Okay, let me start with this, mobile apps are more than just a trend – they’re here to stay. By 2017, the app market will be an astounding – take a deep breath – 77 billion dollar industry! Yep, that’s right. And guess what, it’s only going to get bigger.
The paid-for app revenue forecasted for 2017 stands at a whopping $1.95 billion whereas in-app purchase revenues are estimated to reach 28.9 billion by 2017.
The chart below shows the share of the three main revenue generating models in apps from 2011 to 2017.
According to Gartner, by 2017 mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times – officially making mobile apps one of the most popular and most loved computing tool in the world.
Additionally, Synecoretech puts these huge numbers into context for us by breaking them down further. Compared with the size of the current population of the world, which stands at 7.1 billion, means that every man, woman and child will have downloaded 37 apps by 2017.
By 2016, there will be an estimated 2.08 billion smartphones users in the world. And considering that a large number of people don’t have access to the internet, mobile or apps, (like my boss’s one-year-old baby), means that people who do have access will be downloading a much bigger number of apps than mentioned above.
According to Statista, below are the app trends that users engage most with.
Smartphones and tablets are brilliant creations and are also on the rise. Today, mobile apps have become the official channels that drive content to consumers.
There is an app available today for practically everything under the sun that a person might want to do. From entertainment to news, to productivity service, home automation, fashion, shopping and more, mobile apps are catering to every conceivable need of a person.
As of summer 2016, over 130 billion mobile apps have been downloaded from the Apple App Store alone. As consumers continue to interact with apps, what they do, where they go and how they think is continuously shifting and upgrading the application paradigm. Apps are providing an excellent opportunity for brands and business to understand how customers behave and feel, and receiving feedback directly from the user’s interaction with an app is treated as a resource.
Despite all the big numbers and even bigger growth rates, I’d like to believe that here we have merely scratched the surface of smart mobile technology and there is a lot more that can still be done.
Just to give you a glimpse of what the statistics say about the use of apps, here’s some research by Flurry that shows how we use our smart devices – and apps clearly dominate the way we use mobile web.
So, what app trends are dominating the App Stores? Research says that games are the biggest killer apps of the market. Here’s are the 2016 statistics by Statista that show games to be far ahead of any other category.
So if your business doesn’t already boast an exciting, engaging app, you better start working on one right away.
- Why Apps Are Important for Small Businesses
- Must-Have Features on Your App That Translate into Dollars
- How Are Apps Better Than Mobile Websites?
- Create Apps for Food Lovers
- Health, Fitness and Calorie Counting Apps
- Fitness App Ideas
- Apps for Fashion Lovers
- Apps for Sports Fans
- Apps for Dating
- Productivity Apps
- Time Management Apps
- Entrepreneur App Ideas
- Apps to Help You Make Some Extra Money
Why Apps Are Important for Small Businesses
According to a study by Cisco Consulting Services, 55% of people in the study said they use retail apps, with an additional 34% also claiming to use third party apps to improve their shopping experience.
The study also revealed two other important facts. First, that consumers want more brands and retailers to create apps, and secondly, that consumers also shared the kind of experiences they would like these apps to offer.
With 4.61 billion mobile users present in the world today, almost a quarter of them are using smartphones, which makes it a big priority for businesses to optimize content for mobile users.
Mobile apps offer a convenient and efficient way for users to access the information of their choice, and this has therefore made all the more necessary for businesses to understand how users interact with apps, in order to keep up with the habits of their users, and provide them with what they are looking for.
Before you try to understand why mobile apps are so important for your business, consider these facts first.
This is why apps are fast becoming the most dominant form of communication with consumers. Today, people are always on the move, and require all information on their fingertips. Whether they use mobile phones, tablets or other smart devices, they have all the information they need to get from where they are to where they want to be. These are some of the reasons why mobile apps are so essential for your business today.
No matter what your business is, a great mobile app will get and retain customers for you. When a customer wants a product or service, the first place they go to search for it is online. Your business will have the right impression on your customer if he can find your website and download your app to interact and purchase from your business.
Here are some of the biggest benefits for your business if you have a mobile app.
- Reinforces brand image.
- Makes you more visible.
- Increases accessibility to your business.
- Pushes online sales.
- Increases your company’s exposure across the different mobile devices.
- Connects you with customers who are on-the-move.
- Builds a database of clients/ consumers/ prospects.
Now let’s take a look at how your customers will benefit from your mobile app.
- They will have easy access to all your inventory
- Your contact info will be just a tap away.
- They will get notified for special discounts, launches, sales etc.
- Get directions to your location from anywhere they are.
Last but definitely not the least, the most important reason why you should build your own app is because of customer loyalty.
If you think that mobile apps are for large brands like Walmart and Starbucks, well, think again. Even mid-sized and small businesses understand the importance of creating a strong mobile strategy – which will be incomplete unless there is a mobile app in the picture too.
