In February 2016, the total number of apps available for download at the Google Play Store touched the 2 million mark. It took a little longer for Apple App Store to reach the milestone, which it finally arrived at in June. Given the sheer variety of iPhone and Android applications currently at the online stores, it is not the easiest task in the world for mobile app developers to come up with new and innovative ideas – which can actually be transformed into meaningful, useful apps. Today, we take a look at some interesting app ideas, which might well be worked upon in 2017:
Personalized recipe app
No, we are not talking about yet another application that lists hundreds of standard recipes for users. Instead, there can be an app in which people would be able to enter the names of ingredients – and in turn, the app would display the possible dishes that can be made with them. The biggest utility of such an app (can be made for both iOS and Android) would lie in the fact that users would get new recipe ideas with the ingredients they already have – instead of having to step out to buy stuff. A nominal amount would have to be paid for downloading recipes. Professional chefs as well as others interested in cooking will have the option to upload their own recipes on the app, for a certain pre-specified fee.
Bus timetable app
This one would be for the daily commuters – to school, college, workplace, anywhere. The app would remove the uncertainties and sheer frustration of having to wait at bus-stands for several minutes (not to mention that feeling when you ONLY JUST miss a bus!). Based on the destination entered in the app, it would throw up bus numbers and the times they are expected to arrive at the bus stops nearest to users. In addition, notification alerts will be generated when 3-4 minutes remain for the scheduled arrival of a bus (a strong backend API support, along with powerful GPS integration will be required). That way, people will be able to step out of home and arrive at the bus stop…always at the right time.
App for buyers
We have plenty of mobile apps for sellers – where sellers can place ads of their products/services, have customers get in touch with them, and generate fruitful sales/business leads. How about having a mobile shopping app that ‘thinks’ from the buyers’ perspective. That’s right, it will be pretty innovative if there could be an application where buyers would be able to post their demands (along with pictures (if possible), specifications, and preferred price range). Vendors who sell those products would be able to contact buyers and complete the deal. A handy option for buyers, and an opportunity for sellers to take a pick from multiple trade options. This app will be a ‘win-win’ tool for all parties concerned.
Medical information app
A health app that would make all the important health information available to users, in the matter of a few taps. There can be a provision of linking a person’s unique ID (say, Passport or Pan Card) with all the medications (s)he has ever been prescribed in his/her lifetime. In addition, medical history of family members will also be uploadable. This would make it easier than ever for doctors to understand the case history of patients as well as to gauge the possibility of any hereditary diseases. What’s more, insurance agents – by paying a certain fee – can access the medical information of clients.
App for activating home appliances
With all the buzz about Internet of Things (IoT) at present, interest in creating ‘smart homes’ is likely to spike further in 2017. It would be a cool idea to create an iPhone paid app, that would be paired with a specially designed ‘smart switch’ – for switching on common gadgets and appliances at home. For instance, the app can be used to turn on the heater, switch on the refrigerator, or even put on the electric kettle. There should be a customized version of this app for Apple Watch too.
Story contribution app
This one won’t be like the many mobile storytelling apps out there, which already have a certain number of stories in them (either free or through paid downloads). Instead, on this app, a user will have to start a story, write a few (say, 60) words, and then leave it in a ‘new story thread’. Another user, from anywhere in the globe, can pick it up and write the next 60 words. The story would expand in this manner, till a final word limit (1000, for example) is reached. User-curated storytelling app with a difference!
Brand/product profiler app
This can be built like an app for shoppers. At a large shopping outlet, products of many brands are displayed – and it is often tricky for buyers to make a choice from them. With this app installed in their handsets, all that they would have to do is point their smartphones in the direction of any product. The app will read off the product brand, and instantly display a brief history of the brand, current reputation, and a few selected customer reviews for the concerned product (if the product is a brand new one, the reviews would be for the brand). With more information at the fingertips, choosing the best products at shopping malls will become easier.
Charge sharing app
Let’s just accept this – the battery performance of smartphones is not going to become great anytime soon. We have all faced the problem of our smartphones running out of battery at the most inappropriate of times. With a charge sharing app, users will be able to send out a ‘share charge’ request to all smartphone-owners within a small radius. The person who picks up a request will have to fulfill it (a certain payment will be required for the charge shared). In addition, the ‘charge suppliers’ will have the final say on what percentage of battery power is to be shared. With an app like this, chances of your phone dying at any time will become just that bit lower.
