How To Choose The Right App Category
Mobile Growth

How To Choose The Right App Category


Buse Kanal

Choosing an app category is an important decision you’ll make when adding your app to Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Use the right category and you’ll improve the discoverability of your app. Use the wrong category and your app could end up in the wrong crowd.

So, how do you choose the correct app category? That’s exactly what you’re going to learn today. In this post, let us discuss what app categories are, how to determine the right category for your app, and how it works in both App Store and Play Store.

App Category

Image source: Apple Developer

What are app categories?

An app category in app stores specifies how the app store would treat a specific app. Through the app categories, app stores are able to group together similar apps, so that users can easily find their needed apps and get recommendations easier.

So, for example, in the App Store, you have the Productivity category. Apps that have something to do with time and schedule management, note-taking, self-improvement, and translation could be added to this category.

How does the app category work in the Play Store?

Play Store allows you to choose whether your app is an app or a game. Obviously, if your app is not a game, then you should choose “app” as your application type.

Once you have selected your application type, you would then choose one category. Aside from the category, you have the option to add tags to your app so that Google’s algorithm can better understand the functionality, features, and benefits of your app.

Be sure to choose the right tags because it can affect how Google decides where to put your app across the Play Store.

To choose a category and add tags, simply do the following:

Google Play App Category

Source: Google Support

How does the app category work in the App Store?

The App Store allows you to choose a primary category and a secondary category. The primary category determines your discoverability on the platform. The secondary category would help decide which other categories your app is most related to.

Special considerations

There are certain types of apps that need special categories. Here are some of them:

  • Made for Kids – select this checkbox if your app is made for children ages 11 and below. Be sure that your app complies with the App Review Guidelines for Kids apps.
  • Games – select games if your app is a game. You also need to choose up to two Games subcategories.
  • Stickers – if your app is for iMessage, choose Stickers as your category.

General tips on choosing app categories

While choosing the app category is straightforward, there are times when it can be confusing. For example, what if you have a photo-editing app that allows you to instantly share it on social media? Should you choose the category for photo editing or for social networking?

To help you, here are three important considerations:

  • What is the purpose of your app? Even if you have a lot of features in your app, you simply need to look at its main and core benefits or function. That should tell you what category you should choose.
  • Where would your users usually find you? You need to know who your target audience is. The more you are familiar with their needs and situation, the easier you’ll be able to choose the right category.
  • Which category contains apps similar to yours? Check who you are competing with. Look for similar and related apps. From there, see in which category the majority of them belong.

Choosing the right app category in the Play Store

To know which app category you should choose, you need to be familiar with the different categories available in the Play Store. 

Play Console App Category

Image source: Google Play Store

Here’s a list of categories along with their examples based on the example categories page on the Google Support website:

Art and Design

  • Sketchbooks
  • Painter tools
  • Art and design tools
  • Coloring books

Auto and Vehicles

  • Auto shopping
  • Auto insurance
  • Auto price comparison
  • Road safety
  • Auto reviews and news


  • Makeup tutorials
  • Makeover tools
  • Hair styling 
  • Beauty shopping
  • Makeup simulators

Books and Reference

  • Book readers
  • Reference books
  • Textbooks
  • Dictionaries
  • Thesaurus
  • Wikis


  • Document editor/reader
  • Package tracking
  • Remote desktop
  • Email management
  • Job search


  • Comic players
  • Comic titles


  • Messaging
  • Chat/IM
  • Dialers
  • Address books
  • Browsers
  • Call management


  • Matchmaking
  • Courtship
  • Relationship building
  • Meeting new people
  • Finding love


  • Exam preparations
  • Study-aids
  • Vocabulary
  • Educational games
  • Language learning


  • Streaming video
  • Movies
  • TV
  • Interactive entertainment


  • Concert tickets
  • Sporting event tickets
  • Ticket resales
  • Movie tickets


  • Banking
  • Payment
  • ATM finders
  • Financial news
  • Insurance, taxes
  • Portfolio/trading
  • Tip calculators

Food and Drink

  • Recipes
  • Restaurants
  • Food guides
  • Wine tasting and discovery
  • Beverage recipes

Health and Fitness

  • Personal fitness
  • Workout tracking
  • Diet and nutritional tips
  • Health and safety

House and Home

  • House and apartment search
  • Home improvement
  • Interior decoration
  • Mortgages
  • Real estate