Let’s go into the detail of how mobile apps can help your business.
Apps create a direct marketing channel
Apps are important for so any reasons and serve many purposes for both the buyer and the seller including, easy access to general info, prices, ease of search , booking forms, latest news feeds, user accounts and much more. The best part about having a mobile app is that the most important things that you’d like your customers to know – discounts, promotions, special offers – can be sent to them through push notifications.
In fact, push notifications bring you closer to your customers as this technique grabs their attention much better. Constant Contact – a company which sends emails on behalf of its more than 500,000 customers found that the average click rate for emails (even for the hottest key industries) is below 15%, unlike push notifications which have at least 50% better open rates.
This way you can remind customers about important events whenever needed.
Providing value to customers
How about digitizing that loyalty program which is a big hit with your store customers? Instead of just sticking to the old system of collecting points through cards, make it possible for your customers to collect rewards through your mobile app. It would result in more downloads and more happy customers who return frequently for more of what you have to offer.
Increased customer engagement
The purpose of creating an app is exactly this; to enhance customer engagement experience. Whether you are selling cars or spa services, your customers need a way to reach you. Having a feature that allows customers to connect with you can make a big difference to your bottom line.
OpenTable created their entire business model on this system. Instead of calling restaurants to book a table, you can do the same in less than 5 clicks on a restaurant app. Now think about this: are you making your customers’ life easy? Yes. Will they come back for more? Definitely, yes. Every. Single. Time.
Create brand recognition
A well-designed app that is in sync with company values can greatly contribute to brand awareness. For branding purposes, you can make it into whatever you want, informative, shocking, stylish, hip, functional etc. while what you really want to do is to create an app that your customers will really, really love, enjoy using and come back to again and again.
Additionally, the more involved and engaged customers get with your app, the sooner they will purchase your products and services. Hearing or seeing your brand 20 times is what will get you noticed, as a rule of thumb. This is also known as ‘effective frequency’.
Stand out from the competition
At this point of time, the concept of small businesses having apps is still just growing. So be the first one in your neighborhood to offer an exciting app for your products and services, and then stand back and see the results.
Cultivate customer loyalty
Finally, customer loyalty is that one benefit which should encourage you to build a mobile app. Because of the immense advertising that surrounds all of us – billboards, TV advertisements, Facebook ads, email promotions, brochures, flyers, newspaper ads etc – slowly makes us lose our impact on customers.
In all this noise that constantly surrounds us, it is time to go back to the basics and create a sincere and true relationship with customers. A mobile app can allow you to stay much closer to your customers now than ever before.
Must-have features on your app that translate into dollars
Now, the question is what makes your app click with your customers? What should you add that would make the app as effective for your business as it should be? Let’s take a look:
Install a strong feedback system
First things first, feedback is the reason why businesses small and large have turned to apps. Unfortunately, most large businesses provide a boring contact form in the name of consumer queries, which seldom leads to the desired outcome for the consumer, wastes time and oftentimes pushes customers away. This kind of system is inefficient, to say the least.
[bctt tweet=”Feedback is the reason why businesses small and large have turned to apps.” username=”appinstitute”]
What you should do, instead, is to allow consumers to start posting comments, take surveys and get direct messages to any questions they may have. Use discussion forums and post responses directly back to your customers. This is much easier for smaller businesses. This will set you apart from all the other conventional business, and give you an edge over your competitors. It will also let customers remember your brand.
Social media integration
It’s free, easy and comes loaded with benefits for a business. It has now become essential for businesses to maintain a social media presence to continuously engage with their customers. But, many businesses are taking this a step further by adding social to their mobile app.
You can add social media pages to your app, create a hashtag for your business so other people can mention you in their social media circles.
This simple addition alone will lead your customers to be more open to receiving new information, and will naturally be more inclined to click on your app than any other.
Simplicity and usability
Giving users the ability to customize the look and color scheme of your app is one thing, but the idea is to save usernames, purchase history, credit card details etc through which you are essentially giving them ease-of-use and a personal space to store what they deem necessary.
Additionally, don’t downplay the importance of keeping your app simple, easy-to-understand and use. Also, avoid using too many ads on one page and de-clutter as much as possible.
How Are Apps Better Than Mobile Websites?
There are areas where mobile apps offer greater value and bigger advantages to businesses, as opposed to mobile websites. Some professionals believe that websites indeed do not provide the optimal levels of engagement and productivity required by businesses of today, while others simply ask you to understand your business and customer requirements and set up a website or an app in accordance with those.
Finally, businesses with deeper pockets that can afford to build a website and an app should definitely go for both.
Let’s understand how apps are better than mobile websites, and what they can do for your business.
