You have made the decision that you want to create your own mobile application, congratulations! The first step to making a dream come true is, of course, to generate an idea on which your mobile app will be based.
This article aims to unlock your Creative Lock and show you the best ways to generate successful ideas that worked for brands such as Uber and Airbnb.
It is also worth remembering that coming up with an idea is the first step toward the product design process. Find out more about product design and what are its stages in our complete product design guide that illustrates this topic.
If you already have a seed of an idea, we salute you! Refine it with our "Planner for a Successful Application" which is a document that aims to formulate your idea, scope, goals, and plan for an application in 8 steps.
All this using tasks and carefully designed questions that we often use when we start development for a client. Their help in planning an app is invaluable. See for yourself!
To destroy your creative lock once and for all, at the end of the article, you will find example ideas for:
- Health app
- Travel app
- Tracking app
- Management app
- Fitness app
- Service app
- E-learning app
- Parking app
- Marketplace app
- Shopping app
How to come up with a mobile app idea?
Uber, Facebook, or Snapchat, all these apps were small projects at first, mostly based on a great app idea the world hadn't seen before. Ordering a taxi via the app? Adding people to "friends" over the internet? Communication using photos? All these questions now sound trivial because the app market is overcrowded. Think about any aspect of your life, and we'll guarantee you there's an app that does just that.
However, don't be discouraged as there is always room for innovation, and if not for innovation, then for improvement and a different view of given solutions (after all, there was LinkedIn before Facebook). So how do you come up with an application that will have a real chance in the current overcrowded market?
Identify the problem/need, come up with a solution
The starting point for your idea for an app should be the problem/need that people feel. The best app idea is the one that is useful for the end-user. Therefore, start generating ideas with yourself. Think about what task could be improved by the use of an application.
Take your time, pay attention to every aspect of your life that irritates you or tasks you would like to do better by using the application. Write it all down, but don't think about developing the app just yet.
The moment you write down some aspects of your life that can be improved, talk them over with friends, bounce ideas with someone, see if the people around you also have similar problems or needs. Such a brainstorm will show you which of your listed aspects is really something worth improving for people. In addition, during the conversations, you may come out with completely new ideas that you would not have thought about before.
When you choose the problems/needs that most part of your initial research group have, you can start thinking about solving them. Create a very preliminary outline of your app and think about its functionalities and options to best help the user. Try to list as many of them as possible, and then through elimination, leave only those elements that can allow the user to achieve the goal.
Story of Uber
For example, let's take the previously mentioned Uber. The idea for this app was born when Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were unable to find transport during a snowy night in Paris. So we have a problem here - it was not possible to order a ride quickly.
It was 2008, so smartphones were starting to take over the market. Travis and Garrett decided that a great solution to this problem would be an application that allows you to order a driver in a few clicks.
So here, an innovative mobile app idea was born. The next steps were, of course, the production of the MVP, but we have a separate article covering this topic. A simple problem faced by many people around the world turned out to be the foundation for an app idea worth millions.
Therefore, the above-proposed way to generate ideas for an application is one of the best there is. First, identify the problem/need and then come up with a solution.
See what is happening around you
The secret behind the success of many startups was the perfect timing and the perfect sense of the market and social needs. Therefore, if you are at the stage of generating an idea for your application, you should be up to date with everything that is happening in the segment you want to hit.
You also need to keep a close eye on the world around you. Such big events as the current pandemic or the stock market crash are obvious events on which it will be difficult to build a great mobile app idea that will break through. Therefore, observing your immediate surroundings may be the solution. Let's take a look at what it was like with Airbnb.
Story of Airbnb
The idea for Airbnb came about when two roommates, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, couldn't afford their San Francisco rent. One of them noticed that there was going to be a large design conference in the city, which will limit the availability of hotels. Gebbia came up with the app idea that would later become the foundation for a business worth $ 31 billion. He described the whole social networking app idea in an email, which the creators showed at the 2016 TED Talk.
