The Mobile App Categories And How To Pick The One For You
With 28 app categories in the App Store and 49 in the Google Play store, app functions and features have exploded in recent years. Especially since just four years ago, those numbers were 24 and 32!
App categories can help your customers find your app, and with good App Store Optimization and app marketing, your app will shoot to the top of the search results.
The most efficient way to build and market a quality business app is to outsource your application development. But even with the technical bits taken care of, it’s good to know the context of what your dev team will be doing.
Categories vs. Types
You may hear your developer talking about the type of app they’re planning on building and think they’re referring to these categories. In this case, types are different from categories.
The type defines how the development team goes about building your app for you.
Native: Apps designed and created with one platform in mind. This type of app prioritizes customer experience.
Web: Apps designed for and created to be run on the web from a mobile device. Apps of this type are designed to be light on device resource usage.
Hybrid: Apps designed and created for multiple platforms. This app type opens up application availability to a larger scope of potential customers.
There are 5 main categories into which most apps can be defined, though some may straddle a few. For example, some games may have an educational angle.
Entertainment: Apps in this category provide entertainment for the end user. This can include games, TV catchup and streaming services, gambling, etc.
Educational: Apps aren’t just for fun! Teachers and schools worldwide have been using apps in the classrooms for a while now, which were especially useful during the pandemic. Even more, adult education apps like Pluralsight and Skillshare have a large user base.
Social Media: Access to our social media profiles needs to be snappy, and what better way than using an app? Social media is at the heart of our society (for better or worse), so apps like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram fit into this category.
Lifestyle: Access to news sites, magazines, tips, coffee stamps, and travel deals could all be classified within the lifestyle category.
Productivity: Apps that assist you in being productive fall into this category. Business apps, timesheets, mobile authenticator apps, and to-do lists are all examples of apps that keep you productive.
Where Does My App Fit?
If your app is a business app, it’s likely to be categorized in the productivity category. But that doesn’t mean it can’t overlap with other areas.
Starbucks connects with their customer via an app that collects loyalty stamps and provides them with an area to manage their account. A feature release adding an order-ahead function moved this app from purely a productivity app to a lifestyle app for their customers.
Look at what your app does for your customer and use that to establish its category.