If you’re a newbie to the mobile app development world and I am pretty sure your mind is bubbling with many creative ideas to build the next most wanted app. However, with millions of mobile apps already available in the Play Store and other mobile app stores, you may want to sit back first and plan, because the reality is that choosing what type of app to build needs a lot of careful thought and research. Difficult task? Not really.

I’m going to walk you through this process, step by step, in this guide. When you finish reading this post, you’ll have the basic tools you need for you to choose a winning idea for your app.

First things first: Getting started

The first thing you need to do is to decide why you want to build an app. This makes it very easy to move through the whole exercise. Which category between the two below do you belong to?

Category 1: Building an app for your existing brand or business.

Category 2: Building the next “must-have” mobile app.

Building apps for your business

If you chose the first option, your app should focus on improving the experience your current and future customers have when dealing with your business. You know who your customers are. So think about what they might need in order to engage with your brand.

Consider e-commerce, customer service tools, order management (returns, delivery status etc) and customer communications. Do your customers need those services? If you have the time, send an email survey to get ideas from your clients. They know what they expect from you and will tell you exactly what you need to hear. So no guess work here. They’ll be happy you asked, and you can avoid unnecessary revisions after launch.

Monetization may not work with this option. You want to focus on giving your brand as much exposure as possible without ceding attention to competitors in exchange for ad revenue, and you cannot sell the app to your customers. You can still make money by adding a store or loyalty program to your app.

Businessman holding 3d rendering app template on a smartphone

Building the next must have app

If you belong to the second category, you are on the ultimate path to creative experience. You’re starting with a blank slate, but with the right thought process, you’ll get through just fine. This might be a more difficult path but there’s a lot of potential to be successful.

Choosing your audience

First you need to decide who you want to target: age range, gender (if necessary), profession (if needed), and the like. While it’s easy to build an app that appeals to a very wide audience, it’s easier to have a good idea of your ideal user. This helps you plan the features with a persona in mind. Be sure not to narrow your target audience too much. The basics should be enough: age and occupation, not down to a specific career, just the define whether your ideal user is a student or professional.

By now, you have a good idea of who you want to target. Write down 10 things you know they do on their smartphone. If they are students, it’s most likely games, entertainment or productivity apps. Take a few moments to think about this.

Choose which type of app you think you want to go with and then decide if you want to monetise your app or not. If monetization is on your mind, then you might want to consider building an app in the most profitable app niches: free games, music, dating and gambling. There’s a lot of money to go around, so don’t miss out. Choose a category that makes money, if that’s important to you.

This is a real business

Large companies with deep pockets and individual developers like you are all investing time and resources into building apps with a long range plan in sight. With the right idea and appeal, your app can become a very successful business in future.

Some of the most successful app ideas came from accidental eureka moments. You don’t need to stress too much about it. Remember, it’s supposed to be a fun process. So take it easy and don’t complicate your idea. Simple usually works best. Remember Angry Birds? That app was built in two days and began generating more than $50k in ad revenue in the first month of launch.Today, it’s making more than $280 million each year. And to think that it was just a silly game, that says a lot about simplicity.

Deciding on your Revenue Streams

Deciding what type of app to build goes hand in hand with choosing the revenue model or revenue streams in order to get profit from your app. Ads, in-app purchases, subscriptions and freemium are just a few of the revenue strategies you can use for your app.


With the right idea, the passion and drive to not procrastinate, you can build a successful app that people will love and enjoy. You might just begin a whole new career building apps.

PS. If you haven’t already signed up for your free Andromo account, go ahead and do it now. Build your first app today, 100% free – a gift from us. Sign up here.

Mwenge Ngona

Mwenge Ngona

Head of Marketing at Andromo. Without marketing, we would never know anything about anything. Think about that. We'd be missing out on life!