Mobile apps offer personalization, unlike m-sites
Personalization is the new big thing in business. It’s about giving users offers and services tailored to their interests, needs, behavior, location and the like.
Mobile apps allow business to give that personalized experience to users. Apps allow users to enter their preferred choice at the very start so they can receive content accordingly.
By tracking personal choices and behavior patterns of the users, apps can also offer specific recommendations and updates to them. On top of all this, apps can also gauge a user’s location and provide content accordingly.
So, when users are pampered with the right content, tailored offers and recommendations of their choice, they are more like to become paying customers.
Sending notifications for impact
For the last few decades, emails were the most important tool in the arsenal of a business. And in fact, the strategy did bring brilliant results too. However, due to the overuse of email to get the attention of potential customers by all kinds of businesses across the world, the medium has lost its effectiveness to some degree.
Now that’s where apps come in.
The notifications are of two types; push and in-app notifications. Both can work magic without intruding too much into users’ personal space.
One reason why most businesses want apps in the first place is because of their deep desire to send less-intrusive notifications to users. In-app notifications are those that can only be seen once a user opens the app itself, while push notifications are sent to users regardless of any activity they may be doing on their mobile devices.
In some cases, push notifications from apps have received a 40% click-through rate.
Geo-targeting can even further target your push notifications, even pinpointing them to the location of the app user. For example – if someone with your app is near your business (let’s say, a nightclub or bar, for example) you could send them a push notification letting them know that drinks are 2-for-1 to entice them through the door.
Making full use of features of mobile devices
Another important thing possible with mobile apps, unlike mobile websites, is that the former utilize the full spectrum of the features of mobile devices, such as the camera, phone calls, contact list, GPS etc.
And that is what makes apps more engaging than websites. Most importantly, apps reduce efforts and increase efficiency. For instance, if a user needs to fill a form on a banking website, they will need to go through a whole variety of small steps to submit their picture. On the other hand, an app would allow the user to take their own photograph on the spot and add to the form immediately.
In short, this means that apps considerably shorten the time it takes for users to complete a task otherwise. This itself, could enhance conversion rates for a business.
The ability to work offline
This is perhaps the most fundamental difference between an app and a website.
Even though access to an app’s advanced features and functions requires internet connectivity, apps can offer content and basic functionality to users while still offline, unlike a mobile website which requires a user to be online at all times.
A banking app, for example, can offer features like tax calculation, installment calculation, determination of loan limit etc even on offline mode.
Even though mobile websites can use caching to load web pages without an internet connection, the more complex functionality and tools can’t be offered to users while offline.
Mobile apps can use existing security frameworks to provide better security to users. Apps can use the Mobile Device Management software that can lock down apps, even remotely deploy or retract them, giving users better control of the apps and the functions they offer.
This is not to say that mobile websites are not secure. They are as well, but they cannot control what is happening on the mobile device in terms of security.
Apps can be much faster than mobile websites
This is another big reason why apps are much better than mobile websites. They are much, much faster, and that, friends, means bigger conversion numbers.
Apps usually store data locally on mobile devices, as opposed to websites that use servers to load data each time. This is one big reason why we find that apps are much faster in retrieving data than websites.
On top of this, apps can store data about the user and use that to take proactive action on users’ behalf. Now isn’t that just amazing?
So here goes, 10 Money Making App Trends Your Small Business Should Invest In…
1. Create Apps for Food Lovers
Over the past few years, there has been somewhat of a gastronomic renaissance with gourmet burgers, craft beer and even posh popcorn being given a new lease of life. Recipes have been rejuvenized by the likes of Tasty and Buzzfeed creating short-form cooking tutorials that anyone can follow in their kitchen (with mixed results!) It’s finally cool again to be a foodie, and people are using apps to express themselves in the kitchen once more.
Therefore, there has never been a better time to jump on the bandwagon and make your own foodie app. If you own a business in the food industry and don’t have an app – you, my friend, are missing out. Here are a few ways you could boost your takeaway or restaurant business with your own mobile app:
- Include exclusive recipes and encourage your customers to recreate your best sellers and post them to your social media
- Provide a fast, simple and secure way for them to order their dinner from your door
- Go in depth on your menu descriptions to tell your restaurant’s story to customers
- Turn one-off visitors and customers into loyal patrons
- Gamify your menu by offering rewards for completion of food challenges – think hot-wing roulette!
- Create a directory for specific types of restaurants in your area – this can even be montetised down the line!
To inspire you to start your own app adventure, we’ve listed 4 of the most scrumptious food apps below to get your mouth watering.
If you are a foodie who regularly googles new recipes, chances are you have already landed several times on the Epicurious website. Developed by Conde Nast Digital, this app is free and available for iOS and Android users.
Epicurious boasts 30,000 spectacular recipes collected from all the sources we love, including Bon Apetit and Gourmet, along with another 100,000 recipes submitted by other users.
