What Are The Popular Categories of Apps? Explained Mobile App Categories With Examples

There were about 3.14 million apps on the Play Store alone for Android users in the Q4 of 2020. (Statista)

Looking at the numbers, we can say the mobile application market has exploded in recent years.
People are more focused to build a mobile app using the latest technology trends. Well, rightly so, because apps are an integral part of the whole smartphone ecosystem, whether it’s iOS or Android. These apps are what truly make the mobile experience engaging and fun.

Now, these apps are split and bundled under different categories of mobile apps. The categories are formed depending upon the features of the mobile applications.

With 20+ categories of mobile apps and millions of mobile applications, you can imagine the potential of the market.

In this article, we are going to discuss the most popular categories of apps. And will also provide you with the list of mobile applications (as examples) for each category.

Various Categories of Apps

There are over 20 categories of mobile apps. The Google Play Store has about 33 mobile app categories. On the other hand, the App Store from Apple has about 24 categories of mobile applications.

Although there are many types of mobile device apps on various mobile platforms, only a few types of apps are widely known.

The top 5 most popular app categories – Games, Business, Education, Lifestyle, and Utilities make up about 50% of app share on Apple’s (iOS platform) App Store. (Source: Statista)

With that said, now let us understand each of the most popular app categories one by one with the best types of apps from each category.

Most popular Apple App Store platform categories in March 2021, by share of available types of apps

Popular Categories of Apps on Apple App Store Platform
(Source)

20 Polular Categories of Apps

  1. Game Apps

    No doubt games apps top the list of most downloaded types of apps on all the major platforms. The thing that makes games so interesting is the immersive experience they provide to players.

    As per stats, the gaming apps section makes up for 21.53% of the total apps on Apple’s App Store.

    One of the most popular types of games is action games. Gaming apps also use a lot of the device’s hardware resources. So, make sure that such types of mobile apps are hosted on a decent phone device for an optimum gaming experience. So, if you are planning to develop an app, then gaming is the best category.

    Most Popular Game Apps Example:

    • PUBG Mobile
    • Clash of Clans
    • Call of Duty Mobile
    • Pokemon Go
    • Free Fire
  2. Business Apps

    Business apps are the second most popular among the types of mobile apps.

    The overall purpose of business apps is to provide tools that help users run and maintain business and daily operations.

    Business apps take about 10.11% share on the App Store.

    Business Apps

    Now, these apps also have a wide variety, depending on the purpose they are leveraged for.

    The business apps provide benefits and solutions like online billing, collaborations and communication, employment, hiring, and networking. It would be the best category if you have decided to make an app and earn money.

    Most Popular Business Apps Example

  3. Educational Apps

    After the whole COVID-19 fiasco, when education, in particular, was restricted to the digital medium, educational or self-education apps played a major part in maintaining a steady flow of information transfer.

    Educational Apps

    The whole essence of an educational app is to facilitate digital classrooms and provide resources that can help individuals learn some new skills.

    Another aspect of educational apps is to extend a better and robust way for the teachers to organize, structure, and distribute the information to the students.

    Most Popular Educational Apps Example

    • Google Classroom
    • Duolingo
    • Coursera
    • Unacademy
    • Microsoft Math Solver
  4. Lifestyle Apps

    This mobile app category covers and caters to many different aspects of lifestyle.

    Different people have different lifestyles and that’s the reason the apps in this category have a target audience of varying personalities.

    Look forward to your daily horoscope at the time you wake up in the morning or tend to check your sleep quality on the fitness apps and get to your morning run while counting calories?

    Whichever category people fall into, there’s a lifestyle app for each one of us.

    In a nutshell, these lifestyle apps address the wide array of themes in our lives.

    Most Popular Lifestyle Apps Example

    • Pinterest
    • Tinder
    • TimePassages
    • MyFitnessPal
    • Google Home
  5. Utility Apps or Tools

    We all use at least one utility app on our smartphones daily. You may not actively engage with these apps. And sometimes you don’t even realize that you are using them as they make our lives easier behind the scenes.

    Some people like to keep a track of their internet speeds, so they use speed testing apps. While others like to bypass the county restrictions and use a VPN. The list goes on and the truckloads of utility apps keep making our jobs effortless.

    Most Popular Utility Apps Example

    • NordVPN
    • ScreenRecorder
    • Google Docs
    • RAR
    • Adobe Scan
  6. Entertainment Apps

    Friday night Netflix and chill? Entertainment apps have got you covered.

    Well, there is no shortage of entertainment apps for mobile phones.

