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App ideas can hit on you unpredictably. During the brainstorming, morning walk, in a shower, or a car. And it's very cool if they are. But there are nearly 2.5 million apps in the Google Play Store and 3.7 million in Apple App Store. So even if you come up with an app idea, chances are there's something similar on the market already, and you should go back to searching.
If that's the case, and you are stuck in researching or don't know where to find the best app idea for your startup, don't worry. I've got a complete list of cool app ideas that will boom in 2022.
In addition to being a co-founder of Uptech, I have created a people management startup – Plai, so I know all the sides of entrepreneurship, from long and desperate idea searching to startup launch and first customers. Cool app ideas are just the tip of this article. I'll share with you what stands behind the idea and how to make it real, not just written on the paper list.
Great App Ideas Demands Preparation
What I've learned so far is that good app ideas demand structure and preparation. By structure, I mean organizing the ideation process. By preparation, I mean lots of things. I'll name you the key ones that help me come up with innovative app ideas.
Step 1 – Study the trends
Before coming up with application ideas, the first thing I do is study current business trends. I check the news, do industry-specific research, read the VC investors' predictions, and talk to other entrepreneurs – it all helps me find the best potential vector of my app idea.
Following the trends is also a good approach when you already have a developed product and need to stay competitive. Netflix's shift toward streaming media is a great example of that. When they moved from licensing existing media to producing original content shows, it was exactly what customers wanted from a top streaming company.
They listened to the market and evolved their idea accordingly. I think it was the turning point that made Netflix the most popular streaming platform.
Step 2 – Prepare a list of “How might we…?” questions
The next thing that helps me is the "How might we…?" technique. My best app ideas were born thanks to it. Here's how I use it.
I start by developing the POV, point of view, or often "called problem statement." For example, your POV can sound like:
- People spend so much time transferring money;
Then I start reframing the POV into questions:
- How might we make the process of transferring money faster?
- How might we make the process of transferring money easier?
Instead of saying, we need to design product X, I explore new ideas and solutions to a specific problem. The thing here is that the question can be narrow as the two I mentioned above, or you can come up with a broad version, like:
- How might we improve the fintech industry?
My tip here is to try to ask inspiring and specific questions. For example:
- How might we make an app which transfers money fast and help users be eco-friendly?
- How might we make an app that uses only face ID to transfer money?
The "how might we" methodology frames your ideas into app suggestions rather than turning them into an obstacle. There's no limit to the HMW question number. The more app ideas you generate, the more options you'll have. But if you find yourself with too many, check if you can combine some into one broader HMW. I usually end up with 3-5 broad HWMs and prioritize them in terms of their impact on the project's success.
How we use hypothesis-driven approach to build apps that people need. Read the article.
Step 3 – Challenge your assumptions
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of wrong assumptions and end up with simple app ideas that already exist. Studying the trends can partly prevent you from that but what really comes to the rescue is challenging assumptions.
Challenging assumptions let you think twice about the characteristics of your phone application idea. To carry out this technique, take a step back from your problem statement and question all your assumptions about the problem. The question can sound like this:
- Do I need to know the card number to transfer money?
The question can look silly at first, but it opens a new perspective of thinking so that you can come up with great app ideas.
Inspiring App Ideas for Startups
Before writing this article, I did my homework and already searched for upcoming trends. Based on the information I gathered, I broke down the trending app ideas by the industries predicted to get the most attention from investors or rapidly grow in 2022.
At the end of 2021, TechCrunch posted the article saying, "The digital healthcare revolution has already begun, and it will gain further momentum in 2022 as providers and patients look for new and better ways to improve care."
According to Statista, the total market for mHealth apps is predicted to exceed $50 billion in 2025, comparing to $2 billion in 2016, that would be a massive increase.
So I'll start with mobile app ideas for healthcare.
- A social network app for doctors.
It turned out that 80% of serious medical errors were the result of miscommunication between doctors. So consider creating an app for doctors that will let them communicate with each other in a simple and clear way.
- Medical data storage app.
62% of hospitals use SSDs, tapes, and disks for storing healthcare data. However, these storage devices are a juicy target for hackers. Modern storage systems need improved technologies, like ML, AI for collecting, interpreting, and keeping data safe. It leads to an idea of creating a unified and sequre system for storing data about patients and drug suppliers.
- A remote patient monitoring app.
Telemedicine is growing now, and creating a tool that will allow to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients remotely in text, audio, or video format will definitely be on demand.
- App for psychological support.
A mental health app is one of the app ideas getting more and more attention right now. IoT and AI-based software allow tracking users' mood and activity, eliminating anxiety, giving advice on coping with panic attacks, and setting a daily routine.
- Medipedia app.
Well, that's my version of the app's name, you can come with some better ideas:) The app idea is the next – create an app that will serve as a drug search engine, price comparison tool, a drug delivery service.
Planning to build a Healthcare app? Check out our article "Healthcare Web Development In 2022: In-Depth Guide"
Real Estate Apps
The next mobile app business opportunities that I can't avoid mentioning are apps in real estate. There's a lot of noise around proptech right now, and Crunchbase described what to expect from this market in the upcoming years "Going into 2022, there will likely be more investment in real estate software surrounding the construction and property management spaces".
Here are some ideas for an app if you target the proptech market.
