The growth of mobile applications can be attributed to many factors. But one that tends to stand out is their ability to reach consumers where they are; on their smartphones. As mobile applications become more reputable as development marketing channels and platforms for customer engagement, their stocks rise. Their prevalence provides accessibility for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Advancements in technology lower barriers to entry, making mobile apps ideal channels to help startups and small businesses grow and operate more smoothly. But the mobile app marketplace is vast and expanding exponentially. What might be a savvy tool for one company may limit success for another.
Whatever your business requirements are, there’s an app out there to help. To get you started with the right app for your business needs, here are the top five mobile app categories to help your business stand out from the crowd.
Different Types of Apps
Before a mobile application can be categorized, businesses must determine the type of app they want to build. While there is no definitive answer, there are three types of apps available; native, web, and hybrid apps.
Competing factors such as budget and timeline will determine the decision for the type of app your business requires. Similarly, the operating system (OS) you want your app deployed onto will play a contributing factor.
Native apps are apps developed exclusively for a single OS. This means an app developed for Android cannot be used on an iPhone. Web apps are run by a web browser but operate and feel like a native app. Hybrid apps use multi-platform technology to provide cross-platform compatibility.
1. Gaming apps
Holding the majority shares within the app marketplace are gaming apps. A hugely popular category, gaming apps are often the most profitable category within in the marketplace. Their ability to drive high user engagement and repeat customers makes them popular among mobile app developers.
Mobile games continue to thrive with many startups and big-name companies competing within the space. Studies forecast that the average playing time will only increase as technology improves. Businesses can engage consumers with ‘freemium’ gaming platforms and in-game purchases to monetize the gameplay and increase the game’s frequency of engagement and length of play.
2. Business apps
Business apps are also often referred to as productivity apps. These mobile apps hold a considerable amount of shares with the marketplace.
Business apps cover a wide spectrum of application, making them the ideal platform for many startups and small businesses. The purpose of a business app is to simplify tasks and processes within a user’s daily life.
Their ability to accomplish tasks quickly and efficiently while boosting productivity and minimize expenses makes them crucial for any business looking to save time and money.
3. Lifestyle apps
Covering the widest ranges of apps within its category, lifestyle apps include a variety of activities and interests. These can include shopping, fitness, dating, travel, music, and fashion. Many e-commerce retailers, as well as personal lifestyle brands, occupy this space.
As an app category meant to accelerate and support individual facets of a lifestyle, these apps have seen an increase in demand in recent years. As an aggressive space, competition is fierce, with many companies striving to create an app that their consumer base can’t live without.
. Educational apps
Perhaps the most indistinct category within the app marketplace, educational apps often go hand-in-hand with entertainment apps. An educational app’s value grows exponentially when its entertainment value increases. This is why many language apps offer a layer of entertainment value.
Educational apps are supplementary virtual environments for learning. Many of these apps adjust different individual learning methodologies and paces. Their usefulness in encouraging self-education drives the need and growth within the category.
5. Utility apps
Utility apps are the types of apps consumers use on a daily basis without thinking about it. Think calculators, maps, weather, and even scheduling and reminders. While utility apps display the shortest user engagement periods, they serve necessary functionalities in our day-to-day, driving their growth.
The increased frequency usage of your app can drive its monetization, particularly when coupled with ad revenue streams. Hiring a mobile app development agency can increase the utility apps’ viable revenue streams.
The cost of entry and ease of accessibility makes apps a viable solution for even the most budget-constraint startup. There are considerably more app categories not covered above such as social media. But their cost to manage and maintain limits their viability, particularly for new startups and small businesses still gaining traction.
The general categories mentioned above provide numerous facets and starting points for any small business looking to make their mark within the app marketplace.
Director, Alpha-Apps FZ LLC
Fueled by the firm belief that the Arab World has great potential and great content, Ayham founded AlphaApps in 2011 in Abu Dhabi. His goal is to bring the Arabic apps industry and content forward to an international and competitive level. He is also a start-up mentor, helping entrepreneurs launch successful app projects and investing in app companies in the region.