mobile app idea

How to find a new mobile app idea?

Creating a mobile app can be a real booster for your business, especially if you run a startup but can also be a great start for a new business. There are already thousands of apps that earn money for businesses all over the world. New app ideas as well as improvements of old apps happen to conquer the market suddenly and unexpectedly. 

How does this happen? How to find good app ideas that will bring you profitability? What ideas are actually worth investing in? How to make money on a mobile app? In this article we’ll present some ways to find the best app ideas and for businesses, provide you with inspirational materials for creative mobile app ideas and show you a step by step guide on what to do before and after deciding to build a mobile app.

Why is creating an app for my business a good way to go? 

Why do you even think of finding an app idea? Maybe, you know that it can be a great booster for your business? Perhaps you have encountered a problem and you can see that it can be solved through a mobile app? And that a software solution is something that can bring you profitability? It’s true and to confirm it, let’s have a look at the data:

In 2020, global revenue from mobile apps increased to over 318 billion U.S. dollars. This was an increase of over 60 billion U.S. dollars compared to 2019. The Statista Digital Market Outlook estimates that revenue across most segments will increase over the next few years and overall will reach around 613 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.

So if you’re considering any app ideas for your business, it is probably the right moment and with the right tools, it will definitely bring you success. 

App idea validation checklist

Inspirations and practical advice on how to find new mobile app ideas

Let’s have a look at some inspiration sources for new app ideas and practical advice on what to do to find a mobile app idea, and to make use of it. 

Problem-based app idea

Usually the best situation to create a new mobile app is when you realize that a certain problem exists among a certain group of people and it can be solved by a mobile app. That’s how, it seems that before even creating the app, you already have a good app idea and a determined target audience. This is why often people highlight this way to find an app idea and say it’s the best one to succeed. 

So maybe you’ll be able to come up with some app ideas while considering a specific problem. Or maybe you’ll notice a problem users have with a specific app that isn’t supported anymore. Another case would be if the app is already on the market, but you notice that the same problem can be solved in a better way. However it goes, if you recognize a problem and an app idea for a solution – you’re all set. 

Searching for what people search

How to find out what problems people have so that you can solve them? Check in Google. You can search what people ask there and get inspired to solve their problems. Using for example, you can see the most popular searches for any keyword you can think of. 

Apps on mobile app stores and others 

If you don’t know which way to go, maybe you should browse places where you can find thousands of app ideas and then just narrow them down to the ones you’re most interested in. You can do it e.g. on mobile app stores, such as Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery

In these mobile app stores you can find different app categories and sections, such as “the most popular”, “top 10 this week”, “top 100 this month” etc. That’s how you can search for what’s most interesting to you, what you know the best, as well as what is trending and worth investing in. You can also base your app idea on a couple of mobile apps instead of searching for the one that inspires you. Sometimes a mix of a few app ideas might bring the best results. 

Latest trends

Another way to find a good app idea could be to take a look at the latest trends and think about what the apps that support these trends lack. Also, if you come up with new mobile app ideas to take advantage of a new trend for the first time, that’s also great. That was for example what TikTok did. The world has already switched from desktop to mobile, short movie clips and filters have become more and more popular… This social networking app was exactly what people needed and wanted at that time, to share funny videos and insights with their friends and audience. That’s how you use a trend to become incredibly popular! You can find a more detailed history of TikTok here.

Here are some mobile app ideas based on the most popular apps in 2022:


  • Social networking app 

Social media platforms are still very popular, but have definitely moved to mobile phones. If you’re into creating such an app, remember to consider video and voice chats as mobile users like using these types of chats more and more often. 


  • To-do list

New mobile app ideas still quite often involve to-do lists apps for creating your tasks list, shopping lists etc. Thought there are already lots of them? It doesn’t bother app creators to hit the market with new ones. The fact that such apps reach the top lists in mobile stores is good proof that sometimes it’s worth searching for app ideas among popular products and building a similar one. 


