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Application program

(also application software)

Application program definition

An application program is a software program designed to perform specific tasks or functions for users. Applications can range from simple tools to complex software. Examples of application programs include calculators, enterprise software, text editors, web browsers, games, and productivity applications. Every program has a particular “application” for the user, which is where the name comes from. For example, a word processing application allows a user to create documents, while a photo editing program allows a user to enhance images.

See also: application firewall

Application software vs. system software

  • System software manages the internal operations of a computer, mainly via the operating system (OS).
  • Application software (or application programs) is software designed to perform specific tasks or functions for the user.

Examples of application programs

  • Web browsers. Applications like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge are web browsers that allow users to access websites on the internet.
  • Word processors. Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Apple Pages are word-processing applications for creating, editing, and formatting documents.
  • Spreadsheets. Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, and Apple Numbers are spreadsheet applications used for organizing and analyzing data tables.
  • Email. Applications like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and Apple Mail are used for managing and sending email messages.
  • Antivirus software. Applications like Norton, McAfee, and Avast protect against computer systems' malware and viruses.