Libraries and Demo

  • Software libraries
  • Technical demos


  • Style guides
  • Wedding and party planning
  • How-to guides

Maps and Navigation

  • Navigation tools


  • Mapping
  • Transit tools
  • Public transportation


  • Drug and clinical references
  • Calculators
  • Handbooks for healthcare providers
  • Medical journals and news

Music and Audio

  • Music services
  • Radios
  • Music players

News and Magazines

  • Newspapers
  • News aggregators
  • Magazines
  • Blogging


  • Pregnancy
  • Infant care and monitoring
  • Childcare


  • Wallpapers
  • Live wallpapers
  • Home screen
  • Lock screen
  • Ringtones


  • Cameras
  • Photo editing tools
  • Photo management and sharing


  • Notepad
  • To-do list
  • Keyboard
  • Printing
  • Calendar
  • Backup
  • Calculator
  • conversion


  • Online shopping
  • Auctions
  • Coupons
  • Price comparison
  • Grocery lists
  • Product reviews


  • Social networking
  • Check-in


  • Sports news and commentary
  • Score tracking
  • Fantasy team management
  • Game coverage


  • Tools for Android devices

Travel and Local

  • Trip booking tools
  • Ride-sharing
  • Taxis
  • City guides
  • Local business information
  • Trip management tools
  • Tour booking

Video Players and Editors

  • Video players
  • Video editors
  • Media storage


  • Weather reports

Choosing the right app category in the App Store

Like in the Play Store, there are plenty of app categories in the App Store. You need to know what these are so that you can choose the right category for your app.

Here’s a table for you to quickly get an idea of these App Store categories based on the Apple Developer website:

