.

One example of this is Fitbit. While it is considered more of a lifestyle app, users can share a multitude of things within their community. Examples include their progress, photos of their food or fitness walks, and the challenges they are participating in or want others to participate in. Social media is an important feature to consider incorporating into your mobile app if you’re marketing a product that users will be able to share within their networks. Some instances of commonly used social media apps are listed below:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram


News Apps

News mobile apps keep users up to date on the most current information within the user’s interests. It retains users and entices them to continue using the app by providing easy and convenient interfaces that grab their user’s attention. Here are some examples of the more popular news apps:

  • Apple News
  • Google News
  • Reddit
  • Flipboard
  • Microsoft News

Since there are many sources of mobile news apps, making sure your news app stands out will be essential to success.


Gaming & Entertainment Apps

The gaming and entertainment categories make up the biggest part of the mobile app community. Playing games, watching shows or videos, reading, and listening to music or audiobooks, among many other hobbies, gives users hours of fun interaction that makes them keep coming back for more. A few examples of gaming and entertainment apps include:

  • Netflix
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Hulu
  • Pokemon Go
  • Youtube
  • Angry Birds

Mobile app games vary from puzzles to arcade games and more. Some allow users to connect and play with others online or in-person with loved ones, and some are built only for solitary play. These mobile apps are the most lucrative for developers to invest in due to their popularity and rate of return users.


Business/Productivity Apps

Productivity or business apps are other big categories that help make ordinary tasks manageable for users. The goal of these apps is to reduce expenses for businesses while also providing a convenient and more accessible interface for their users. Business apps range from sending emails, making to-do lists, creating documents, virtual meetings, and making deposits. Familiar business apps are listed below:

  • Hive
  • Evernote
  • Last pass
  • Gmail
  • Google Docs
  • Docusign
  • Zoom


In Conclusion

From games and entertainment to social media, mobile apps have become a part of our everyday lives. The market for mobile apps is constantly growing and evolving, leading to new opportunities and varieties of apps. When developing a mobile app, it is essential to not only look at how users will interact with it but also how it compares to others in the market. In a sea of mobile apps where the customer will see a list of apps to download or purchase, what will make yours the one they choose?

If your app doesn’t add value to your users’ lives and it doesn’t get the right exposure in the market, it can easily be lost or forgotten in the expansive world of mobile apps. Knowing which of the five main categories your app fits into the most and who your competitors are will be the keys to your success! Once you’ve determined what kind of app you’re looking to create and how to make it memorable to your target users, you can then start the mobile software development process and let the building begin!

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