When you decide on a recipe, you can add the ingredients in an in-app shopping list which you can refer to whenever you’re at the supermarket.
Additionally, Conde Nast claims that each and every recipe available on the app and the website has been tested for wholesomeness, flavor and texture, and so far, I personally haven’t tried any that wasn’t impressive.
Apart from recipes, Epicurious has a whole plethora of articles on food, shopping daily, wine and health.
Big oven happens to have more than 350,000 amazing recipes, with its free basic version for both iOS and Android users. In addition to this, Big Oven also works as a meal planner where you can plan recipes for each day at the beginning of the week. The app also supplies the user with a grocery list for the next stopover at the supermarket.
The free version offers access to all recipes and their reviews, however, you will have to upgrade to the premium version ($20) to abolish all ads and get access to the apps entire list of features, including looking up nutritional facts and taking photos of handwritten recipes.
Paprika Recipe Manager
This interesting website allows you to manage your recipes smartly. You can upload personal recipes, or clip and save other favorite recipes from the web onto this app for later use.
Paprika Recipe Manager lets you pick up the necessary ingredients from the market and allows you to plan your meals in advance of up to a month.
You can sort your favorite recipes into different folders, and even export ingredient lists and meal plans into your phone’s calendar and reminder apps.
Through this app, you can sync your saved recipes to any electronic device that is connected to the internet.
The vibrant videos of this app have recently gone viral on social media so much that it is encouraging even to those who are not foodies to experiment in the kitchen!
Tastemade is the perfect app for food-lovers who travel frequently. The app is a video guide for the best and the most delicious eateries in all cities across the world.
As a user, you can become a ‘tastemaker’ and make your own professional cooking videos using tastemade’s music and really awesome filters.
The app isn’t just known for recommending restaurants across the globe, but also serves as a great place to get an insight into the different ‘food cultures’ that exist in different parts of the world with short, interesting videos.
This one is definitely a personal favorite!
2. Health, Fitness and Calorie Counting Apps
Talking about the love for food and polishing our culinary skills, our sedentary lifestyles do not allow us an unlimited intake of whatever food we want and like. Trends in fitness are coupled with trends in healthy eating and the desire know exactly what we’re eating. It’s becoming more and more common for big restaurant chains like Wagamama, McDonald’s and Nandos to provide calorie counts on their menus.
With the vast array of healthy eating mobile apps available in today’s market, it’s easier than ever to be health conscious, and increasingly common. Whether you’re a restaurant that caters to calorie counters, a personal trainer or a nutritionist – mobile apps are an excellent way to help people follow stricter eating regimes and reach their targets.
Whether your goal is to inform users with eating guides, communicate with clients or organise bookings for your business, your own branded app can boost your business. Your calorie-counting app could include:
- Detailed nutritional information on your menu items with ingredients
- Suggestions of balanced menu combinations for health-conscious customers
- Food ordering – think takeaway – but healthy!
If you think you’ve got what it takes to build your own health app (spoiler: you do) then check out some of the most popular apps in the field below:
This one is by far the most popular calorie counters right now. It tracks your body weight and accordingly calculates the calorie intake best for your body type. The app also boasts a well-designed food diary and exercise log.
As a user, your homepage will show you the number of calories you have consumed during the day. Additionally, it also shows you the number of calories that still need to be consumed (if any!) and how many calories you have burnt through exercise.
On top of this, if you’re also using a fitness tracker then MyFitnessPal will sync with it and include the data in your exercise log. On top of all this, the app also has a chat forum where users communicate with each other, sharing recipes, tips and personal success stories.
One most interesting feature of this app is its barcode scanner. By scanning some packaged products, you can get all their nutritional facts.
The peer support offered by Lose It! that helps users reach their goals is one excellent feature. If you have an Apple Watch, the app will nudge you if you’ve forgotten to track a meal.
Lose It!’s database is complete with restaurants, grocery stores, and branded food items which are all verified as accurate by the app’s team of experts. Its exercise counter counts the calories expended during sweat sessions. Entering customized recipes might be a little tricky to do at first, but is extremely helpful to people who primarily cook at home.
The premium version of this app allows Lose It! to be connected to different health and fitness apps for better goal setting and tracking. Lose It! is free for both Android and iOS users.
Sparkpeople is yet another vibrant, full-featured calorie counter created to set measurable goals, track progress, help you make intelligent nutrition choices and track your physical activity levels.
The app’s food diary is very easy-to-use. At the end of each day, you can see a total of the calories, carbs, proteins and fat intake. You can also view this information as a pie chart.
Recipes can also be added, and the app comes equipped with a barcode scanner where you can add the details of each packaged item you intend to eat.
Sparkpeople’s website has a huge community with a variety of resources including articles, recipes, health news and exercise demos to help you get started.