- 3D virtual tour app.
High-quality photos and videos of the property will not be enough for real estate. A 3D virtual tour is a must-have feature to explore the property in 2022. In general, using VR and AR tech will be in great demand.
- App for selling house plans.
Developing an app only to display various house plans ready to sell is a great app idea that will benefit both buyer and seller. It can include house plans for couples, families, and singles. You can either gather the plans directly from architects or act as a brokerage, allowing the architects to upload their plans by themselves.
- Property value calculator.
AI, ML, and big data are among the top software trends, so ignoring them would be unwise. You can build an app using big data to evaluate property value. ML algorithms will help you predict how much your business will get in commission after every closed deal. Pattern recognition helps define when a property becomes popular. Not all app ideas are easy app ideas, but it definitely brings value.
Planning to build a Real Estate app? Check out our article "Developing A Competitive Mobile Real Estate App In 5 Steps"
According to Matrix Fintech Index launched by Crunchbase, fintech is another market worth your attention. "Fintech tailwinds, strengthened by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, only accelerated in 2021. And despite public markets' rocky start in early January, we're confident that 2022 will be another banner year for the sector."
Check these fintech app ideas.
- Investment App
Just for the record, the global eTrading market size is expected to grow from $8.7 billion in 2021 to $12.1 billion in 2028. This is huge. So you can grab your opportunity by developing an app for investments where users can deposit funds, place buy and sell orders, etc.
- Carbon footprint tracking app
Sustainability is a rising tide, and you can reflect it in the app idea. For example, building an app that tracks carbon footprints based on your investments. You can include a feature that helps investors invest in green and sustainable businesses to add more value. Here’s the case study for a green fintech app – Crabon Club, we helped to develop.
- Cryptocurrency exchange app
Around 80 million people use blockchain wallets all over the world. You can make an app that allows users to buy, sell and exchange cryptocurrencies using USD, BTC, ETH, and many other currencies.
Planning to build a Fintech app? Check out our article "7 Steps To Mobile Banking App Development"
Food & Grocery Apps
There is no bigger industry on our planet than food and agriculture, and food tech is looking over the shoulder.
According to the Emergen Research report, "The global food tech market size was $220 billion in 2019, and it is anticipated to reach $342.52 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 6% during the forecast period."
Here are some app ideas to think about.
- Food delivery app.
Well, cooking sometimes can be very time-consuming. But people want to be healthy, so you can simplify their life and build an app that will deliver easy-to-cook meals on a regular basis.
- Ghost kitchens.
One more rising trend in foodtech is ghost kitchens – these are basically the restaurants without the dining space. Their focus is to sell food online using third-party apps like UberEats and DoorDash, or their own delivery operation. You can take this niche and create a food delivery app that only partners with virtual restaurants.
- App for home cooking.
Home cooking demands creativity, and we often lack it. You can make an app that allows users to add the products they have in the fridge so that the app can mix them into a dish.
- Reduce food waste app.
One more sustainable app idea. Creating software that collects data in real-time so that food suppliers can more accurately balance their supply and demand so less food would be wasted before it reaches the consumer.
Planning to build a Fintech app? Check out our article "How To Build A Food Delivery App (Like Uber Eats)"
App Idea is Good but What About the Rest?
It's an open secret that a great app idea doesn't mean 100% startup success. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, at his Startup Playbook, wrote:
"To have a successful startup, you need: a great idea (including a great market), a great team, a great product, and great execution."
There are many factors affecting the final result. Looking back on the past 6 years, when I was just at the starting point of entrepreneurship, it's clear how lucky I was with some of my choices. But now I know for sure that relying on an app idea only is a losing strategy.
Here are the five pieces of advice I'd like to share:
Team should be passionate about the idea
Not all teams like all ideas, and it's ok. Gather a team that will be passionate about solving this particular problem.
The team's experience should fit the idea
Developing Android app ideas? Find a team of experienced Android developers. If it's going to be a foodtech startup, preferably, the team should have experience in the food tech field.
Stand from the crowd, don't just make "better but cheaper"
Copying competitor's app idea, making "better but cheaper" usually doesn't work. Find ways to be different. Without offering something different, it's very hard to compete without big funding.
Research, research, and again, research
I can't stress it enough making an investigation, and dive deep into the area before committing to the idea – is essential and time&money saving.
Choose between the growing trend and established market
Riding on the growing trend is much easier than working in a high-competitive crowded market. Choose the option that suits you, your app idea, and your team best.
Cool App Ideas Aggregators
Finishing, I'd like to share my list of cool app development ideas aggregators and websites. I find it really helpful when I'm running out of ideas and stuck. Check them out. Hope, you'll find them useful.
- Product Ideas Prompts
- Discover exploding Topics
- Wishlist Webflow
- Trends #0010 — Startup Studios
- Validated Ideas 2.0
In my opinion, for any startup founder, the least risky way to start a business is to come up with a simple, safe, and unremarkable app idea. My biggest piece of advice is not to do so. Pick an ambitious app idea, research it well, test it and determine whether it will work.
Of course, it can take weeks and months, but innovative app ideas don't appear in a moment. Fundamentally, your goal is to evolve an app idea into a sustainable, profitable business.
If you already have an inspiring app idea in your mind but lack product development expertise, we are here to help. Contact us to get your project off the ground.