6 Mobile App Inspirations for Developers

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 18 Feb, 2015

Consumers can't get enough of mobile apps, with Flurry Analytics revealing that overall app usage grew by 76 percent in 2014.

This is good news for developers who can cash in on the mobile app momentum by monetizing their own apps with advertisements, in-app purchases, premium app versions and more. The challenge, however, is that the app stores are becoming flooded with new apps every day, which is making it more important than ever for developers to come up with innovative ideas that will help their apps stand out from the crowd and get more downloads than the competition.

To serve as inspiration for the development of your next mobile app, check out the six app ideas featured below:

1. Health and Fitness with a Twist

The health and fitness app category is popular among consumers, as it seems like people are becoming more mindful of the things they eat and their daily activity levels. That said, it can be challenging for developers to create a fitness app that is unique when compared to the rest of the fitness trackers and calorie counters that reside in the app stores - but it can be done.

Take CARROT Hunger as an example. This app takes a different approach to fitness by essentially shaming people into living a healthier lifestyle. While the app takes a controversial approach to motivating its users, it does keep them cognizant of the impact foods can have on their bodies by converting calories into more understandable terms, such as informing its users of how many miles they will need to run to work off a slice of pizza. By relating to users on this level and being a bit controversial, CARROT motivates users to come back to see what other outlandish things the app might say and share their experiences with the friends via word of mouth.

2. More Engaging Weather

Weather apps are very handy tools. The problem, however, is that consumers typically only engage with weather apps once a day. This is why developers looking to create an app in this category should think about ways they can increase consumer engagement with their app, such as by adding gamification features that encourage app interaction. Gamification, however, is only one tactic for increasing app engagement.

Funny or Die, for example, took a more humorous approach with its weather app. With the Funny or Die weather app, consumers can view clever daily thoughts, jokes and facts of the day. Moreover, users have the ability to share these jokes (and forecasts) with friends via text, email and social media - which is a great referral tool for developers. 3. A New Dating Game

Creating a dating app that can compete with the likes of Tinder may seem like a tough task, but developers must keep in mind that there is always room for innovation.

Glint, for instance, is an example of an app that is looking to make a name for itself in the dating category. The app is doing this by combining two popular app activities - digital dating and gaming. Essentially, Glint users meet each other by playing a game. Each user receives a deck of 52 cards that feature other players. Users then peruse their way through the deck by either selecting to pass or play a game with the person featured on each card. This helps break the ice and makes it easier for users to get to know each other. Moreover, it makes the app more engaging than other dating apps on the market.

4. Fitting into a Niche

Perhaps the easiest way to develop a unique app is to create one that fulfills a certain need within a niche, as these apps will typically have less competition.

For instance, Bring Fido is an app created specifically for dog lovers. With this app, users can discover dog-friendly locations, such as hotels, parks and restaurants, near them or in a specified area. Conversely, an app like Delectable Wines is a handy tool for wine aficionados who want to learn more about spirits before making a purchase. In fact, even popular app developer Vine Labs saw the opportunity in creating an app specifically for a niche, as it recently released the Vine Kids app that features animated characters and videos that are appropriate for young audiences.

While the aforementioned apps weren't created for mass audiences like some other app categories (we are looking at you weather), they do cater to a specific group of people who are likely to be loyal users. 5. A New Style of Shopping

The shopping category had the greatest growth out of any other app category in 2014 according to Flurry's previously mentioned data. This opens up a big opportunity to developers looking to make a splash with a shopping app.

Peekabuy is an example of a developer trying to add its own style to the shopping category. The developer's Style It app, for instance, engages users by enabling them to create personalized outfits to match a clothing item they already own. Through the app, users can upload a picture of an apparel item and then the app will offer 10 different outfits based on the uploaded picture. Users then have the ability to customize their outfits with more than 1 million different apparel items from 8,000-plus stores. Additionally, users can shop outfits directly from the app as well as share outfits with friends.

6. Diversifying Gaming

Most mobile users have some sort of gaming app downloaded on their device, whether it be an all-time favorite gaming app like Candy Crush or a new favorite like Trivia Crack. In fact, games are a great opportunity for developers, as there are many different types of gaming apps that can be created. Moreover, successful gaming apps are engaging by nature, which can ease the workload of developers.

Disney recently decided to take a different approach to the typical app store game with the launch of its Disney Inquizitive app. This app capitalizes on the content quiz trend made popular by publishers like Buzzfeed, as it allows users to quickly take quizzes on their mobile device to discover things like which Disney villain they would be or which Disney prince is their soulmate. Although a simple concept, the app serves its purpose, is engaging and definitely works as a great time killer for those who have it downloaded. Let Inspiration Strike

Although it is impossible to predict which app ideas will be studs in the app stores and which will be duds, it is important to keep in mind that the most successful apps are those that are unique, engaging and serve a purpose. For additional app inspiration, head on over to Application Magazine to catch up on the latest app reviews and news.