Its free version boasts some of the biggest food and nutrition databases on web, but the premium version offers access to many of its other features to help you stay fit.
Eating a healthy dose of fresh fruits and vegetables seems like a sure shot way to keep your vitamins and mineral intake supply full. But how can you be sure that your favorite or regularly taken fruits and veggies provide the right doses of what you really need?
All you have to do is download Foodle, and browse through its some 8,000 food entries to get your hands on the right fresh produce. You can learn about anything from corn to mangoes as well as meats, nuts, fruits, grains and dairy. You can also use this awesome app to look up items that contain a large portion of a specific vitamin you need.
Currently, the app is only available for iPhone users and comes for $4.99 per user.
3. Fitness App Ideas
Did you know that staying trim and healthy, and losing weight were two of the most popular new year resolutions for 2015. Believe me, it’s the same for 2016. We are already over half-way through the year, and most of us haven’t even started working on these goals.
As we all know, fitness isn’t something that can happen in a single day. It requires consistent and persistent effort, and what’s the best way to go about it but with the help of some of the best fitness apps?
So guys and gals, here are some of the most popular fitness apps that will help you break a sweat in the right way, from yoga to strength training, and allow you to stay on track by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Skimble’s Workout Trainer offers its users literally thousands of workout routines for all kinds of body types and fitness goals. With a step-by-step audio and video guide, these free workouts will act like your expensive personal trainer to get you started on your fitness journey.
Whether you want to sculpt your body for that beach look, or prime yourself for the next professional race, this app can help you with all of that. This app even has exercise routines for pregnant women in their first, second and third trimesters.
In addition to the existing built-in workout routines available in the app, users can also create their own routines and post them online. Users can also use workout routines posted by the Workout Trainer user community.
The app’s premium subscription opens up other exciting features of this app including exclusive workout routines of all kinds in HD videos, and blocking ads. Workout Trainer is available for both iOS and Android users.
JEFIT.com – the go-to resource for people looking for body building and strength training exercises – has come up with some awesome apps for fitness junkies. The resource is loaded with thousands of different exercise routines that target different body parts and comes complete with detailed instructions, workout planner, exercise log, progress tracker, numerous timers and options to synchronize with your JEFIT profile.
The free version of the app is ad-supported, while the premium version opens up several more features and does not have any advertising.
JEFIT app’s basic version is free for both Android and iOS users.
Simply Work It! or Sworkit is an app that will help you stop procrastinating and start working for that lean body you desire. The thing that I personally love about this app is that instead of making users stick to the same routine (which eventually gets really boring), the app lets users create targeted routines.
Users have to select what they want to achieve. Whether it is building strength, doing yoga for flexibility, pilates, cardio or anything else. Add the time duration and the result that you want to achieve and Sworkit will build you a workout routine with new, random exercises to match your fitness goals.
Each new workout that you receive is different and keeps you interested in what you do. The app’s premium version unlocks several other features including exercise variations, a workout history and the ability to save custom workouts.
You little fat human, meet your new exercise overlord, CARROT. This app is created with a little twist. This veggie instructor is so snarky, it will shame you for being such a meatbag and push you to work harder to stick to your goals.
This exercise routine is built on the 7-minute workout idea, only it is labelled ‘7 minutes of hell’, complete with wry criticism and hilariously named exercises such as Kowtowing to Cthulhu (push-ups as we know them!), Dragon Mating Dances, Spear Lunges and more.
In addition to the workout routines, the app comes with a weight log, BMI calculator, workout reminders and mini-rewards, with more exciting exercised available through in-app purchases.
If you’re a personal trainer, a gym owner or sports coach – your own branded app can take your business to the next level, motivating clients and boosting engagement within your community and business. Include fitness guides, loyalty schemes and send push notifications to your clients to keep them coming back and help them reach their goals.
4. Apps for Fashion Lovers
Fashion apps are another booming market across all mobile platforms. Fashionistas across the globe are downloading apps that show off the latest and greatest outfits, trends and collections and even take fashion and style advice from the internet on their phones.
Simultaneously, m-commerce has seen an extraordinary increase as connectivity and internet speed has improved over the last few years. More and more people take to the device in the palm of their hand in place of busy high streets; with 55% of shoppers using apps either for or during shopping according to Cisco.
If you own a fashion retail business, setting up your store as a native mobile app can seriously boost your sales figures. Below are a few examples of successful fashion apps that no self respecting shopaholic could go without.
Like To Know It
Until the day that our hugely favorite app (Instagram) is completely shop-able, Like To Know It is helping shoppers do what they love – track down their favorite chic outfits on Instagram to buy. What an intelligent business idea!
Once you sign in with the Like To Know It app and log on to Instagram, you will automatically get a link emailed to your inbox for all the hot items you’d like to purchase that come with a link. This app provides an easy way to create a shopping list of items from your favorite bloggers’ feed.
