mobile app ideas

According to an App Economy Forecast report, the mobile app market is expected to reach over $100 billion in revenue by 2020.

It is easy to understand that mobile app market is exploding. Mobile apps have become integral part of every business strategy. More and more businesses are opting to exploit the potential of mobile apps to increase revenue, drive greater mobility adoption, and increase market penetration.

But there are challenges and hurdles. You need to take all aspects and possibilities into account before you pull the trigger on creating your own app.

That’s exactly what this article is all about.

We are sharing with you a list of essential questions which you should ask if and when you start thinking about your next mobile app idea.

1. What do you want from your app?

If you were not able to answer this question as soon as you set your eyes on it, step back and pause. You cannot set a sail without a boat.

First, you need to answer this question because you cannot jump and start developing  your app without knowing what you want from your app. Understanding this will give a better idea about the app and how you want it to perform before you enter the development phase.

If you still don’t know what you want from your app, then take a look of other competitors’ apps, similar to your idea and take  note of the feature you like and will want to include in your design.

But try to do something which your competitor hasn’t done yet.

That’s what Charmin’s Sit or Squat App did.

charmin's sit or squat
Charmin makes toilet paper and flushable wipes

Instead of creating an app that was merely a mobile version of their site, they sought to meet a need of their audience by creating an app that helps women find clean public restrooms.

2. Who is your target audience?

Building a mobile app is useless  unless you target the right audience. You need to know who is your target audience if you are looking to generate revenue from the app.

A knowledge of target audience also helps in other areas. It gives deep insights into problems your customers are facing. Plus, it helps you prepare for marketing and advertising.

So, if you are thinking of building an app, then your next step is to identify your audience.

Tide created an app called Stain Brain which helps people learn to eliminate various types of clothing stains with a step-by-step washing instruction. See how this app relates  the product the company are selling, but focuses more heavily on providing value to the customer.

Tide

It doesn’t have to be a game or a give away all the time. Your app can also be rooted into solving customers problems using content.

3. What type of apps you want to develop?

People often get confused among the type of application that they should prefer in order to utilize to full benefit of mobile technology.

Mobile web app

Mobile web apps are not really application. They are really a website built with the help of browser specific language. They run on a browser, you don’t need to download it.

If you are thinking about good mobile user experience, then mobile web app idea is a good option. It is cheaper as compared to its other counterparts and takes less far time to develop.

Native app

These apps are specifically designed for one mobile platform and can take the advantage of all device feature like it can use the camera, GPS, accelerometer, compass, list of contacts, and so on.

If you have an iOS and an android app idea, then native app is a good choice. But it will cost you more because this app takes longer time to develop.

Hybrid App

Hybrid apps are a combination of both native and mobile web app. A hybrid app can be downloaded from any app store available out there. Yes, even including Windows App Store.

The hybrid app is  developed by implementing a suitable framework (like PhoneGap, Ionic, etc.), and a single code base that can run over various platforms. It costs less than a native app but more than a web app.

Also Read: 4 reasons to consider cross platform mobile app development over native app development

4. Is your app an accessory of your existing business? Or is it a product?

To reframe the question and make it more intelligible:

“Will you use your app to increase revenue on your existing business?

Or will your app be a stand alone product which will generate revenue on its own?.

Apps as a business growth tool

In modern markets and digital landscape, it is essential to find new ways  to interact with your customers and even reach new ones. And an app is an innovative way to do so. Like the way Tide did with Stain Brain.

If your are low on budget, you can go for a web app or a hybrid app. And if it cannot work out without a strong app, well the native app door is open.

App as a product

App as a product is a completely different ball game. First, you would need traction. Make thousand, tens of thousands, tens of thousands, and millions of people to download the app. Only then you can extract something substantial out of your app.

You can either make your app paid or design your app for in-app purchase. Either way, it is difficult to get traction. Industry reports suggest that hardly 1.9% of app users go for in-app purchases.

If you’re going into “app as a product” game, be prepared for a strategic marketing plan too.

5. How long it will take to develop an app?

With time to market restrictions getting faster, there’s no doubt as to why time to market is important.

The sooner you dream it, the sooner and faster you must build. If you app idea is cool, and there are companies who are into the niche, chances are you will be facing competition in no time.

