With a shift toward a more tech-friendly society, smartphones and applications have never been more popular. Every company, large or small, is trying to get their hands on their very own unique application. Whether it is created for their organization or for portfolio diversification, applications are seeing an upward trend in many businesses. Unfortunately, due to the industry’s popularity, the market has become saturated with many lackluster apps. It is reported that Google Play has around 2 million unique applications while the iOS App store has around 2.2 million as of May of 2017. With a considerable amount of apps, penetrating the market with a completely unique idea has become difficult. However, even if someone has an original concept for an app, designing, developing, and marketing an application can take significant time and startup capital. Despite these roadblocks, the Apple store releases 5,000 new apps every day for the iPhone. So how do people do it? More importantly, how can you do it? In order to develop an original app idea, there are 3 key approaches you should look into.
Be unique. When you take out cross-functionality such as social media, news, or weather, a large portion of the most original apps are unique. This means that they are distinctive in concept or function. Creating something completely unique can be challenging and may require a lot of brainstorming. Being unique doesn’t always lead to success. Sometimes, even a unique app idea can be left forgotten in the App store. Of course, some of the first apps revolutionized their industries with their uniqueness, such as Tweetie within the social media industry which later become known as Twitter. Even with these corporate giants, unique applications are still being made today. Here are just a few examples of new unique applications:
- Tunity is an app that was developed to let users hear a muted TV. Whether you are at the doctor’s office or the airport, this application scans your TV and finds the live audio stream of what is being displayed. This unique app idea is supported by both iOS and Android phones. Tunity has been gaining traction with the media and reputable outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and Verizon.
- Slipstream Music is a unique app idea that allows for a group of people to create a combined playlist from their own devices. Instead of drawing from one person’s playlist and arguing over music, everyone can contribute. This idea was created by brothers Scott and Garrett Cypher in San Francisco, California. Slipstream Music won the NH Tech Out People’s Choice Award in 2015.
- Smart Phone Lock is a security app that changes your smartphone pin throughout the day. You can set the pin for the time of day, for example, 2:15 would be 0215, or the date. The application can even allow for backward and forward offsets for even more security. For example, 2:15 with an offset of +15 would make the code 0230. Created by John Thope of Mirage Stacks, this adds an extra layer of protection for your device.
Apart from uniqueness, another pathway to creating an original app idea is to have entertainment value. Mobile gaming has boomed in the most recent decade, making over $30 billion in revenue. These apps can range anywhere from complex massive multiplayer online games to simple single player role-playing adventures. With so many options, making a game idea can be a hit or miss. Candy Crush is a prime example of a not-so-unique idea that became popular. By appealing to both the older and younger demographic, the app provided a large amount of entertainment value and skyrocketed to become one of the most popular apps.
See a few other examples of great original mobile game ideas and learn about one more approach to developing your own original idea in the full article on MLSDev blog.