The 8 Main Mobile Apps Categories
Gaining an understanding of the main mobile apps categories can help you figure out your next move.
About the author
Bart Stemkens is a growth advisor for tech startups. He loves building online businesses and bringing them to live through bold ideas.
As an app developer, one of the most important keys to guaranteeing success for your app with your target users is knowing how to categorize it. In a sea of apps that are released in the app store every day, specifying which category your app belongs to can boost your app’s recognition.
Some types of mobile app categories tend to perform better than other categories. Due to changing trends and user preferences, certain categories tend to make more money than others, and it’s good to know which categories these are during the development of your app.
This article will emphasize what app categories are, what type of apps are popular, and how you can categorize your apps. It will then list the top 8 categories of apps you should know of so that you can launch an app in a category that is guaranteed to be both popular and useful.
Ready? Let’s get started.
What Are App Categories?
A mobile app category is a category you assign to your app which helps your potential users discover it in the Google Play Store or App Store. It is a vital part of targeting your app to your ideal user group.
What Type of Apps Are Popular?
Out of the 30+ mobile app categories, some of the most popular app categories in 2022 are Education & E-learning, Restaurant & Food, Dating, Ecommerce, Social Media, Internal Business, Gaming, and Entertainment.
The most popular examples of apps today are most relevant to social media, such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.
1. Education & E-learning Apps
Given that many people are seeking learning opportunities outside of schools and universities, education and e-learning apps have seen a significant rise in popularity.
A number of individuals are using e-learning apps to gain new skills or credentials. For example, Duolingo saw an increase of 148% in new user signups in a single month in 2020.
Especially for kids, e-learning apps have experienced a great demand. For example, Kids Learning Tube made its own e-learning app after its YouTube channel fostered more than 615 million views. This shows that the potential to create an app out of an audience that already exists is tremendous, and will only keep increasing.
Some examples of popular education and e-learning apps are Google Classroom, Coursera and Khan Academy.
2. Restaurant & Food Delivery Apps
Due to the pandemic over the last two years, the food & drink industry has experienced major changes. With more people preferring to order their meals online, restaurant & food delivery apps have increased accordingly.
To understand the importance of this app category, have a look at the US food delivery app revenue report within the past six years.
Interestingly, Statista found that 67% of people in the US prefer to order food from a restaurant’s website or mobile app, rather than eat out.
You can also use a restaurant app to manage reservations, send special promos, set up a customer loyalty program, and much more. It is a great way to keep track of conversions as well, since customers may keep their payment information and address in the system for the next time they order
Some examples of popular restaurant and food delivery apps are GrubHub, UberEats and DoorDash.
3. Dating Apps
So far, there have been 323 million people around the world who have used an online dating app. This is a significant number to take notice of.
Given the digitization of everyday tasks, many people have opted to complete the task of finding a stable, committed partner through an app as well.
The dating app category generates about $602 million every year, which indicates it is a very profitable venture.
Some examples of popular dating apps are Tinder, Bumble and OkCupid. While these apps are targeted at a general user group, there is plenty of space left for dating apps that are targeting users of a certain demographic or with more specific interests.
4. Ecommerce Apps
Given the rise in remote working and the interest to make passive income online, ecommerce apps have significantly grown over the last few years, and it shows no sign of declining anytime soon.
To see the success of ecommerce apps as opposed to ecommerce websites, simply look at the conversion rate comparison between mobile browsers and mobile apps in the ecommerce niche.
Ecommerce apps are a great way to experiment with personalization, speed, convenience, customer support, user experience and checkout optimization.
If you have previous experience with ecommerce, having a mobile app for your brand is essential. Even if you’re a small company that wants to increase its online presence, an ecommerce platform like Shopify is your best friend.
Some examples of ecommerce apps are WooCommerce, Ebay and Gumroad.
5. Social Media Apps
Given the increase in technology that allows us to keep in touch with our friends, family and colleagues, it isn’t a surprise that social media apps have been on the rise over the last couple of years.
Social media apps are platforms where you can find new friends or connect with like-minded people who would like to discuss or share similar thoughts.
Some examples of social media apps are Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp.
6. Internal Business Apps
HR apps and employee communication apps have become the new normal for the modern workforce. With so many remote employees and field service workers today, internal business apps that help keep colleagues in touch are on the rise.
Within these apps, you will find an effective self-service functionality of the apps, like quick access to crucial information, company news and more. Many apps even add a social media style function where employees can converse and share stories.
You can also use internal business apps to schedule changes, training lessons, employee safety and onboarding and much more.
Whether you want to cater to a small business or a larger organization, this category of apps will continue to grow in popularity in the years to come.
Some popular examples of internal business apps include LinkedIn, Google Workspace and Slack.
7. Gaming Apps
Gaming apps are among the most popular app categories in 2022, and this is because of the incredibly immersive experience that they provide to users.
According to Statistica, there were 1.2m gaming apps out of the 3.8m apps in total for March 2022.
Of all the popular types of games, action games rank as one of the highest.
Since gaming apps use a lot of the device’s hardware resources, you need to ensure that your app will be hosted on a phone device that will be able to accommodate a smooth gaming experience.
Some popular examples of gaming apps include PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile and Pokemon Go.
8. Entertainment Apps
In this day and age, entertainment is a much needed commodity in our busy lives. Whether it be watching a TV show or indulging in short, 15-second video clips, entertainment apps provide us with the relief we seek.
Creating an entertainment app is the best way to engage with as wide a user group as possible, since many individuals have a type of entertainment they like to spend their time on.
Some popular examples of entertainment apps include Netflix, TikTok and Twitch.
Today more than ever, we’re met with an incoming flood of apps that are being launched every day. For this, it’s very important to keep track of the most popular mobile app categories at a given time.
Knowing the type of apps that are performing really well among users is key to helping you determine what you should do next.
During your app’s development process, you will come across big questions such as “How should I categorize my app?”
Pinning down the category for your app can help you set the path to understanding how and why your users are interacting with it, which will in turn help you reach your bigger goals such as profit-making and brand awareness.
The app categories in the list above have been given to you after being researched according to the most recent trends and statistics. Here is a full list of the most popular app categories you should be aware of, especially in the Google Play Store.
The main characteristic you will want to have as a developer is knowing what type of category has a lot of opportunity to create an app in, and from there, the possibilities are endless.
Need help with building or growing your app? Get in touch with us.