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What are the Different Types of Smartphone Applications?

By Keith Koons
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are hundreds of thousands of smartphone applications available for consumers, with more invented everyday. Modern apps are used for everything from entertainment to tracking social networking to reading a book, with the only limitation being the imagination of the consumer. Popular smartphone applications are also used within the business world to translate documents, exchange currencies, or even to purchase stocks and bonds. Some other smartphone apps are used for shopping, finding directions, and keeping up with world events.

When most people first think of a smartphone, they see it as a way to stay connected with the world around them. Some of the most popular smartphone applications allow users to visit social networking websites and interact with friends and family from anywhere. Catching up on local news or finding an accurate weather report is also just a click or two away, which is why most smartphone users download these types of applications first. Of course, the entertainment applications are also extremely popular with consumers as well.

Speaking of entertainment, some of the most popular types of smartphone applications have to do with watching live video, reading books, or playing video games. Many companies offer downloads of popular television shows or movies right to the user's handheld device, and several of these services are completely free of charge. Other applications allow consumers to download books and even have them read aloud to them. The average user also downloads many types of games to his or her handheld device simply because it is such a great way to pass time between meetings or classes.

Businesses use smartphone applications for a completely different reason. The technology allows a team of professionals to share documents in real time, download file extensions, and even share graphical presentations. Others will use their smartphone for trading stocks, purchasing commodities, or advising clients on ways to stay productive. Many businesses also have customized smartphone applications created to fit their needs.

Another type of smartphone application can help users interpret the world around them in almost any situation. Users can download maps of their general area, find a restaurant, or locate the nearest bank. Applications are also available that track local economies to tell consumers where the least expensive gasoline is in the area, or when to book an airline flight to save the most money. There is very little that consumers cannot do with a smartphone application.

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Discussion Comments

By Azuza — On Jun 20, 2011

@sunnySkys - I love to read, but I don't see how anyone could actually read a book on a smartphone. The screen is so bright it hurts my eyes to read on it for more than five minutes at a time!

And in fact, I actually don't use that many smartphone applications for this reason. I don't like the bright screen and I feel like the font is always too small. Then if you resize the font the page will be too big for the screen!

By sunnySkys — On Jun 17, 2011

@rebelgurl28- Evernote is one of my favorite apps also! My boyfriend and I use it to sync up things like our to do lists and other important documents.

My other favorite smartphone apps are the free mobile apps for reading. I have an ebook reader but a smartphone is much less conspicuous for reading in public. Sometimes I even read a page or so while I'm waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store!

By rebelgurl28 — On Jun 17, 2011

@Sunny27 – That Weight Watchers app sounds great. I will have to see about downloading it. Is it free?

Most of the apps I have are free mobile apps. I just recently downloaded Leafsnap; with this app you can take a picture of a leaf and it will tell you the name of the tree it came from.

Windows smartphone applications are great, too. I currently use Evernote and I can sync documents between my phone, my computer and the Internet.

By angelBraids — On Jun 17, 2011

Most of my friends have a smart phone now, but I'm resisting as long as I can. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea in principle, and can see how useful it can be to have information at your fingertips.

Some of the phone apps people have are good for things like checking the weather or finding directions. So what do I have against the seemingly unstoppable smartphone application development wave?

To put it simply I feel that this kind of thing is creating a barrier between people and their actual lives. A couple of good examples of this happened to me last week.

I'd arranged to meet an old friend for dinner, and after she's picked me up we discussed possible options for dinner. Several restaurants we hadn't tried came to mind, but rather than just give one of them a try she was straight on her phone to check both menus and reviews on them all.

A couple of days later I had another friend who spent an hour searching her mobile's apps to source a coffee shop with outdoor seating. In the end I made her quit and we simply walked around until we found one!

In my opinion real life is to be lived, with some spontaneity. It feels wrong somehow to have every decision dictated by a machine!

By Sunny27 — On Jun 17, 2011

@Cafe41 -I love Smartphones too. In fact, there is a new app for Weight Watchers that offers you the point value of a product by simply scanning the barcode into your phone. It is amazing because I try to buy low point foods when I do my grocery shopping, but it is hard to do all that math in your head.

This way I could focus on my list and check the point value before I buy the item. It is great. I think that there are so many apps that it does feel like a different world when you first get a Smartphone.

By cafe41 — On Jun 17, 2011

I just got a smart phone and I love it. It doesn’t even feel like a phone. It feels like a computer because I can surf the web and download a lot of different mobile applications. For example, the other day I wanted to know what movies were available to rent at my local video kiosk and I downloaded this free Smartphone application and not only was I able to see what movies were available for rent, but I was able to reserve them from my phone as well.

I also that think one of the best Smartphone applications are the video games. It keeps my kids entertained while we are waiting in line at the grocery store or at a doctor’s appointment. The games are really fun and easy to play.

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