Category Description Examples
Books Apps that provide extensive interactivity for content that is traditionally offered in printed form. If you’re planning a more traditional reading experience, you may want to look at publishing an iBook instead.
  • Stories
  • Comics
  • eReaders
  • Coffee table books
  • Graphic novels
Business Apps that assist with running a business or provide a means to collaborate, edit, or share content.
  • Document management (PDFs, scanning, file viewing/editing)
  • VoIP telephony
  • Dictation
  • Remote desktop
  • Job search resources
  • Customer resource management
  • Collaboration
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Point of sale
Developer Tools Apps that provide tools for app development, management, and distribution.
  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Debugging
  • Workflow management
  • Text and code editing
Education Apps that provide an interactive learning experience on a specific skill or subject.
  • Arithmetic
  • Alphabet
  • Writing
  • Early learning and special education
  • Solar system
  • Vocabulary
  • Colors
  • Language learning
  • Standardized test prep
  • Geography
  • School portals
  • Pet training
  • Astronomy
  • Crafts
Entertainment Apps that are interactive and designed to entertain and inform the user, and which contain audio, visual, or other content.
  • Television
  • MoviesSecond screens
  • Fan clubs
  • Theatre
  • Ringtones,
  • Voice manipulation
  • Ticketing services
  • Art creation
Finance Apps that perform financial transactions or assist the user with business or personal financial matters.
  • Personal financial management
  • Mobile banking
  • Investment
  • Bill reminders
  • Budgets
  • Debt management
  • Tax
  • Small business finance
  • Insurance
Food & Drink Apps that provide recommendations, instruction, or critique related to the preparation, consumption, or review of food or beverages.
  • Recipe collections
  • Cooking guides
  • Restaurant reviews
  • Celebrity chefs/recipes
  • Dietary & food allergy
  • Alcohol reviews
  • Brewery guides
  • International cuisine
Games Apps that provide single or multiplayer interactive activities for entertainment purposes.
  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Board
  • Card
  • Family
  • Music
  • Puzzle
  • Racing
  • Role playing
  • Simulation
  • Sports
  • Strategy
Graphics & Design Apps that provide tools for art, design, and graphics creation.
  • Vector graphic design
  • Image editing
  • Drawing and illustration
Health & Fitness Apps related to healthy living, including stress management, fitness, and recreational activities.
  • Yoga
  • Muscle diagrams
  • Workout tracking
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Stress management
  • Pregnancy
  • Meditation
  • Weight loss
  • Pilates
  • Acupuncture/acupressure
  • Eastern/Chinese medicine
Lifestyle Apps relating to a general-interest subject matter or service.
  • Real estate
  • Crafts
  • Hobbies
  • Parenting
  • Fashion
  • Home improvement
Kids (iOS and iPadOS only) Apps designed specifically for children ages 11 and under. Age-appropriate apps must be placed in one of three age bands based on their primary audience: 5 and under, 6–8, or 9–11.
  • Age-appropriate games
  • Interactive stories
  • Educational materials
  • Magazines
Magazines & Newspapers Apps that offer auto-renewing subscriptions to magazine or newspaper content. Choose Magazines & Newspapers if you deliver content using an issue-based strategy or are producing interactive versions of a printed periodical.
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Other recurring periodicals
Medical Apps that are focused on medical education, information management, or health reference for patients or healthcare professionals.
  • Skeletal
  • Muscular
  • Anatomy
  • Medical record-keeping
  • Diseases
  • Symptom reference
  • Companion devices (blood pressure, pulse, and so on)
  • Health tracking
Music Apps that are for discovering, listening to, recording, performing, or composing music, and that are interactive in nature.
  • Music creation
  • Radio, education
  • Sound editing
  • Music discovery
  • Composition
  • Lyric writing
  • Band and recording artists
  • Music videos and concerts
  • Concert ticketing
Navigation Apps that provide information about current events or developments in areas of interest such as politics, entertainment, business, science, technology, and so on. Choose News if your app serves content via newsreader or digest format, or if your app is for a digital-first or broadcast-first media outlet with frequent content updates.
  • Television
  • Video
  • Radio, 
  • Online news outlets or programs
  • RSS readers
Photo & Video Apps that assist in capturing, editing, managing, storing, or sharing photos and videos.
  • Capture
  • Editing
  • Special effects
  • Sharing
  • Imaging
  • Printing
  • Greeting card creation
  • Manuals
Productivity Apps that make a specific process or task more organized or efficient.
  • Task management
  • Calendar management
  • Translation
  • Note taking
  • Printing
  • Password management
  • Cloud storage
  • Email clients
  • Flow chart generators
  • Audio dictation
  • Simulation
  • Data viewing
Reference Apps that assist the user in accessing or retrieving information.
  • Atlas
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Quotations
  • Encyclopedia
  • General research
  • Animals
  • Law
  • Religion
  • How-tos
  • Politics
Safari Extensions (macOS only) Apps that offer extensions to help enhance and customize the web browsing experience on Safari
  • Content bookmarkers
  • Password managers
  • Dblockers
  • Savings finders
Shopping Apps that support the purchase of consumer goods or materially enhance the shopping experience.
  • Commerce
  • Marketplace
  • Coupon
  • Product review
  • Apps with Apple Pay
Social Networking Apps that connect people by means of text, voice, photo, or video. Apps that contribute to community development.
  • Interpersonal connections
  • Text messaging
  • Voice messaging
  • Video communication
  • Photo & video sharing
  • Dating
  • Blogs
  • Special interest communities
  • Companion apps for traditional social networking services
Sports Apps related to professional, amateur, collegiate, or recreational sporting activities.
  • Fantasy sports companions
  • College teams/conference
  • Professional teams/leagues
  • Athletes
  • Score trackers
  • Instruction
  • Sports news
Travel Apps that assist the user with any aspect of travel, such as planning, purchasing, or tracking.
  • Flight tracking
  • Multi-time clocks
  • City guides
  • Hotel/rental car/air fare shopping
  • Vacation planning
  • Public transportation
  • Travel rewards
Utilities Apps that enable the user to solve a problem or complete a specific task.
  • Calculators (standard, tip, financial)
  • Clocks
  • Measurement
  • Time
  • Web browsing
  • Flashlights
  • Screen locks
  • Barcode scanners
  • Unit conversion tools
  • Password management
  • Remote controls
Weather Apps that provide forecasts, alerts, and information related to weather conditions.
  • Radar
  • Storms
  • Tides
  • Severe weather
  • Local weather


Choose the right category

Using the right category holds a major key in your app discoverability. If you want to make sure that you choose the right one or you need advice on how to further improve your app’s search rank, you need to get in touch with ShyftUp.

ShyftUp is among the leading user acquisition agencies that will help you set up your app on the app stores to ensure it is optimized for positive results. They have the right experience, tools, and expertise to improve the overall performance of your app.

Get in touch with them today!

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h2″ question-0=”Why is choosing an app category important?” answer-0=”An app category determines where your app will be placed in app stores. Thus, choosing the right category would help your potential and existing users to find you.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h2″ question-1=”How do app categories affect ASO?” answer-1=”ASO, App Store Optimization, is the process of improving your app’s visibility on the app stores. Choosing the correct category would positively affect ASO.” image-1=”” headline-2=”h2″ question-2=”What are the most popular app categories?” answer-2=”The most popular app categories are games, health and wellness, and finance.” image-2=”” count=”3″ html=”true” css_class=””]

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