Perhaps the most sensational recent app development is the game, Wordle. Its creator simply wanted something fun to amuse and distract his wife, a lover of words. Next thing you know, Wordle is all the rage. When the New York Times news organisation bought the app from its ever-increasingly reluctant creator, the rage continued - but for a different reason.
App origin stories such as these can make people believe that app development must be the easiest thing on Earth. That impression might be further supported by the variety of apps available for download, and the number in each category.
|Shopping apps deliver coupons, highlight deals, give reviews, let users make price comparisons.|
|Audio apps allow music and podcast playback, channel radio stations and allow voice recordings.|
|Health and fitness apps track users' physical activity, provide diet tips and food journals; some even lead users through their exercise routines.|
|Travel apps cover everything from local restaurant information to making flight and hotel reservations. They also provide city guides for destinations around the world.|
These are just four of the more popular app types; the ones that have many different iterations, with new ones added every day. You may direct your efforts there if you have an app you'd like to develop; one that would fit in these categories.
Or, if you want to develop a sure-fire hit of an app, Superprof wants to talk with you about some of the hottest app categories on the market right now.
Much has been made of Apple's AirTags. They're a physical device that, when paired with their app, people can use to track or find their keys, wallets and other commonly-misplaced things.
They can also be used the tag someone's whereabouts. One phase of their marketing campaign pitched these Tags as a way for parents to make sure their kids were where they were supposed to be and not skipping school. Or worse, abducted. That's when things started to go awry.
AirTag stalking suddenly entered our lexicon. This practice involves some evildoer dropping such a tag into a stranger's pocket or bag, thus gaining access to their movements and address. Apple has made several upgrades to this unquestionably useful app to prevent stalking but it remains plagued with uncertainty.
If you need such an app or want to design one, check out Find My Kids. This Android/iOS app comes loaded with features such as notifications of when your child arrives at their destination and leaves the place they're at, ways to signal your child if their phone is on silent/mute and a system for monitoring their phone app usage. It uses Google Maps to track movement from one place to another in real time, too.
And, best of all, there's no physical device to potentially menace them with.
Other great parenting apps include:
- Cozi Family Organiser: great for coordinating busy schedules; essential for people who co-parent.
- WOW Parenting: loaded with information, this app also hosts live parenting workshops
- Winnie: for when you need to find childcare in a hurry; include a chat feature for their parenting community
- PBS Parents Play and Learn is a bilingual (Spanish-English) gaming app for kids and parents to play and learn together
- BabyGogo (Android only) meets expectant parents' needs with pregnancy tips and doctors' advice; otherwise, it includes many of the same features at WOW.
Finally, there's Baby Connect, a subscription app loaded with features from trackers to activities and planners. Advocates often rate this app as the most versatile for busy new parents. For comparison, you might take a look at Baby Time; it has many of the same features and it's compatible with wearables (Apple Watch and Android Wear).
Note that, unless indicated, all of the apps have both Android and iOS versions.
Last year, in the US, the Robinhood stock trading app made headlines. First, for allowing day traders to 'game the market' and, second, because of the massive fine it incurred over the lack of supervision that allowed those amateur traders to 'get one over' on the market. They've also had class action lawsuits brought against them but that hasn't stopped Robinhood from going public and joining the big-earnings leagues.
That was a remarkable rocking of financial markets but, when it all boils down, most of us don't have the time to play at finance or the money to gamble with. In today's economy, we have to track every penny; here are a few of the best apps to do that.
Mint is touted as the best-overall personal financial app; it presents your entire financial portrait at a glance. After you link your payment cards to the app, it categorizes your spending based on your card usage history so you can see where your money is going. You can also see your bill-pay information and make a budget you can live on. If you have investments, you can track them with this mobile app, too.
Prism doesn't tap into your bank or payment card information; it's more of a financial planning app. After downloading, you would enter your relevant data; who you pay and when you regularly pay them. For instance, if you know your automobile insurance bill is due on a certain day, you can set a reminder for a few days before. That way, you're never late paying your bills.
We really like that Prism will track your bills but won't pay them for you. This way, you get a better idea of where and how quickly your money goes.
Mobills takes a different tack. It calls for you to categorize your spending - food, transportation, utilities, entertainment; and then, you'll be prompted to set spending limits on each category. The application tracks how much you spend in each category and shows you how close you're getting to the limits you've set for yourself.
You might say it helps you gain control of your spending rather than taking control of your money and allocating it for you. For us, that's a major selling point.
The top personal finance apps are all in this vein. If you're looking to manage your crypto wallet or invest in the stock markets, you'll need different types of apps.
Or you could design your own. Do you know the cost of developing an app?
Facebook, Insta, Snapchat and Twitter; Tiktok, Pinterest, Reddit and, yes, even YouTube. These are just some of the big names in social media. All of them have millions of users and allow users to share anything from video segments to text messages. Just make sure your teens are safe and their mental health can withstand them.
And then, there are all the dating apps: swipe left/swipe right and make sure you don't get swindled.
If you've thought about developing a new social media platform, you might get discouraged thinking that the market is saturated and all the good ideas are gone. Cautionary tales such as the former US president's aside, rest assured that there's plenty of room in this market for the app you have in mind.
The trend now is to develop mobile applications for niche groups. For instance, Peanut is targeted to expectant and new mothers so they can connect with other mothers for support and helpful tips. Valence is a networking app for Black professionals to help them achieve their entrepreneurial goals.
If you're looking for a new place to hang out and connect with your group, you might try ASMALLWORLD (for travellers), Amikumu to find people nearby who speak your language or beBee, where you can collaborate with other professionals to boost your personal brand.
I laughed when my friend raved about his new mobile because he claimed it was a camera with a built-in phone. Not long after, I started seeing that very description in tech magazines. I guess the joke was on me.
The rise of social media influencers is due, in part, to the quality of cameras in today's mobile phones. However, even the most adept influencer has to edit their photos; thus, the glut of photography apps is available for download.
Adobe Photoshop software comes loaded with features and capabilities; so many that novice users might feel intimidated. If that's you, consider this 'lite' version mobile download, Photoshop Express Editor. It's easy to use and lets you clean up your snaps on the go.
If you're launching your brand as a social media influencer, you can't do without Instasize. It comes with loads of filters and editing tools that you can use on videos as well as snaps. Naturally, you'll be able to retouch your photos and add text, choosing from a selection of different fonts.
If you are a somewhat experienced smartphone photographer, Snapseed (for iOS and Android) is the app you've been looking for. It's a free online photo editor that lets you enhance your snaps for a professional look. It comes with loads of filters and editing tools; we especially love its non-destructive editing features. They allow you to edit a photo without altering the original.
How many snaps have you ruined with an inadvertent edit?
It goes without saying that some apps are easier to develop than others. Photography apps would fall into the latter category, of course, but no matter what type of app you want to develop, you should consider first taking a few courses in app development.
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