Spring is that one app that took the online shopping experience by storm! The founders came up with a game-changing way to shop on your phone. The app partners with over 800+ fashion brands to let users shop the latest clothes and accessories.
This shopping app also offers some exclusive collaborations including a Beyonce-themed shop. The app also saves your credit card details, size and shipping information so you can complete your shopping without the hassle of filling forms again and again.
Pose is an app that has made a name for itself in a short period of time. A hangout app for fashionistas – it helps people see what others are wearing on any given day, based on the weather, their location and a number of other factors.
On the basis of the weather conditions, Pose gives you inspirational dressing styles on a daily basis. For special occasions, you can narrow your search further and find out dressing inspirations for weddings, baby showers, bridal showers or a day at work.
This intelligent app allows fashion lovers to shop directly from their favorite street style photos featured in the inspiration feed. Stylekick also recommends users shopping items based on their personal preferences and interests.
Users can create their own profiles where they can also upload online their own street style photos for feedback by the community. The best part about being in this amazing community is that you can directly meet and chat with other style bloggers, and get their tips and tricks to enhance your wardrobe or glam up your style. You can also ask for advice from all the other fashion lovers tapping away on the app.
5. Apps for Sports Fans
For everyone out there who love sports, having the right sports apps mean never having to worry about who is winning the game or how your team is playing even if you are stuck at work under a pile of files that need to be finished the same day.
If you are a member, employee or owner of a sports club or team, having your own up is a fantastic way to engage with fans and members and build a community. You can include your club’s RSS feed and send direct push notifications to users home-screen, set up guides and allow users to book events.
Thanks to sports apps, the latest news, schedules and statistics are just a tap away, accompanied with high-resolution photos, podcasts and even live HD videos of the action. Below are some my my personal favorites.
ESPN is truly the number one sports app that I recommend to all lovers of sports. The information that this app provides on live sporting events is so in-depth and accurate that I had a colleague of mine who did an entire TV sports show during the Cricket World Cup, and did really well.
From the updated scoring system to breaking news for various teams and leagues, and even professional analysis, ESPN gives you all.
Users can also easily customize a list of favorite teams and athletes, allowing the app to provide a tailored and personalized sports news experience for everything you love. This wonderful app is free for both iOS and Android users.
This brilliant app which is free for both iOS and Android users is known to deliver minute-to-minute details and statistics of games, as well as breaking sports news. Its comprehensive event calendar lets you look up the latest scores, upcoming games, previous statistics about different matches and highlights the most important games.
Each match includes a detailed statistical breakdown for stat junkies, as well as play-by-play breakdowns. This app also allows users to follow their favorite teams and players while giving users notifications for the teams they love.
This app is for all the basketball lovers out there. Whether you play professional, or just enjoy watching, this app is for you. NBA 2015-2016 is the league’s dedicated app which comes loaded with a wealth of resources around the 2015-2016 basketball season. Live scores, game schedules, recap videos, team rosters and statistics, as well as customizable game notifications, are all provided by NBA 2015-2016.
Subscription to the app will let you stream games live, or on demand straight to your mobile device. it will unlock a number of other features including watching classic games online and set alerts for upcoming games.
6. Apps for Dating
This one is for people who are looking for the right one or the ‘right now’. It is never easy to find the right people to spend your life with, but thanks to the internet, almost every (date-able) person in your locality is now literally just a ‘buzz’ away.
Business Idea: If you run a bar or nightclub, you could host a singles night a use your app as a ‘directory’ of local singles. Users could list themselves on a special section with photos and information about them. You could even set up a deal where people in the directory get two-for-one drinks with your loyalty scheme!
Here are the top 3 dating apps we recommend that you try.
Boasting a huge user base and very simple-to-understand-and-apply dating tools, OkCupid has made dating a fun game. The app is developed for both iOS and Android systems.
One reason behind OkCupid’s astounding success is that the OKC has kept refining its service by adding newer features to its app. One of them is a new system of ‘Flavors’ that allows users to view and match some interesting flavors of potential matches such as Kinky Nerds, Beard Lovers, World Travelers, etc.
This new feature comes alongside old classics like messaging tools, Instagram integration, personality quizzes, and others. Its premium subscription allows users to make use of additional features such as refined search tools and the ability to see who has liked you.
Match.com, another really great dating website, allows its freemium users to make online profiles, upload photos, write about themselves so others can know them a bit, and chat with people they like. New matches are delivered to users on a daily basis. Other features that include the ability to check who has checked your profile and liked your photos can be unlocked with a subscription.
Match also continues to add new features, including a Tinder-like Mixer, Android Wear and Apple Watch Integration.
Tinder changed the game of online dating. By creating a simple profile with a handful of photos and a little description about yourself, you then start looking for the right kind of ‘eligible bachelors’ for yourself.
