24 ways to find new mobile app ideas
1. Start by solving your problems
Start coming up with app ideas by identifying the frustrations you have with the current way of doing things.
Look at these problems, do some research, and try to find apps that solve your current or similar problems. If you find such apps, try them and see if they solve your current frustrations or not.
Can’t find them? This could be a good start. It’s possible that other people have similar frustrations, which gives you a potential market.
2. Apply the Freemium business model
You may notice that the most popular paid mobile apps are followed by free alternatives.
Similar apps target the same audience by offering very similar value for free or at an affordable price.
You can use a free business model for your free alternative to the popular paid mobile app. First, focus on meeting basic needs with your free alternative. Then, you can try to sell the product with beneficial features.
Take a close look at how some of the successful Android and iOS app companies use the free business model.
To give a clear example, you may be familiar with Spotify, which is a digital music, video streaming, and podcast app that gives its users access to millions of songs. Its basic functions, such as music playback, are free. But to take advantage of its business features, you need to upgrade to Spotify Premium.
3. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel – improve on an existing idea
Sometimes mobile apps come into our lives and seem to solve a problem we all have. But what if they don’t provide a complete solution or there’s still room for improvement?
In that case, maybe it’s time to improve on an existing idea by expanding on it.
Look at what some of the big players in your industry are missing. Try to figure out how you can fill those gaps.
Start by analyzing their products and try to identify what they do and don’t do well. Combine the knowledge you gain with application development. Try to make the app stand out with a modern design that follows the latest technologies.
Many developers have achieved positive results with this technique over the past few years. Whether it’s taking an app and giving it a better user interface, or creating a slimmed-down version of an essential app, developers always seem to find a way to make things better. And you don’t have to limit yourself to the tech world either. Even traditional businesses are now being improved by app developers.
Uber is a great example of this. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp took a simple idea like a cab and improved the service for end-users with their mobile app. Today, they own a company worth over $60 billion. Their success speaks for itself. They didn’t have to invent anything new or convince people to do anything they hadn’t done before. They provided people with a more streamlined service that gets them from point A to point B.
Improving an existing idea is difficult, but it has its benefits. One of the main advantages of this technique is that it is easy for people to adopt. If you can explain your app by saying “It’s XYZ, but better!”, users will have an immediate idea of what your app can do. And once users see that you’ve improved an idea in an authentic way, it’s hard for them to go back to the old way of doing things.
4. Find an area that lacks recent innovation
When trying to find mobile app ideas, try to identify industries that are popular but lack recent innovations.
Augment applied this concept well for their business by creating an augmented reality app for real estate salespeople.
The app helps them better present and sell their real estate projects and could also be a great substitute for boring brochures.
5. Identify innovative trends in mobile applications
Try to predict the future ahead. Successful mobile apps are created by innovators who don’t stick to old technologies or methods. They try to identify trends that will be successful in the future.
You can do this by analyzing the recent trends in mobile apps. All you need to do is to take a look at the top 100 Android and iOS apps.
In addition, you can check out “Product Hunt”, which allows you to discover the latest mobile apps, websites, technology products, and hot industries.
If you’re good at spotting trends or predicting what will be popular in a few months, user research is a great way to find inspiration.
6. Conduct user research – talk to your potential users
Try to come up with an app development idea based on the needs of your target users. Start by conducting preliminary user research.
There is no better way than to interview your potential users. Try to find out the following:
How are they currently solving the problem you’re trying to solve with your app?
What kind of applications are they currently using to solve these problems?
What types of needs do they use this app for?
What do they like and dislike about this application?
What do they miss about the app?
By answering these questions, you will have a better understanding of your potential competitors, the real needs of your target users, and how you should guide the development of the minimum viable product (MVP).
7. Make people’s lives easier and faster
Try to understand people’s repetitive processes and create a solution that would make their daily routine easier or faster.
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” - Henry Ford
The idea of a mobile app doesn’t mean you have to focus on inventing a new product or service.
In fact, you should focus on identifying solutions that people use to solve certain repetitive processes. Observe and learn about these processes. Try to identify the solutions they use for the whole process. Think about what they are missing in these solutions and how you can improve them.
8. Copy others’ ideas and localize them for your market
Why not localize mobile apps that are successful worldwide? There’s nothing wrong with that.
You can find great mobile app ideas by looking at the most popular international apps. Study them and adapt them to your market if necessary.
For example, you can create something similar for the local audience, like meditation or workout apps.