So observing the nearest world became the foundation for a brilliant app idea. Therefore, if you have a blank, be interested in what is happening around you, and you will certainly notice aspects that can be addressed with an app.
Search for queries
If neither you nor your friends see any problems/needs that the application could solve, that’s ok. Where do we go when we have a problem? Google, of course. Therefore, another way to generate ideas is to use a tool that will show you what queries people are searching in Google, divided by country, number of searches, and much more. One such tool is Ahrefs.
However, before you start digging through thousands of search queries, first think about which segment your application is going to hit. Let's say you want to make a travel app. When we type the keyword "travel" in Ahrefs, we get a lot of questions that people ask.
After reviewing them, we can select a few and formulate a problem/need. For example, at this point, Americans ask about PCR tests 1,800 times a month when they want to travel.
So the problem is to get the test done before the trip, and the need to find the test point quickly. You can already start building initial ideas for an application, for example, an app that shows what tests are needed in a given country and where to do them in the area on this basis.
Of course, this is just an example, because thanks to this tool, we can search for any keywords. Our suggestion is that, if you want to use queries to generate an idea, the best way to do it is to enter the widest possible phrases, then browse the results (preferably questions) and choose the ones that seem the most interesting and have the largest search volume.
How to validate your idea?
If you've managed to generate an app idea, now it's time to check if it makes sense. There are many ways to validate your idea, and we will introduce a few of them.
Do market research
First of all, check if there is no application based on a similar idea. Mobile app development is an expensive and time-consuming process, so it's worth checking if you are not copying anyone with your idea. Additionally, you can check if you have come up with an idea that no one has yet come up with. To do this, go to the play store or an app store and browse it by entering the appropriate keywords that illustrate your idea. If your app idea is, for example, a booking app for hairdressers, search for barber, hairdresser, beauty, wellness, etc.
If similar applications already exist, think about how your application could stand out and check how to refine the existing solutions. Suppose you do not find an application that describes your mobile app idea. In that case, it may mean that you have either hit the market gap or your idea will not work because applications based on similar ideas went bust.
A good mobile app idea is one that will find support among investors. Therefore, it is worth validating app ideas for startups on CrunchBase, which is a tool that shows the financing history of a given startup.
You can combine this tactic with market research tactics, and check how much financing the competitive mobile app has received and in which round of financing it is currently. If the idea met the investors' tastes, it means that it is worth working on. After all, investors have seen thousands of different solutions in their lives and choose only the best ones.
Ask your target group
If you already have an established target audience for your application, it would be a good idea to conduct surveys and interviews with its members. After all, they will use the application, so their opinion will be the most important.
Suppose you do not have the time or resources to hire a company that will conduct a thorough study. In that case, you can always use social media, or more precisely, groups. Nowadays, there are groups on anything from fishing to quantum physics. Find a group that fits your target audience’s assumptions and ask them what they think about your idea.
It is also a good idea to go to a professional software development company to evaluate your idea's sense. Many years of work on smartphone apps make it easy for specialists from such a company to assess whether a given idea is valid. Additionally, if you already have an idea for a mobile app, the software development company will be able to provide you with a timeline and MVP construction quote quickly. It is also worth remembering that the cost of bringing your application idea to life will depend on many factors. Find out more about them and take advantage of the free estimation!
10 App ideas for 2022
Despite the aforementioned ideas and generation strategies, your mind is still blank? No problem, we've made every effort to present 10 App Ideas that will unlock your creative block.
Health is a topic that is becoming more and more noticed by people in recent times. Our fast lifestyle and unhealthy habits make us feel the effects more and more. The ongoing pandemic and confinement certainly are not helping us either. Therefore, creating an app that will help track user health with the use of mobile devices is a great idea because this trend will only increase.
In your health app, you should think about using the Internet of Things, which in this case will be called IoMT. You can read more about it in our article - Internet of medical things (IoMT) - what is it, and how is it changing the healthcare industry? IoT is a solution that is a component of the next technological revolution - Industry 4.0 and its well-thought-out implementation in the health application is an idea worth considering.