The app keeps displaying new singles in your area. If you like someone, swipe right, otherwise swipe left. If both potential partners swipe right, then they can start messaging to set up a meeting. Some of its latest features include GIF messaging, uploading profile photos from your phone and the ability to ‘like’ chat messages.
7. Productivity Apps
More and more people are looking to mobile apps to make their lives easier and more productive. People have more work, less time and don’t know how to manage it. Luckily, clever businesspeople and app developers are working tirelessly to help us keep on top of our workloads.
Below, I’ve listed 3 of my absolute favorite productivity apps that help me stay on top of my workload.
You can clip anything from the web to Evernote for easy searching later on. You can expand the material, condense it, or add other media to it including audios, videos, pictures, tables and the like.
All things including journaling, to-do lists, recipes, contact lists, even tweets and emails can be saved to get back to immediately whenever needed.
All of the above is free under Evernote’s freemium version. The app also boasts a paid version that costs each user $12 per month and comes equipped with several additional features including administrative control and unlimited space for uploads.
To put it simply, Wunderlist is a highly effective to-do list. You can create an endless list of tasks and also share it with your peers, colleagues or friends whenever you want. The lists also have a ‘sync’ feature that allows peers to see which items have been completed.
In addition to this, Wunderlist has also launched a high-powered business app that lets people delegate tasks to their team, break them down into subtasks, set deadlines, add notes and reminders. Its basic version is free of charge, while the business version comes for $4.99 dollars per month per user.
There are times when you come across something really interesting but are short on time, running out for a meeting, or going out to walk your dog and don’t have the time to read it immediately. Well, this is where Pocket comes in. You can save articles, videos, audios, everything that you’d like to peruse later, in Pocket.
When you’re tired of engaging with your friends online, but still want something interesting till you fall asleep, Pocket is the best app to turn to. What’s more, it does not even require a working internet connection to read whatever has been saved. Best of all, it’s free!
ProofHub is an online project and team management software that puts all the right tools any team would need to increase productivity. It saves teams from investing in several tools and find every tool they require under one roof.
From planning what needs to be done, discussing ideas, organizing files and documents, taking notes, tracking time on tasks, to even proofing designs, ProofHub allows you to do it all at one place with Gantt, calendars, Kanban boards, timers, and inbuilt proofing tools.
ProofHub is not specific to a single industry and is designed to meet the needs of any organization – small or big – that needs to get work done. It can be used anywhere, anytime, through a web browser or the mobile app. You can opt for a free trial in the beginning and there’s no credit card required to enjoy the trial period.
Business Idea: If you’d like to create an app that deals with productivity, you could use a task tracking service which would nudge a person every time they are wasting time online. A monthly or annual subscription model can be beneficial to make money out of it.
8. Time Management Apps
Even whilst taking advantage of those fantastic productivity apps we’ve just covered – if you’re a busy small business owner, freelancer or anyone with stuff to do for that matter, an app to help you manage your time could be just what the doctor ordered.
Whether you need to bill clients time-based work, you’re guilty of major procrastination or you simply don’t have a healthy work-life balance, these apps can help you make every second count.
If you know you spend excessive time on distractions like Facebook, Twitter or even online shopping, RescueTime will keep you accountable for where you are spending your precious hours.
It breaks down where you spend your time and helps you set productivity goals. Its premium version also allows you to block certain websites, track offline activity or set notifications for, let’s say if you’ve spent too much time on one activity.
Its basic version is free, but its premium version costs $9 per month. RescueTime is available for PC, Mac and Linux but its app is only available for Android users.
With one single click, Toggl can tell where a person’s each second is being spent, making this application ideal for any person who logs billable hours. This app can help you track as many clients as you want, export timesheets, view colorful graphs, and sync your numbers with several project management apps.
On top of this, even your employees can use Toggl with you, and you can divide them into groups to stay organized. Toggl is free for up to five users. Its premium version allows unlimited users, and adds billable rates, small goals and a plethora of other features for only $5 per person per month.
The developers of this excellent app knew that productivity extends beyond work. Each 24 hours are broken down into 3 broad categories, including work, play and sleep.
Within these 3 chunks, you can further track your time with multiple tags and labels to know how much time you are spending in which of these activities. You can also run multiple timers simultaneously.
You can view your time chunks through colorful pie charts which can be exported to any device. Currently, the apps are only available for Apple users (more specifically on iPhone and iPads).
Managing time effectively lies at the core of everything that we do successfully, be it business or play. Through Workflow, you can customize your phone to bypass tasks that are a waste of time for you. For instance, you can book a cab well before your next calendar event or create a special button to give your mom a quick call on the way to work.
Workflow also allows you create special buttons for activities that you do on a daily basis, saving you time and effort each day.
