There are many types of software. You have software that controls entire devices or software that are built for single and specific purposes such as calls or photos.
An app can be a software, an operating system is a software, a picture or video etc. are also software. So long as it is an entity that you have to interact with on a screen, and not physically, then it is software.
Read: What is Software?
There are many types of software but they can be divided into two main groups. The first is the purpose of use and the second is the nature or device/platform of use.
1. Purpose of use
The purpose of use refers to the specific type of function that a software is expected to perform.
Under this group, there are three categories of software:
a. Application software
An application software is a type of software designed for a specific purpose/function (or group of purposes/functions).
Such functions could include typing (Microsoft word, WPS), taking pictures (camera app), playing games (PUBG, PES, Call of Duty) etc.
Application software are known as apps for short. These apps are programmed or written for a specific purpose.
b. System software
System software are types of software that are programmed to manage the hardware of an entire computer/smartphone.
This includes powering on or off the computer/smartphone, managing and allocating system resources such as memory and battery etc. The operating system also acts as the base or platform for which application software or apps can run on a computer/smartphone.
System software is made up operating system, device drivers, kernels, utilities etc. Examples of system software includes Windows, Android, MacOS, iOS, Symbian etc.
3. Malicious software
This is software or groups of software that is written or programmed to give commands to a computer that would cause it to malfunction. They are also known as malware for short.
These software are usually written as a joke (sometimes) or as a tool to exploit vulnerabilities in devices. These apps can then steal user or system data or simply wreak havoc, destroying both software and hardware.
Examples of malicious software include Trojans, spyware, adware, viruses, worms and ransome ware.
Read: Smartphone hardware: what is your phone made of?
2. Nature or Device/Platform of use
The nature or device/platform describes the type of hardware that a particular software is programmed to work with. It also refers to the domain that software is designed to handle.
All computers are not the same. Computers are built differently for different reasons and to accomplish different functions. Generally speaking, there are two main computing platforms: desktop and mobile.
The Desktop platform refers to PCs, laptops, Consoles etc. Mobile platform generally refers to mobile phones. Developers build apps separately for each platform as they are incompatible with one another. In addition, they also use different hardware as well as operating systems.
The software used for desktops is known as desktop software while the ones for mobile are known as mobile software.
b. Internet or Webpages
The internet is still one of the greatest driving forces of modernization and globalization. We relying on webpages in order to view websites on the internet.
A server is a computer that contains and “serves” information to other computers that can access it over the internet.
Most of the data online are saved in servers that can be only be accessed remotely via the internet.
Web servers also have their own kind of software that allows them to carry out their functions.
A plug-in is a software that adds extra functionality to an already existing software. A very good example of a plug in are the themes on our phones that add extra features to the look and feel of our phones.
e. Embedded software
An embedded software is a software that is that is built into a hardware and cannot work on any other devices, even if they are on the same platform.
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