Plus, it will take time to build the app too. Not hours or days. It takes weeks and months. The more complex your app is, the more time it will take to develop it. And of course, more time to test it.

mobile-app-development-timelines1
Here’s how an app development timeline may look like

Native apps take longer time to develop because of they are complex in nature. If you have less time and want to release app soon, then web app and hybrid app are a good choice for your MVP app.

6. Should I develop it in-house or outsource it?

Well, you cannot do it in-house if you don’t already have a technical team with app development skill set.

Most of the app developers prefer to develop an app in-house because they want to have a greater control over the process.

But then there are likes of Uber. (No, they DID NOT build it in-house. And yes, they are successful)

An in-house app development process can backfire too.

  • Sometime in-house app developer may not have specific skill set to develop a user friendly app which resonates with their target audience.
  • If you haven’t managed the project before then managing the project in-house will be difficult.
  • You may need to hire additional employees to help build the app, which can be a costly and time-consuming affair.

On the other hand outsourcing seems to a better option than in-house because you can find the expertise related to your project within time and budget constraints.

The main drawback of outsourcing is that sometime the employee possesses some specific expertise that allows them to charge quite a bit for their services.

Also Read: 4 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Mobile Application Development Company

7. What is your budget?

The mobile app development include budget in every stage. Knowing your budget and allocating it properly among each stage of app development is essential because the cost to develop an app vary from few hundred dollar or thousand dollar.

The more you add features to your app, the more it will cost you. So, it’s better that you appoint someone who can keep an eye on the cost and ensure that within that limited budget you complete your project.

8. iPhone or Android?

You probably asked this question yourself.

Let’s say you have decided that you need to create a native app for your users. And your target audience is either iPhone or an Android user. Well, then you’ll have to create native apps for the platform your users are on.

But if your audience is using iPhone and Android in equal share, the equations have to be reconsidered.

To  answer this question lets see some of the facts of  iPhone and Android platform.

Android

Android  covers  over 80 percent of the mobile OS market share globally, and just under 60 percent in the US.

Due to this  popularity of Android device, there are over 2.2 million of apps available resulting in greater competition. To reach audience here it would be much harder.

iPhone

iPhone currently has a 48% of market share.

If you are developing an iOS app, then you should work on quality control because iPhone apps get reviewed first before they can be accepted into the app store.

Now it’s in your hand to decide which platform you want to choose. Do your research and see how other app are performed on these platform . Read user feedback and take note of what people like and dislike when creating your own product.

Also Read: 5 things to consider when deciding between Android vs iOS for custom mobile application development

9. Free Or Paid?

The competition in app market is tough. Currently, there are 1,252,777 apps available in the App Store, and as many as 60 thousand apps are added per month – and this rate is growing.

Now, it is clear you have two options. Let’s compare the pros and cons of free and paid apps.

Free apps

It’s a great way to get noticed, everyone loves free thing, by offering free apps you can typically increase your downloads and traffics.

According to a Statista Report, in 2012 approximately 57.33 billion free apps were downloaded on mobile devices. By 2017, it was projected to reach the figure of 253.91 billion.

Pros

  1. You don’t need to pay for marketing your app. people will it self do your marketing if they like your product, they will encourage other to download your app. it just like word of mouth marketing. You just need to create a buzz of your product “That’s it” rest of the work your consumer will do it.
  2. Another benefit of releasing your app for free is that doing so lowers the expectations of your customers. After all, they didn’t pay anything for it, so they’re far less likely to be disappointed if it doesn’t meet their standards.

Cons

  1. The idea of offering free app will work when you have lots of users.
  2. Another downfall of offering free app is that you can’t be certain whether or not it will generate revenue so what is the use of spending time in developing an app which earns you nothing.

Paid apps

Because of the upfront cost, paid apps sometimes result in fewer downloads. So, you have to do a good marketing research of your audience when you are developing a paid app.

Pros

  1. There is no need to use the ads in the paid apps which result in cleaner look and feel which our customer will appreciate it.
  2. Paid apps creates user loyalty when someone pays for the app, this means they probably wanted it and therefore they are likely going to stick with your app.

Conclusion

You need to understand that developing a mobile app is really a critical task, you cannot approach with zero vision, you should have a plan.

You cannot just jump and start developing an app. You need to be strategic and ask yourself this question for better result.

Increase App Downloads