    Entertainment Apps

    Want to watch a series or swipe through tens of thousands of 15-second clips? Want to engage in relevant (and fun) discussions around the globe? Or, even better, in the mood to create something of your own – entertainment apps are the way to go. People love to spend their time on entertainment apps today.

    Whether it is about watching series, scrolling through videos, and anything to have fun, entertainment apps have grabbed the attention of most people worldwide. If you have made up your mind to develop your own app, then entertainment is the best category.

    Most Popular Entertainment Apps Example

    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime Video
    • TikTok
    • Twitch
    • Reddit
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  7. Travel Apps

    Travel apps cater to a specific group of people who are big on travel.

    Travel Apps

    The main aim of such apps is to assist people with bookings, finding a place to stay, finding restaurants in a new place, getting cab services, and everything related to making travels hassle-free. If you think that you have an excellent travel or transportation app idea that can solve the problem of people worldwide, then refer to the 6 step guide to create a travel app. So, what are you waiting for? Just convert it into a smooth-running app.

    Most Popular Travel Apps Example

    • Uber
    • Airbnb
    • AirHelp
    • Booking.com
  8. Food and Drink Apps

    As the name suggests, this mobile app category helps people manage and order food and beverages online.

    Food and Drink Apps

    As we used these apps to place food orders online and collect them or get them delivered with no physical contact. This particular category helped a lot in maintaining social distance during the whole COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the demand for food and drink apps is increasing constantly, so if you have decided to make an app to earn money, then food and drink is a highly demanded category. So, if you have decided to make a food delivery app like GrubHub and Postmates, then don’t give a second thought. Just get in touch with an experienced app development company.

    Most Popular Food and Drink Apps Example

    • GrubHub
    • SkipTheDishes
    • DoorDash
    • Starbucks
  9. Health and Fitness Apps

    Health and fitness are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the decade. People are becoming increasingly conscious of their health and are eager to maintain fitness.

    Health and Fitness Apps

    That is why this category has a range of great apps in it. The apps in this category help you in maintaining track of your fitness goals.

    These apps also provide easy exercise routines according to the specific needs of an individual. No matter what your eating habits or exercise routines are, you will find a suitable app to help you maintain your record in this category. And then there are also meditating apps that help calm the mind – honestly, the pandemic heavily highlighted this need.

    Looking at the increasing demand for health and fitness apps, if you have made-up your mind to create a health and fitness app, then consult us through our contact us form.

    Most Popular Health and Fitness Apps Example

    • StepSetGo
    • Intellect: Create a Better You
    • Calm- Meditate, Sleep, Relax
    • Fastic: Fasting App & Intermittent Fasting Tracker
    • Headspace: Meditation & Sleep
  10. Productivity Apps

    The productivity apps category is more of an extension of business applications. Just that these apps can be more functional at a personal level and increase the overall productivity of an individual daily.

    A big boon to the work-from-home wave!

    Now, productivity also differs from person to person and how you choose to operate in your life. The whole aim of such types of mobile apps is to provide a better way to store and access information to increase productivity.

    Most Popular Productivity Apps Example

    • Notion
    • Mega
    • Grammarly
    • Flow
    • Todoist
  11. Shopping Apps

    The E-commerce industry has witnessed an explosion in 2020 as our only option was to shop through the device screens of our smartphones.

    Shopping Apps

    Speaking of statistics, global e-commerce hit 3.9 trillion dollars in 2020.

    This trend is going to continue in the post-COVID world.

    Shopping apps make it easy for consumers to find the best products from around the globe, and buy them online. Plus, it is also super convenient as you select a product, make the payment, and the product is delivered to your doorstep saving you a ton of time and effort. With the increasing trend of online shopping, if you are also planning to develop an online shopping app like Amazon and Wish, then we have special expertise in it and help you with your idea.

    Most Popular Shopping Apps Example

    • Amazon
    • H&M
    • Etsy
    • eBay
    • AliExpress
  12. Finance Apps

    Finance apps are all related to making and receiving payments, investments, and banking.

    These types of apps help users with banking solutions on mobile phones to make transactions effortless. And are also used to invest in stock and cryptocurrency.

    Finance Apps

    This category of mobile apps has also gained a lot of popularity over the years as they have helped the economy move to digital payments from cash transactions. If you are still wondering how mobile apps streamline finance, then you can refer to our guide on how expense tracker apps streamline daily finance.

    Most Popular Finance Apps Example

  13. Book Apps

    This category of apps is a goldmine of bibliophiles. As the world moves towards sustainable living, book apps promote the same by serving knowledge digitally.

    The main aim of these types of mobile apps in this category is to provide a digital copy of books that you can read on the go, or refer to without having a paperback.