Don’t clone exactly, but take the good aspects of these apps and adapt them to your market.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, try to think about how you can improve the existing wheel.
9. Gain more experience to connect the dots
The more you do and the more experience you gain, the more ability you have to come up with new ideas by connecting the dots of your past experiences.
Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest breakthroughs were made by connecting what was not connected. In particular, the knowledge gained by bringing together different perspectives. He defined innovation as connecting the unconnected.
Bill Gates has read books on different topics. He believes in the power of finding useful things by chance to come up with new ideas.
In a 2005 speech, Steve Jobs summed up the spirit of innovation in three sentences:
“You can’t connect the dots by looking forward; you can only connect them by looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust something that you have in your gut, your destiny, your life, your karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
10. Brainstorm like a pro!
Brainstorming has a bad reputation in some circles because when done poorly, it can be a big waste of time. Once you do it right, you’ll even surprise yourself by finding what you’re capable of finding. Here are some quick tips to improve your brainstorming session!
Use a visual prompt
When brainstorming, it’s good to keep a certain topic in mind. This helps you create ideas in a certain context. A visual prompt is an effective way to frame the context in which you are trying to work. Having a picture of an object can even be a useful anchor for your ideas.
11. Keep a notebook
Have an idea for a mobile app? Write it down.
A notebook is a great tool for organizing ideas, but writing down ideas has also been proven to help you remember them better.
If you’re the kind of person who has 100 ideas a day, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your head. How do you create an app when you know you’ll need to prioritize those ideas at some point, it becomes clear that keeping a notebook is your best option.
12. Take breaks
Taking breaks may seem unusual, but the stories of people coming up with brilliant ideas in the shower or while taking a walk are true.
This technique also has a neuroscience-based explanation. When you slow down from wakefulness mode, the brain goes into its most creative mode called, the Theta state. In other words, you start to dream. In the Theta state, the brain often generates ideas when you don’t force it to.
13. Cab business management application
A cab business management app that helps drivers monitor their cash flow. With this app, users can easily track their income, expenses, business supplies, and transactions in one place.
14. A social networking application for businesses
The idea behind the business social networking app is that it allows its users to find team members for their specific projects in any desired field. This app idea creates a marketplace for professionals.
15. Public transportation app
The idea behind this mobile app is to inform its users about the best route to take using public transportation. It would also alert the user when it is time to leave to avoid missing the bus, train or even the plane. It would monitor traffic, delays, scheduled departure time and also take into account rush hours.
16. Application for wedding planners
This is a marketplace for all things wedding-related. Venues, musicians, florists, designers, etc. can advertise here. Future brides and grooms can browse offers, read articles and reviews, and engage in conversations with other users.
17. School Supplies Marketplace
This mobile app would create a platform for students to sell, buy, borrow, or lend used school supplies. The service can also be extended to other categories such as furniture, electronics, real estate, vehicles, etc. This application would not only save time but also save students money on both ends.
18. Local travel application
A travel and tourism app that will tell its users where, when, and what to do, eat, drink, visit, stay, based on feedback and recommendations from locals.
19. Smart investment application
AI-based investment app that will do the market research for you, create an in-depth analysis and present its results directly on your cell phone. Based on the information provided, you can decide whether to invest or not. The app will also allow you to make trades.
20. Quick Cash App
Looking for someone to mow your lawn, walk the dog, feed your cat or change your light bulb? This app idea offers a solution to these problems and many more. It is an app that allows users to find people in their neighborhood to do small jobs around the house, which only takes a few hours.
21. App. Localized Church
Create a local mobile app for the church that allows members to take sermon notes, check the prayer list, listen to messages on the go, access documents in small groups, participate in the church’s real-time newsfeed, make a donation, and more.
22. Coupon Applicator
This app would be developed to ensure that each buyer gets the lowest price possible. The app will inform the buyer of available coupons. The coupons will be automatically applied at checkout, ensuring the lowest possible prices. However, the buyer will have the option to choose whether or not to use the discount
23. Event planning and invitation request
With this app, users can easily plan any event such as weddings, birthday parties, New Year’s Eve parties. It provides its users with all the necessary information, resources and tips for their next event. Organizing an event with this app will reduce the stress and time invested. With this app, users can also send a personalized invitation directly to their guests.
24. Second-hand app
The goal of this localized app is to create a platform for people to donate clothes, household items, food, school supplies, or any other item they don’t need and find someone who does. Users can search for items based on type or location. The app would also allow users to auction off their items for charitable causes.