Another good idea besides measuring users' vitality through IoT is to create a solution that focuses on mental health. The aforementioned pandemic and confinement at home negatively affect our mental health, which is why people more and more often visit specialists in this field. The app that would help users with their mental problems is also an idea worth considering in 2022.
The pandemic will not last forever, and different countries are already starting to ease the restrictions, so it is worth considering the idea of creating an application that will allow the user to find the most interesting places to visit around the world or one that will facilitate his journey.
We can already observe that people travel more because they want to take away the time lost sitting at home. When the restrictions disappear, such an application may turn out to be a hit. In addition, for now, you could add a module that would show the current restrictions in a given country and the needed tests.
It can also be a great idea to add elements known from a random chat app to such a travel app that would allow users to easily meet new people in the visited places!
People nowadays love to follow every aspect of their lives, from the previously mentioned health to packages and buses. Therefore, another idea for the application is to create a digital product whose main feature will be tracking.
Use one of the earlier idea generation techniques and see what needs to be tracked in your city/neighborhood. Perhaps public transport is never on time, and it would be worth following the location of buses or trams, or maybe people around you miss tracking their dogs? Think about creating your own tracking app.
A management application is always a good idea as there is a very high market demand for this type of solution, from warehouse or hall management to customer management.
Consider which market segment you want to hit with your idea and start helping entrepreneurs through your application! Recently, it is also a good idea to create a restaurant management app, as gastronomy is thriving, and many people need such solutions, to run the restaurant according to plan.
We are betting that 2022 will be the year in which people will start to embrace each other and slowly return to normal life. Therefore, a fitness app with which the user could exercise their physical form at home is a great idea. Plus, if the pandemic returns, the app will have a chance to stand out even more.
This type of application may contain options such as built-in contact with specialists, gamification elements, such as leaderboards, or tracking our pulse, breathing, etc., via IoT.
In addition, this type of solution can also be used as a motivation app that rewards the user for each training session with virtual points or prizes.
More and more young people want to gain their funds and become independent from their parents, and adults often want to earn extra money. Therefore, another idea that we present is an application thanks to which users will be able to list and order services.
We mean mowing the lawn, fixing the sink, or taking a photo session. People have many skills and talents that can bring income for them and your startup through such an app!
The E-learning market has experienced a real boom thanks to Covid-19. Despite the market saturation, we believe there is still space for mobile e-learning applications. However, the most important thing is how we establish the idea, let's take, for example, our client UJJI, for whom we’ve created a mobile e-learning app.
However, this is not just another language learning app. The UJJI application educates people through games and fun to fight procrastination and achieve their goals. We used this application to illustrate that e-learning is such a broad field that there will always be room for more interesting and innovative applications.
When people think about e-learning, they mainly see maths or foreign language lessons, but this type of solution can be implemented even in a karaoke app! A user with such an e-learning karaoke app could use it to improve their vocal skills and learn voice emission.
All over the world, the number of cars is constantly increasing, and the tight structure of cities makes finding parking spots more and more difficult. Another good idea for an application is to create an application that, through the sensors placed in the parking, would show the driver which parking lot in his vicinity is still available.
This way, the driver saves time and nerves. This type of solution is another on the list that uses IoT technology. We believe that over the next few years, this technology will become the basis of many successful applications and will transform the market landscape.
Another parking app idea would be based on connecting the phone with the car. Once the user wants to find his parked car, he enters the application which, with the use of augmented reality, shows him exactly how to navigate, to find his car.
Such apps like Amazon, or eBay, which are giants in this segment, will be hard to beat. Therefore, think about which target group is making many specialized purchases and target your application to them. We mean, for example, RPG players who make purchases in a very well-defined range and would be happy if a special marketplace application aimed only at them, would be created.