    Applications in this category also fulfill the purpose of enlisting millions of books and their reviews so that the reader can pick what to read next.

    Most Popular Book Apps Example

    • Google Play Books
    • ReadEra
    • Readoo
    • Goodreads
    • Scribd
  14. Social Networking Apps

    Do these types of apps even need an explanation?

    Our generation has been obsessed with social media, and rightly so. Social media is a world of its own. Pretty much all of us use social media to connect with our friends, family, and business peers.

    Social Networking Apps

    The main objective is to have a platform where you can find new people or connect with like-minded individuals to share thoughts or have relevant discussions. In case, if you are also wondering how to create a social media app that generates money, then talk to our experts who will validate your app idea in real-time.

    Most Popular Social Networking Apps Example

  15. Music Apps

    Each one of us with a smartphone likes to plug in our headphones, zone out, and listen to music now and then.

    A lot of music apps allow you to download songs offline so that you can listen to them even when you are not connected to the internet.

    Apart from music, there are various mind-blowing and informative podcasts nowadays that help you receive treasured lessons from inspiring individuals – on the go.

    Most Popular Music Apps Example

    • Spotify
    • Shazam
    • Amazon Music
    • Resso
    • Google Podcasts
  16. Sports Apps

    This again is for a specific group of people – die-hard sports enthusiasts.

    These mobile/ web apps provide information about sports and sports-related events.

    Some of the apps under this category are also designed to keep a record of a particular sport like providing sophisticated stopwatches for races.

    Most Popular Sports Apps Example

    • Bleacher Report
    • Yahoo Sports
    • CBS Sports
    • Cricbuzz
  17. Photo and Video Apps

    Photo and video apps are all about editing photos and videos. With better device memory, robust hardware, and technological updates, smartphones are now capable of video editing too. And there are some great apps/tools to support that.

    Photo and Video Apps

    Using these mobile/web apps help users add filters and professionally edit photos and videos.

    It is quite interesting how good some of these apps have gotten over a while. To a point where users don’t need a computer with high-end specifications to edit photos or videos.

    Most Popular Photo and Video Apps Example

    • Snapseed
    • InShot
    • Canva
    • Adobe Photoshop Express
    • PhotoScan by Google Photos
  18. Medical Apps

    Another relevant category of apps that makes access to medicines quick and easy.

    These mobile/ web applications are especially useful for our older generation users who can now get medicines delivered at their doorsteps. If you have thought of developing medical apps, helping people to get medicine at their doorstep, then all you need to do is get in touch with us and we will be guiding you further.

    Most Popular Medical Apps Example

  19. Kids Apps

    This category of apps aims to provide fun and engaging activities for kids from the age of 3-10.

    Kids Apps

    The apps generally have tasks and activities that lay a foundation around colors, numbers, alphabets, poems in the minds of kids easily and engagingly. Being an entrepreneur, if you want to develop mobile apps for kids, then it is the perfect time to enter the market and earn millions.

    Most Popular Kids Apps Example

    • Khan Academy Kids
    • YouTube Kids
    • Math Tests
    • Starfall Learn to Read
    • My Little Pony Color by Magic
    • Colouring Book App
  20. News Apps

    This category of apps, as the name suggests, provides you with the news.

    The apps here are well-optimized to give users the most relevant news according to the defined location and interests.

    Most Popular News Apps Example

    • NewsBreak
    • SmartNews
    • OnlinePlus News
    • Google News
    • Flipboard
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Do you have any confusion related to the app category? Just talk to our app experts today and get the best possible solution.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the most popular app categories?

    The most popular app categories are Games apps, Business, Education, and Lifestyle.

  2. What kind of apps are popular?

    The most popular apps are generally related to social media. Apps like Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Pinterest, and TikTok are widely popular.

  3. How can you broadly categorize an app, explain any one category of apps?

    To broadly categorize an app, we have to see the features and purpose of the app. For example, Netflix, an entertainment app that provides you with entertaining content in an organized way.

Conclusion

So, that was all regarding the popular categories of apps. We went through the major types of apps that are ruling the market and also had a look at the examples under each category.

That, we believe, will give you a fair understanding of the potential of the mobile app industry. And how immensely powerful and profitable the mobile industry is growing to be.

Finally, looking forward to having a dedicated mobile application but don’t know whom to turn to? It’s always better to let the mobile app development experts handle the intricacies so that you can focus on areas that directly help your business/companies grow.

Whether you’re looking to develop native apps, hybrid apps, or web apps, we’re here. We’re expert app developers who follow a thorough app development process and help you design native apps/ hybrid apps for Android and iOS operating systems.

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Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.