The app market is extremely saturated. But the mobile market is still gathering momentum..fast. Mobile apps have changed how we work, live, connect and what we do for entertainment. Mobile apps will continue to shape the thoughts consumers, small businesses, enterprises, and even the government.
Forrester expects that more than 25% of companies will use mobile not as a channel, but as a fully integrated part of their overall strategy. They believe 2016 will be the most consequential year for companies on the path to customer obsession, and that includes adapting empowered customers who expect to get anything they want immediately, in context on their mobile devices.
There is still a lot of demand for apps. Mobile apps have evolved beyond providing just information. Artificial intelligent and voice-based personal assistants are inspiring conversational and smart apps.
But most app developers are struggling to get attention. Majority of app developers don’t get rewarded for their efforts. Most apps don’t generate profits but serve as an extension of an existing business. And he vast majority of apps are free.
In-app purchases and advertising allow app creators to make money off their free apps. There are only few hits though. Here is what some redditors think about the prospects ofaunching an app.
Absolutely, yes they do. I sold my fitness app last year to a larger company, and know many people whose app-based companies are making money.
However, the thing that many people fail to realize is that you are not building “an app,” you are building a business, and mobile is simply the fastest-growing channel in the world. You can do your own research but in the not-so-distant future, mobile will make up the vast majority of all web traffic and online sales.
To answer the second part of your question, if you have limited resources, absolutely target iOS. Notice how when new, serious companies with venture financing and previously successful founders start companies, they launch iOS apps first. Reasons:
- iOS users download more apps
- iOS users spend considerably more through their phones
- iOS users know they are iOS users. Don’t underestimate the importance of this: many Android users simply buy the cheapest phone and don’t spend much time thinking about downloading apps, would never put their credit card number in a phone, etc.
I created some apps for both the App Store and the Google Play store. The App Store is strict on the quality of apps they allow to be uploaded, so I then just focused on Android apps. I made simple games and even some Live Wallpaper apps. My best games only made a couple hundred dollars and the LWPs made about a hundred.
I’ve stopped creating apps because the payout wasn’t worth the time and effort I put into coding the apps. I’ll have to say 99% of the app developers out there are not making money for the time and effort they put into the apps.
Android developer here. As others have pointed out, apps can still make money, but the days of just having an app for money are pretty much over. Apps become exponentially more powerful, and likely to be used if they’re complimentary to a bigger software or service.
Also when deciding Android vs iOS, if you can, you should target both because they’re pretty even as far as market share. If you had to pick just one to start, I can’t tell you which is better but from my perspective and experience, Android seems to be gaining more market share albeit very slowly but, iOS will have a more consistent experience.
In other words, some Android devices may not work with your app the way you expect, so even they do take a strong lead over iOS devices there will still be a number of them that have problems.
Of course they still make money. Actually now more than ever as every year the worldwide app revenue grows exponentially. AppAnnie predicts that gross revenue across all app stores will eclipse $100 Billion in 2020.
The problem is that it’s now more competitive than ever. For an independent developer it is getting increasingly difficult to make a living building apps.
A lot of people have a weird view on apps as if they are magical no effort cash cows. But you have to see it for what it is, simply a distribution platform.
Can you build an app, throw it out there and effortlessly get millions of downloads and rake on money? No.
But if you are developing a solution to a problem that is best served with mobile then an app is appropriate. My research for my current project showed that the problem was biggest when people were out and about, so a mobile app works best.
But it’s just the distribution method. The rest of the business is the same as before; you need to identify customers, you need to effectively promote, you need to push yourself in front of people.
The app store is too saturated to expect to be discovered there. But just like a real store, the brands on the shelves do everything they can to get you to want to buy their products before you ever get through the door. Its the same in the app world.
iOS does seem to have a less price sensitive user base though, so if you want to charge for the app they’re the best people to target.
They haven’t died down. It is just harder for the average guy or gal to make sure it is discovered. Sort of like websites…anyone can build a website…but how do you get visitors?…well that takes some marketing and strategy.
There are plenty of people making a decent living making niche apps that serve a specific purpose. But if you are trying to make a flashlight app…forget about it…apple won’t even let you publish it since there are already too many. So you just have to be smart about what you make and how you get people to find your app.