5 App Myths Debunked

We don our favorite beret and smooth out the whiskers on our moustaches as we take a swipe at debunking some common app development myths.

Many people think they need a ton of cash to build an app. They have great ideas, but they never pursue their app aspirations because they think it costs too much. False. For less than $5,000, you can build a simple app that looks good and works like a charm. It’s not cheap, but it’s not as expensive as people think either.

Many aspiring app entrepreneurs also think it’s tough to get an app approved  at the App Store – it’s not. Dreamt It, a nifty app where iOS users can record and share their dreams, was approved in two hours. While the Apple Review process may be intimidating (or even nervewracking) since no one really knows what goes on behind the scenes, there are a few things you can do to make the process faster and way easier. The first is to relax. Next, read the App Review Guidelines and follow it to a T. Lastly, test your app before you submit it. Make sure it’s bug-free, hassle-free, and annoyance-free. If your testers love it, the folks at Apple probably will too.

These are just two of the many app lies and misconceptions out there. Below are five more app myths we’d like to debunk so you can stop thinking about building an app and finally get around to making one.

1. “If you build it, they will come.”

Just because you started a blog doesn’t mean people will visit it. Just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean people will read it. The same applies to apps: Just because you built an app and listed it on all the app stores doesn’t mean people will download it. With nearly a million apps out there, your app is on its way to app oblivion the moment you conceptualize it if you don’t implement an effective marketing plan. Building an app is just half the battle. Whether you hire a marketing team or go the DIY route, apps need to be marketed if you want it to be successful. Like with any business, you won’t make any money if no one knows you exist. After all, when you’re managing an app, you’re managing a business – so treat it like one.

2. Only games and social apps make it big.

Yes, games make the most money and social apps continuously top the app charts. There are, however, other app categories that are less saturated (and, therefore, arguably less competitive), but also make it big. These categories include Lifestyle, Health/Fitness, Travel, Medical, Education, Reference, Business, and Utility. If your app improves people’s lives or adds some sort of value, it has a decent chance of making it big – regardless of its category.

3. People want to chat/meet the people around them (i.e., geolocation dating/networking apps)

The concept of pulling up random people’s profiles who are nearby and have the same interests as you for a potential meetup is intriguing (and pretty cool, in theory) – it’s also very foreign for most app users. Not only does it pose a slew of privacy concerns, but for a lot of people, it’s just downright creepy. While fun to use, even basic location-based applications like Foursquare aren’t as popular as it seems. According to a recent study, while thirty percent of online adults in the U.S. are aware of geolocation apps, less than six percent use them and only two percent actually do so at least once a week. Despite the many geolocation and networking apps already out there, it’s hard to tell if people are actually warming up to using them.

4. Android is the place to be for app makers

  • Homogeneity has its benefits

    95% of all iPhones/iPads run either iOS 6.0 or 6.1, which was released in 2012. Building an app on iOS means being able to focus development on the newest version of the platform.

  • Marketshare vs App Revenue

    Android has over 56% of the marketshare of smartphones, but 80% of all app revenue is earned on Apple’s iOS platform.

  • Fragmentation

    While Android has a commanding marketshare lead,  there remains a cornocopia of different versions of the Android operating system on the market, making development costly.

With Google Play outgrowing the App Store and doubling its revenues in a single quarter, it’s easy to conclude that Android is the place to be. Not so fast. As an app maker, you must first figure out who your audience is and for which platform your app is best suited. While many apps cross platforms, not all apps can be made for Android, such as those that utilize Siri or function based on Windows tools and platform-based user sensibilities. Additionally, making apps for Android is not an easy task. Not only does it take longer build Android apps (the nuances between the thousands of different Android devices is not for the faint of heart), but it’s also tough to turn a profit in major categories, particularly with gaming apps. Instead of looking at app store numbers alone, think about your app and where it can best perform.

5. Windows Phone is dead

The Enterprise will save Windows Phone

Windows Phone may be and underdog, but it’s certainly not dead. Developers are cautious to make Windows apps, though, because Windows only has a 2.4% global market share. Nonetheless, developers are watching because Windows apps have massive potential (last year alone, they added 75,000 new apps and over 300,000 updates; developer revenue also continues to grow every month and was up 40% within 30 days of the SDK release for Windows 8). Additionally, Windows Phone has plenty of room for growth and innovation for developers: One of the main complaints about Windows Phones is that there is a general lack of apps that are widely used on iOS and Android devices, so many developers see this is an opportunity for many developers to build alternative, Windows-based apps to perform similar functions. (Read more about why Windows isn’t going anywhere)

What other app myths have you come across? Share them below!

About Sara Angeles

Sara is a copywriter, blogger, and content strategist for startups and lifestyle brands. She graduated from UC Irvine and has a background in law, finance, and business administration. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter. Her Google+ is lonely. Find out more about her at SaraAngeles.com.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zsiba Asbolutly NoOne

    I just wanted to quickly say that while the article itself is good and brings up some good points. Point #4′s image transition pushes point 5 up and down making it horribly annoying to read. Even as I type this the box is flipping out all over the place.

    • omgbobbyg

      Thanks for letting us know, it should be fixed now!

  • Al Brown

    Blog reporting and useless. The references you give are articles you wrote before pointing to other articles you wrote. Its all opinion. So no thanks. None of these points are valid. It takes longer to develop for Android. Where is this point made anywhere?

  • http://www.cloudstaff.com/ Alta Noble

    A very helpful article indeed. These information that you have shared are indeed useful. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.process-box.com/ Clarissa Lucas

    Thank you for posting this great article. It is a big help. Cheers!