  • Productivity app

Productivity and motivation apps, including habit trackers and the above mentioned to-do lists, are also among the most popular ones on mobile stores. Also, apps to help you focus on learning or working and to help you relax are now becoming popular. For example the Endel app, using soundscapes, and Forest by a tree grow simulation. And despite the fact that there are already tons of apps to support you with your resolutions and help you concentrate, new ones are still being created! 


  • Food donation app

Food donation apps support the Zero Waste principles by connecting users with stores and restaurants, to enable buying close-to-expiry products before they’re thrown away at a lower price. Venues can share their offer in the app so that users can reserve and save the food before it’s wasted.


  • Photo and video editing app 

Such apps gain popularity because sharing photos and videos in social media is still in and we cannot let it become boring! Photo and video editing can also be available e.g. in a social networking app, like on Instagram


  • E-commerce app

You don't have to follow the latest technology news to know that mobile commerce is gaining popularity at a dizzying pace. For years now, this way of shopping has been in demand among customers. M-commerce sales are projected to exceed $430 billion in 2022 and $710 billion in 2025. If you already have an online store, there’s nothing to wait for!


  • Food and grocery delivery app 

These mobile app ideas have particularly paid off in 2020 when people preferred or had to stay home and order food and groceries online. Users have become very accustomed to this method of ordering food and, despite open restaurants, still value such apps. 


  • Mobile games

The strongest segment in 2020 was the mobile games segment with a revenue of over 200 billion U.S. dollars, followed by social networking mobile apps, which created a revenue of around 31 billion dollars.

new mobile app idea

E-commerce mobile apps

One of the greatest trends nowadays is definitely mobile commerce (e-commerce mobile apps or m-commerce). In 2020, global revenue from mobile apps increased to over 318 billion U.S. dollars and in 2021 it was more than 400 billion U.S. dollars

So if you have an online store, there’s nothing to think about – you need a mobile app! No need to come up with a new app idea, just make your website move to mobile and get new customers straight away. 

E-commerce and m-commerce also have their trends and among them there are: 


  • Voice commerce 

It’s a technology based on artificial intelligence which helps you do shopping just with your voice and a smart device like a mobile phone or smart speaker. Voice search, and what came next, voice activated shopping has become very popular due to the simplicity and speed of this solution. It’s among the smarter mobile shopping tools, using artificial intelligence to hear and understand a human's voice, and to execute commands. If you’re looking for mobile app development ideas for an m-commerce app, voice commerce is definitely worth considering. 


  • Livestream shopping

Live commerce uses one of the most popular communication channels nowadays and enables shopping through live streaming. It’s a part of visual commerce. Online stores offer their customers the possibility to see the products on a live stream and reserve it with a message on the chat. It enables direct communication with the seller which is a great advantage for customer satisfaction. It enables a really personalized shopping experience e.g. when stores invite influencers or celebrities to show their products. Among different app ideas for m-commerce, live commerce apps are the least known and popular. It’s still a niche. 


  • Augmented reality

Online retailers more and more often use augmented reality (AR) in apps or on the website. Online shops start using it to attract customers who want to see the product in real size before buying. It’s a great opportunity for all ecommerce businesses to show their products in virtual reality. Digital commerce was never this close to physical experience. Implementing AR is among the greatest app ideas for every store!


  • Social commerce

Using social media channels is probably the best way to reach a large number of customers. Now, in addition to advertising and encouraging users with your content, you can sell directly through social media. There are many ways - offering sales through stories and posts, using the marketplace of a given platform, linking, but also live streams offered by dedicated social media services. 

Social commerce has become very popular especially among small independent businesses. Small entrepreneurs often start their business through social commerce without generating additional costs, e.g. for creating an ecommerce platform. 