Picnic planner app
How often have you been confused about where to head to for a day out with your family? A custom picnic planner application (can be made for iOS, Android and Windows Phone) should put an end to such problems. Once you put in the preferred duration of your day trip and your budget details, the app will show multiple attractive picnic destinations (which fit your choice). Tapping on the picture/name of each place would display a screen with a brief description and list of tourist attractions over there.
App for flirting/dating
The frustration of finding a person of the opposite gender attractive, gathering up enough courage to strike up a conversation with him/her, and finding that (s)he is already engaged is…well…understandable (!) for people who have already suffered such misfortunes. At a party or any social gathering, a person will have the option to mark him/herself as ‘I’m Single’. Next, (s)he will be able to view the profiles of other such ‘single’ users. No chances of suffering a heartache here – the app would make sure that people who are looking for a date would indeed find a suitable person, without any hassles. Users will have the option to specify whether they are looking for a one-time date, a limited-period fling (summer holidays, for instance), or a long-term relationship.
App to play your favourite music at public places
You step into a restaurant, music videos are being played on the beautiful television screens over there…and you do not like the music one bit. By 2017, there should be at least one app (probably more!) to change this. Users will be able to start their favourite YouTube music videos and point it towards the televisions/music players at such public places. The YouTube API will get added to the query, and your favourite video will be added to the playlist. Users will also get the option to view and upvote any video on the playlist. If your favourites match with what most people like, you might find your song playing at the restaurant soon!
Tell a cartoon story app
Every picture has its own story, right? Well, things can be made a lot more interesting if you could portray your life in the form of a comic strip – with the images stored on your phone. The app will need to have a large-ish number of cartoon templates and storyboards, along with effects, filters, emoticons, and of course comic-strip themed captions. Once your comic strip is ready, you can share it directly on Facebook and Twitter. Your life story as a series of comics – now that’s an interesting thought!
App for a cleaner neighborhood
This app would be best built for the iOS platform, and its target audience would be all responsible citizens who take it on themselves to maintain the cleanliness of their localities. Users shall be able to take snaps of unclean, cluttered, garbage-dumped spots in their neighborhood, and upload the same on the app. Next, they have to create a ‘cleaning project’, along with a pre-specified budget. Once that is done, the local municipal bodies and NGOs will be notified – and the dirty areas will be cleaned by professionals, in exchange of the mentioned fee. There are many people who do not mind spending a bit for getting a healthier, cleaner environment – and for them, an app like this would be ideal.
Rain prediction app
There is a gamut of weather apps at Apple itunes and Google Play Store. All of them provide weather forecasts (accurately or otherwise!). A rain prediction app would be an upgrade over such existing applications. The app will be created with a strong and updated backend support, and would display the actual number of minutes before rain is expected to arrive - when the mobile device is pointed towards the sky (if no rain is expected within the next 24 hours, a message will be generated for users). Any mobile app company that takes up the challenge of making a rain predictor app will have to make sure about its accuracy. If it functions well, the app can be of great help to everyone.
A ‘No Smoking’ app
For those who are trying to quit smoking, this app can deliver some extra motivation. When a user lights up a cigarette, (s)he will also have to launch the app, and enter all the details of his/her smoke – right from the cigarette brand, to its length and type (i.e., filtered or non-filtered). The app would track and show the extent of damage having that cigarette is doing to your lungs (in particular), and your health (overall). The data can be shown both numerically and visually. Real-time tracking of the harm that smoking does – if that does not keep you away from the temptations of frequently having a puff, nothing will!
There are plenty of existing apps at the stores (for example, instant voice translator apps for conversations with a foreigner) that can do with some improvement. Apart from the ones mentioned above, 2017 might well see a whole new range of home security, decoration, shopping and educational apps – each with something new on offer. There will be a decided focus on making apps for wearables as well. The ball is now in the court of mobile app agencies across the world to work on new app ideas, and make the overall ‘app economy’ more diverse, more interesting.
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