Review of the most successful app ideas of 2019

Author: James StartupsJanuary 5, 2020

In this article, we wanted to touch on the state of play for the Mobile App Industry last year in 2019, as well as give you some tips for success when looking to develop your own App in 2020 and beyond. There are plenty of top mobile app ideas out there. We’re hoping that this article will help you understand what makes an app idea successful, and the pitfalls to avoid.

2019 – the state of the App Industry in Figures

Successful Apps are big business. Whilst mobile app ideas are a dime a dozen the figures are undeniable. App spending is phenomenal with expenditure on apps at over $120 billion annually. It’s bigger than box office takings for major feature films now.

Some of the popular areas for new apps ideas now include:

  • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Games
  • Productivity
  • Entertainment

Chances are these same mobile app ideas will be popular in 2020 and beyond. They will yield great new opportunities for business and consumers. If you are searching for the next great app idea – for mobile, tablet or computer, you should use these as a starting point.

Just t put things into perspective: 3.5 billion people have active smartphones – Android and iOS being the most popular. Therefore, if you have an App idea, it’s good business sense to develop across these platforms.

What caused mobile app ideas to fail in 2019

Creating a new app can be a daunting task, made more so when you consider that 90% of apps will likely fail. In our experience, it's not actually the mobile app development part that's tricky. It's coming up with an innovative idea and they launching it successfully.

By understanding why applications fail, you should be able to better assess the pitfalls to avoid, thus increasing your own chances of creating a successful mobile application.

As a mobile application startup, there could have been many reasons why you failed last year but here are the factors what we feel to be the most impactful:

Unvalidated idea

You may think you’ve come up with an innovative idea, but unique doesn’t necessarily mean good. If it doesn’t cater to a need that people are searching for then your app is unlikely to be popular. The very first thing that you should do is validate your idea.

No money

Apps cost money. You need to constantly develop and update your app. You also need to promote your app. If you run out of money your App idea will fail.

Competitive space

A competitive niche is not necessarily the worst niche to get into. If it’s popular it means that people are willing to spend money. But competitive niches can also be tough and you may be competing against much bigger, established players who have deeper pockets than you do

Poor planning

They say failing to plan is planning to fail. If you haven’t laid out a proper business plan for your app idea you’re limiting your chances of success.

Mobile app ideas that succeeded in 2019

There were plenty of top mobile app ideas that worked in 2019 and plenty that failed. The list of the best apps is long. Too long for one blog post. Here, we wanted to concentrate on three different app ideas that were popular in 2019 – some only developed recently and some enjoying a resurgence.


RescueTime has enjoyed a resurgence of late, helping millions worldwide stay better organised. It tracks your usage of apps and what websites you visit (do you really want to know how much time you are spending on Facebook.?).

What made it successful – In 2019 there’s been a resurgence in interest in “productivity hacks” and RescueTime, as an established player, was well placed to capture this interest. This is, therefore, a great example of leveraging the perfect window of opportunity. They have also cleverly employed a freemium model, which make it extremely inviting to its users.

Décor Matters

Using the Decor Matters mobile app means that you can change the design of your home using AR technology and your camera phone through the iOS App. That means you can test ideas before going out and spending any money. The app allows you to view decoration designs and see what they would look like in your home.

What made it successful – This App idea combines community and creativity to help people create their dream homes. It is also pushing the tech boundaries. Not only does it employ AR, there are also blockchain incentives for creatives who participate in the community. All in all a very clever app.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was the recent launch from the same team that launched Pokemon Go a few years ago. It’s available on Android & iOS and this has been another successful mobile app

What made it successful – It’s taken the same formula that worked so successfully for Pokemon Go and combined it with characters that have captured the imaginations of a Generation. This is a truly fantastic example of how you can white-label or reskin a great app idea into another related market.

How to come up with a successful app idea for 2020

Do you have an idea for a top new mobile app you want to launch in 2020? Here are some things you need to consider before even writing a line of code (or getting someone else to do it for you.)

Define your target market according to your niche

Who is your App idea for? Is it a mobile app? A tablet app or a computer-based app? Do you have a clearly identified target market that you are designing this App for? You need to have a clear understanding of your perfect user profile.

Conduct thorough research of your market, including running a competitor analysis

It’s time to get online and do some research. Here are some questions you should ask. Are there other apps out there that cater to the niche you are looking for? If you have a “new” idea and you can’t find a competitor is there an identified need? What are people currently doing to solve the problem you have identified? What possible alternatives could they have to choose from?

List out the factors for each competitor’s success or failure with their App ideas

Have a think about what your competitors are doing. What makes their app idea a good one? Is there anything that's not working? What could you do better? If you can add more value to your target market than competitors you’ll increase your chances of success.

Make sure your app has unique features and a USP

It is possible to be successful in a competitive niche. If you search for a particular type of app in the Play Store or App Store you’ll likely find a variety of apps to choose from. You don’t necessarily have to have a completely innovative idea but you do have to have something unique about your app. You need to have some reason for a user to choose your mobile app above other options available.

Create buzz to make it a hit

Your app won’t be successful without some marketing. If you want your app idea to be a hit people need to know about it. Promoting your app is almost as important as the app idea itself.

Some final thoughts on app ideas

As you can see, spending on mobile applications in 2019 was at an all-time high. The App industry will only grow in 2020 and beyond. We have not only developed mobile apps, we have helped startuppers validate their ideas. For us, the most important part of this process is to start with an app idea validation workshop. Through these workshops, we have helped our clients not only ensure that they have a viable app idea but also define the user profile and build a true MVP.

Devwiz is a Sydney based App Development agency. Therefore if you a new app idea and want to build a mobile application in 2020, and actually earn money from it, please get in contact. One of our team will guide you through our processes. This will help you to understand whether we are the right partners for you.

Tags: App Idea, App Ideas