Creating an e-commerce app that takes advantage of the above trends will also be a great idea and will probably ensure you with success! It doesn’t necessarily have to be an app for a specific store. You can think about a solution useful for this market segment and benefit from its popularity. How about creating an app for ecommerce shop owners, e.g. a tool for mobile app analytics or A/B tests


Best app ideas come from mobile apps users. Gather a team of non-technical people who use different mobile apps and try to come up with some app ideas together. There are different techniques to follow during the brainstorm. Maybe, try this one:

Think about the worst possible app ideas. And not the worst mobile app itself, like one that doesn’t work. It’s too easy. Try to find an actually bad app idea. What did you think of? Maybe it’s an app that already exists? Because why would someone create the same app again? So let’s assume that one of the worst ideas for mobile apps are those which already exist. But as soon as you dig a little deeper or ask someone about it, it turns out that, hey, you'd change something, at least one thing, in EVERY app you use. 

Conclusion: as long as most people would also change this one thing (maybe a feature) in the app that already exists, you can create a similar one with this feature changed. And that is what actually happens all the time and that’s also how the best app ideas are born. 

You can also find inspiration in:

How to verify if your idea has business potential?

Before starting to develop an app, it is worth doing some simple market research. The process should look like this:


  • Shape and validate the idea

If your idea is based on a problem to solve that you’ve noticed in a specific area, it’s probably a good choice to give it a try. Sometimes people try to force a concept for an app that isn’t even needed and will probably bring little users. But it can’t be judged on the stage where you only have an app idea. It all comes from the research. 

Whatever path you have followed and wherever your business idea came from, you need to make sure it brings you a solution that is effective and profitable. So the first thing to do is write down the idea and build it so that it’s fully understandable for others. Then you can present it to the target audience and ask for their feedback. 


  • Do the market research 

Once your idea is clear it’s time to assess who the target audience is, so people who will use your app. It’s strongly related to the first step of the process and can mix with it. What might be very helpful in doing this research is creating a user persona and doing the competitive analysis. The truth is that by preparing them, you can also find new app ideas.


  • Gather future users’ feedback

You should also collect feedback and insights from target users. Yes, it is harder than in case of the existing users you can simply ask in the app, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible or that they are unreachable. Look for people who can belong to your target group and ask for their opinion on your idea. You can try with surveys, social media portals, emails etc. If your business already has customers, your task will be easier. 

That’s how you’ll be ready to assess whether your idea has business potential and can bring you a profitable solution! 

new mobile app idea

Maybe you need an MVP? 

We’re not saying to never dream big… We’re saying: start with small steps to finally develop your app idea and make it a fully fledged, efficient and useful product. 

When looking for an app idea and inspirations in other apps, especially the popular ones, people tend to forget that even the best apps started with MVPs – minimum viable products, with less features than they have now. MVP is about providing users with the most important features, releasing the product as soon as possible and checking if it fits the market. Usually when building a minimum viable product you aim to expand it later. Of course, if the first version met your expectations. 

It’s definitely worth considering if your app idea can be an MVP idea. No matter what your inspiration was to create a mobile app, you can’t be sure about the results it brings, if you meet the expectations of the target audience etc. That’s why creating an MVP might be a great step. Then, you can plan further development of your mobile app with new features. 

The decision is made. What’s next? 

Assuming that you’re done looking for a new mobile app idea and found the one you want to create for your business – what to do next? Well, you need a team and some education on how the process of building a mobile app works. 

Find the right team

Once you dive into the mobile app development industry you’ll probably soon find out that you’ll stay there for a while. Firstly, building an app is rather a long process, not only for the mobile app development team implementing features, but also for you. Secondly, you might really love it and once you know how it’s done, you may come up with next app ideas and you may want to take advantage of them! When it comes to finding the right mobile app development company and team, here’s an article that will help you learn how to do it. 

Product discovery

One of the first things that will be done in the mobile app development process is getting through product discovery. It involves a careful examination of whether the problem we want to solve actually exists for our potential customers and how we should do it. 

The goals of product discovery are to:

  • Understand and define users’ problems 
  • Validate the solution ideas of the team 
  • Create solutions that address the actual expectations of customers/users
  • Reduce risks occurring before, during and after the product development. 