Of course, this group is just an example. Still, our message in this idea is to create a marketplace app targeted at specific people with specific interests. It is such a broad topic that you can even create a food donation app. The sky is the limit!
Regardless of whether you want to create an Android app or an iOS app, as long as the smartphone has a camera, this idea can work. The application that allows you to scan barcodes with your phone and immediately add them to your shopping list, not only makes shopping easier but also allows you to manage expenses. It is much easier to look at the application and see the bill before buying than to give up products after scanning them at the checkout.
Additionally, you can create a deal alert app, which goal would be to send push notifications with sales when a user is entering a shop. Such an app would need to be connected to the GPS module of a mobile device.
Supermarket checkout app
If you are still looking for mobile app development ideas, this one might suit you. There are more and more supermarkets, and where supermarkets are, there are customers. This is a great target group, as most of them are in a rush when shopping. Such a supermarket checkout app could greatly speed up the checkout process! Your app could save customers' time, and in return, users would be loyal to your app!
Home security app
The number of Internet-connected devices is constantly growing. Unsurprisingly, one of the app ideas for 2022 is a home security app. It can be used to monitor users' premises with the help of cameras and sensor data. Users can also get notifications about any unusual activity. Such an app would need to be integrated with various home automation devices and systems.
Food delivery app
People are getting used to the idea of ordering food online. The trend is likely to continue in the future, so a food delivery app would be a good idea for 2022. You can start small, with a limited number of restaurants in your city. Alternatively, you can offer a wider range of food options, including groceries and prepared meals.
Digital receipt app
Health is the most important thing we have, and that is why people will not quit seeing doctors. A digital receipt app is an innovative app idea that could revolutionize the medical industry in your country. For example, in Poland, such receipts are something completely normal. In fact, we don't use paper ones anymore. In order to make such an app, you should entrust this task to professionals, as it will hold patients' sensitive data.
Augmented reality app
Augmented reality is one of the brilliant app ideas that we want to show you.
What is augmented reality? It is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are "augmented" by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data.
One of the most popular examples of an AR app is Pokemon Go. This app became insanely popular in 2016, and even now, in 2022, people are still playing it. Of course, the app had some problems initially, but they were quickly fixed, and now it is one of the most popular games ever.
If you want to create an augmented reality app, you will need a team of professionals, as it is not an easy thing to do. You will need developers, designers, and testers, as well as people who are familiar with AR technology.
Creating an augmented reality app is not cheap, either. You will need to invest a lot of money into it, and it may not even be successful. But if you are willing to take your chance, you could achieve great success!
There are many yoga apps on the market, but most of them are focused on providing yoga poses and instructions. However, there is very few that focus on helping people find the right yoga class for their needs. Such a yoga app could help users find the perfect yoga class based on their location, schedule, and budget. It could also provide reviews of local classes so that users can make an informed decision.
Grocery delivery apps are becoming increasingly popular as people strive for convenience and efficiency. Such a grocery delivery app would allow users to order groceries from their favorite stores and have them delivered to their doorstep. The app could also offer coupons and discounts on certain items, making it even more appealing to users.
Conclusion - Is that all?
No, there are thousands, if not millions, of mobile apps ideas. This article was intended to unlock your creative block. If you will use any of our ideas or come up with your own, we cordially invite you to cooperate with us. Once you have an idea for an application, you must also remember that it is supposed to bring you profit. Check out the top 13 monetization methods!
If our article helped you and you came up with your own idea for an application, you will also probably want to validate it quickly. The best way to do this is to build a minimum viable product. Find out how to build your own MVP with our MVP guide!
We have been in the mobile app development business since 2010, and throughout the years, we have managed to create dozens of mobile applications, which have become the foundations of our client's success. Regardless of what industry or field your idea will target, we can assure you that we will be able to turn it into a great-quality mobile application. If you would like to talk to an experienced mobile app development company, take advantage of our free consultation!
Good luck generating ideas, and we hope that this article will help you with that.