Inspired by all those popular stories of self-taught programmers and hackers who went on to achieve big things, you probably set aside a bit of the summer holidays to perfect your own development skills. It is indeed true that you can literally learn everything you need to know about programming online, without even having to pay a single cent if you know where to look. In addition to getting the basics, there are a lot of projects with practical walk-through examples with which to polish your skills.
If you’ve decided to take up programming on more of a specialist level however, and you’ve chosen apps development as your path, the one problem you’ll probably bump into is that of not knowing just what project to work on. You’re perhaps developing for both the Android and the iOS platform, but even then if you just think of an idea for an app you’d like to develop and sell, chances are if you run a search in the relevant apps stores, you’ll find that your idea for an app already exists. It doesn’t even end there – for every idea, there are a number of apps competing for downloads, some of which have numbers which run into the thousands.
Don’t be deterred however, because it’s just a matter of catering to those markets which aren’t aimed directly at the end-user consumer. Another way of approaching it is with the view that you only want a little bit of the existing market share and you don’t necessarily want to come up with something completely new.
Utility-type apps are those which work as tools for hobbyists and professionals who have a specific special interest. So instead of say creating a game app (like Angry Birds, etc.), rather look towards targeting a specific niche. Take the photography niche for instance, which is actually quite a broad one. A good idea for a specialised app would be something like one which calculates the hyperfocal distance of the photos the phone’s owner takes. You’ll obviously need to beef up a bit on some specialised knowledge of that particular niche, but all of this is some knowledge which is freely available. An app such as a built-in hyperfocal distance calculator would then have a specific target market, but if it’s any good, it’ll be popular enough to rack up some impressive download numbers among photographers mainly. You’ll likely be surprised who else downloads it as well, with users coming up with all sorts of creative things to do with any newly-developed tech.
Virtual reality is the next realm for consumers, well according to those who are at the centre of the tech world at least. Apps which have a focus on recreating a real-life experience continue to be popular as well and there’s in fact actually still a big gap for such apps. A traveller who’s never been to the Antarctic for instance would spend hours lost in an app which effectively allows them to virtually explore their dream destination if it offered some good interactivity.