Read more about product discoveries here

Product roadmap

Product roadmap is a shared source of truth that outlines the vision, direction, priorities, and progress of a product over time. It's a plan of action that aligns the organization around short and long-term goals for the product or project and ways to achieve them. It should be created or extended every time a product release is planned. You can always ask the app developers for help in that case.

Plan the budget and get the funds

Costs to create a mobile app vary a lot, depending on the specifics of the projects and the team. Once you know what features are included in your app idea and requirements for the product are clear, it’s possible to estimate costs. 

However, remember that it’s always better to wait longer and raise more funds than build a product using the cheapest ways, ending up with an app that isn’t usable and is full of errors. If you have a fixed budget and it’s not enough for your mobile app ideas, rethink the core features or try to get more funds before the project kicks off. 

Decide about the technologies

Of course the app development team should be there to help you make that decision, but if you’d like to have your own opinion about cross-platform and native app development, you can find lots of valuable information in Native vs cross-platform mobile app development. Which one to choose?.

Develop the product 

When the previous steps are completed, it’s time to bring your mobile app ideas to life! Remember that during this process you should keep in touch with the app developers too. 

Launch and promote the app

After the development, the app can be launched on mobile app stores and it’s time to start promoting it so that it can reach as great audience as possible. 

Collect users’ feedback again

Now you can gather feedback and opinions from the actual users of your app. The early adopters can tell you even more about the success of your app than various metrics you’ll measure by yourself. This step is just as important as the rest because when you decide to develop the product further, you’ll need users’ opinions to decide what features should be implemented or/and extended.

How do businesses make money on mobile apps?

There are different methods of mobile app monetization and ways to earn money on apps. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a paid app. Your customers can take advantage of a free mobile app and you can still make a profit for your business. Here are some of the monetization models for a mobile app: 


  • In-app advertising 

In this model, the app is available for free and offers full access to all features, but in return, users see ads in various places so that the app generates revenue. There are different types of in-app ads, such as banner ads, video ads and playable ads. 


  • In-app purchases 

This mobile app monetization strategy implies that the app is usually free, but you can make purchases of digital or physical goods while using it. 


  • Paid mobile apps

Paid mobile apps have a set price and can only be downloaded after making a payment. This model is recommended for mobile apps that provide a unique value to their users, standing out from the competition.


  • Free + paid apps 

In this mobile app monetization strategy, the app is available in two versions: free and paid. A user can download an app free of cost and it may, for example, offer less functionalities. The paid version is more complex, thus the app users may be encouraged to choose the paid option for comfort.


  • Subscription 

It usually refers to content-oriented apps. In this monetization model, an app can be downloaded for free from the mobile store but it has some limits or even using it without payment may not be possible. 


  • Freemium

It is similar to the subscription model but it offers much more for free and only some of the functionalities are available after in-app purchases (e.g. additional content or no ads).


  • Partnership

If your mobile app operates in a specific niche market and you have gathered a large user base, other companies related to that industry may approach you with an offer of collaboration and sponsorship, e.g. by buying advertising space.


  • Affiliation and commissions

In this particular type of monetization model, revenue is generated when someone purchases another service or product through your app (in marketplaces) or a special referral link placed in your app. Then, you earn a commission fee from that purchase. 

If you’d like to know more about mobile app monetization methods and how much money you can make on an app, jump to this article


The fact is that there are millions of apps for mobile phones, tablets, wearables and other mobile devices to choose from. In 2021, Android users were able to choose between 3.48 million apps in Google Play Store. The Apple App Store was the second-largest app store with roughly 2.22 million available apps for iOS. The number of apps has been steadily increasing over the years and is still growing. 

That’s why it seems quite hard to find original app ideas that will conquer the market. And that’s why it’s important not to try to come up with a revolutionary idea because sometimes it’s about creating a very similar app to the existing one, but more usable, more enjoyable or… promoted better. Because it also matters. 

Useful materials

Read also these articles before deciding to develop a product for your business, to set an effective mobile app strategy and be able to prepare for the process in the best possible way:

new mobile app idea