9. Entrepreneur App Ideas
Everybody wants to know the secret to how entrepreneurs do so much with so little. Well, it’s not just entrepreneurs, it’s their amazing teams along with some awesome apps that keep them on top of their game. For efficiency and streamlining their work processes, here’s what we recommend all entrepreneurs to make use of.
This really amazing app is responsible for saving a lot of time and effort on behalf of the entrepreneur (who is already way too busy building a company from scratch). TrackMaven allows businesses to keep track of, and monitor their competitors’ data, minus the hassle of consulting multiple resources for the same purpose. You can then filter for the data that is essential, erasing all else that is redundant.
This one is definitely a game-changer app for the entrepreneur who needs to stay plugged in at all times. When you start a company, the stakes are very high. Time is scarce and invaluable. Everything you do involves high stakes and you cannot let a poor internet connection come in the way of your company’s success.
I’m sure everyone, entrepreneur or not, knows about this app and has used it too. When I used it for the first time, I fell in love with it. That’s how much it makes travelling convenient. It is even more essential for an entrepreneur to know so he doesn’t have to worry about catching that last minute meeting, even when all the cabs are full. He will surely be on time!
Time is a very valuable commodity which is never enough when you’re in the process of building a company. As an entrepreneur, it is equally important to make future decisions as it is to take hold of the daily activities and tasks that are to be performed.
Note-taking feels like a boring activity, and no one really likes doing it. But it is important and needs to be done too. This is where Letterspace comes in. It’s a free note-taking app that uses hashtags to organize jumbled thoughts into a sophisticated and easy-to-understand interface.
One very useful aspect of this app is its cursor that sits right above the keyboard, saving much in time, energy and effort if paragraphs are needed to be switched, or typos, errors and detailed edits needed to be made.
10. Apps to help you make some extra money
This might come as a surprise to some, but there are definitely legitimate ways to make money online. All you need is some (read: a lot of) extra time, and the patience to be bombarded with a lot of advertisements.
Now this money isn’t big, but it’s enough to buy you and your friend some nice drinks. So, let’s go!
This app, which is available for both Apple and Android, pays you small amounts of cash to take online surveys, browse the net and play games. You can cash out once you have hit $30. So how do Inbox Dollars make money?
The company is hired by advertisers who are keen to get more eyeballs to their ads and want to understand consumer behavior. In simple terms, Inbox Dollars pays you to take part in their research. What’s more, Inbox Dollars has already paid $35m in check out cash to its members.
App Trailers pays you to watch the long list of adverts on its list. These ads are not limited to apps, but can also be of the latest games and movies. App trailers rewards viewers in points. Roughly 500 points equal $0.5. This money can be cashed out via PayPal, or can be transferred to a gift card for Amazon, Best Buy, Starbucks and many others. Roughly, 1,000 points are equivalent to $1.
Pact is an app that allows you to set health and fitness goals. It makes you lose money if you don’t stick to your goals. The app was built on the idea that people will stick to their goals for fear of losing money.
On the other hand, a user is also rewarded for sticking to their regimen – something like $2 per goal (this money comes from other users who have failed!). All of this is interestingly tied together in a cool app which uses your fitness tracker for accurate results.
Another app, Fronto (only for Android users) pays you to place adverts, articles and products on your phone lock screen. You are paid for swiping left on your lock screen and following the advert. You earn money in Fronto points. Some 2500 points translate into $1.
Business Idea: In order to make money for your business, you can use a similar idea – get money from businesses, sponsors and clients to help them create better products through your research, and expend some of that money on people who help you achieve your goals. It’s a win-win! Additionally, you could also add advertisements to your app for extra cash.
So friends, as you must have also concluded, the future of apps is really, really bright. All kinds of businesses are using apps to make money, yes, but also, in turn helping us make our lives so much easier in a variety of ways.
If the space would permit, I can go on and on about the awesome apps that are available to be used in literally all the possible conceivable areas of our lives. Every single day, businesses are creating new solutions for one or another important aspect of our lives.
Some are creating a new need, while others are simply filling existing gaps.
The fact is that if we look at only the business projections of the app business, the revenues are staggering. Downloads for non-game apps are expected to grow 23 percent over the next 5 years, exceeding 182 billion dollars by 2020.
Imagine what the future would be like for your business if you were to also take a piece of this giant pie?
What’s more, while researching for this article on app trends I downloaded at least five new apps that I previously didn’t know existed, and are sure to make my life better in different ways.
My last word of advice is; if you are a small business considering how you can leverage a mobile app trend to develop your brand, engage with customers or improve your service be creative in using App Builder platforms that are already available to you. You don’t need to spend a small fortune on hiring App Developers or learning to code – you can make an app using a simple DIY App Builder instead.
If there’s an app that you LOVE, we would like to hear about it! Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.