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Simple Apps That Made Millions and Some Expert Tips for App Ideas

Are you thinking of an app that can solve daily tasks? Well here are simple apps that made millions, and your idea just might make you a millionaire too!

The statistics of smartphone subscriptions worldwide have ballooned to a whopping 6.4 billion in August of 2021 from 6 billion by the end of 2020. It is forecasted to continue with its uphill climb and is not seen to go down anytime. Needless to say, app usage and smartphone dependency are also growing at a steady rate.

Influential, Helpful, and Addictive

It is a known fact that the internet has become a very influential part of our daily lives. Not to mention addictive.  We cannot live a day without looking at our mobile device or even our laptop/desktop, surfing the net, or using the downloaded apps that help us stay informed, entertained, or productive.

We use apps to help our social lives, education, entertainment, work, businesses, health, fashion, lifestyle, even cooking, etc. The list could go on and on. The internet is our go-to place for just about anything! A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G!

Mobile App Statistics You Must Know


The latest 2021 Mobile App Statistics show that the Apple App Store has 1.96 million apps available for download and 2.87 million on the Google Play Store, also available for download, of course.

Millennials are the most frequent users of these apps, with 21% opening an app more than 50 times each day.  And 49% of people, in general, open an app 11 times per day.

Moreover, in the US, 69% of digital media time comes from mobile apps. 

And this is something that software developers must take note of. Mobile apps are foreseen to generate a tremendous $ 935 billion total revenue by 2023!

Hurray for App Developers, App Publishers, and Entrepreneurs!

Now that you have the attractive statistics that make you want to jump into the business of making your app ideas an app that will generate millions, or billions, or more, you need to make sure that three things will happen.

First, USERS NEED TO DOWNLOAD YOUR APP.

Second, USERS NEED TO USE YOUR APP.

Third, USERS NEED TO SHARE YOUR APP.

Forbes posted this Top 10 Apps by million downloads for the Second Quarter of 2021

Of course, what users want matters. So, the niche your app is into will affect your app’s following.

 In the July 2021 statistics recorded of downloaded apps from Apple by Statista, 21.49% of these downloaded apps were games, 10.1% business, 8.67 % education, 8.61% lifestyle, 6.25% utilities, and news is the least downloaded with 1.81%. 

On the Google play store, here are the most downloaded categories: communication: 99.93%; tools 99.81%; business 99.33; video players and edit 96.63 and weather as the last on the list with 32.36%.

While the data below was provided by  Statista, based on the number of downloads (in millions) by leading Android Apps in the Google Play Store.

The Common Characteristics of Simple Apps that Made Millions

A young woman holds a mobile phone and so happy looking at it as if she had seen something she liked.

Photo by Ghen Mar Cuaño on Unsplash

The App provides a solution to a problem,  like Bubble Free and iAuditor.

The most profitable app ideas are those that answer a problem.  Apps that make you hate Math a little less are flourishing. Singing apps that make you feel how it is to be in a studio, though you’re just singing through your mobile phone, are creating a vast market as well.  Some apps make you pass the time while on a train, riding a bus, or waiting in line. There are just so many of them that help give solutions to our present situations.

“Our lives will be facilitated by a myriad of adaptive applications running on different devices, with different sensors, all of them collecting tidbits about everything we do, and feeding big digital brains that can adapt applications to our needs simply because they get to know us.”(Marcio Cyrillo, Executive Director, CI&T)

simple apps that made millions

An example is iOS Bubble-Free from Falcon Mobile, which gives gratification to a very simple human habit.  Most of us cannot help but exert the effort of popping bubble wraps!

Yes, a solution to an ordinary human habit, there you go! Bubble Free is, of course, free to download. But with millions of downloads and millions gained from advertising campaigns, it has made $7 million!

Another example of a helpful app that raised millions is iAuditor by SafetyCulture.  It has so many great reviews for being simple to use, excellent functionality, security conscious, and not a single bad review!

i Auditor an app that made millions

iAuditor helps in conducting security and compliance checks through a tablet or mobile phone.  This app lets users capture vast information in different file types, store audit history digitally, and examine and review trends over time.

The app ensures the forms created by users are safe and can be accessed even without an internet connection. There are just so many productive activities that this app could do for your business. No wonder iAuditor could capture an $800 million valuation on a $35.5 million round last year.

The App sticks with “Simplicity is key’ like Draw Something and SoundHound

In a “fast-paced, ready-to-cook, real-time kind of world,” simple, user-friendly apps attract the most attention.

If your app can be navigated conveniently and has reasonable functionality, you may expect a considerable following.  The user will not look for another app similar to yours because you already satisfy the most fundamental quality of world-famous apps –  SIMPLICITY.

The rich and interactive experiences we have come to expect on mobile apps have created new standards and expectations for all digital media, including the web. The result is websites are evolving to become more app-like in their rich functionality.” (Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics)

One of the best examples is DRAW SOMETHING.

Draw Something

Draw Something by OMGPop, is an application that lets one play fun games by competing with other players. The game is to draw fast and finish it on time, with as many drawings as you can.

Draw Something is simple, thus user-friendly, because you don’t have to be an artist to use it! Navigating the game is easy, with no complex instructions and maneuvering.  And what more? It is free!

Another app that hit the simplest app ideas on the Google Play Store is SoundHound.

SoundHound was conceived because of a mission: to add voice AI to everything. The group of students from Stanford created SoundHound in 2005, which is designed to simplify sound and music identification.  The technologies developed by the company convert sound into understanding and valuable meaning.  The app recognizes music by using artificial intelligence. This AI enables users to discover, explore, and play music. SoundHound estimated revenue per year is $ 51.5M.

When your app is developed, it should right away show that it’s high-performing. What does this mean?  The app must load fast, work fast, be continuously optimized, and ensure that the screen and in-app processes are consistently at an impressive speed, enough to secure successful user engagement.

Google GoSearch

 “End users, not technologies, shape the market. Consequently, marketers need to stay abreast not only of technological developments but also of the way people respond to them.” (Matt Haig, author of Mobile Marketing-” The Message Revolution”)

Who wants to search using an app that is too slow to handle your mood? None, right? The app store is full of apps, but many of these do not deliver as promised. They almost always make you lose your temper.

Google Go is serving the right market, which is always satisfied with what it offers. Good reviews never stop coming in, and this is obvious just by looking at its $183.27M revenue for 2021.

The App must be available on iOS and Android. An example of a simple app that hit millions is Fat Booth.

If you want your app to reach the most comprehensive market, it should be available for both platforms.

In the United States, Apple iOS still holds the biggest market in smartphone operating systems, more than half of the market. (statista.com)

This means that to be a leading player in the market, you must hold both sides of the coin. Your app must be accessible to both platforms, iOS or Android. Anyway, cross-platform app development can help save costs for developers. 

A cross-platform app is usually the best option for an MVP. An MVP or minimum viable product is an app with minimum characteristics or features that will serve as a test product to launch your idea and see if people like it. It may generate a million downloads in the App Store or Google Play Store.

Fat Booth app that made millions

Curiosity might kill the cat but not you. If you’re curious how you’ll look if you gain a few or more weights, then Fat Booth is your go-to App.  And has been the app of millions of curious users that have made it earn $24 million in revenues.

PiVi & Co created Fat Booth, an app that allows users to upload their image, and the app will convert this image into their fat version. 

The app must have security; a great example is WhatsApp Messenger.

Mobile devices are vulnerable to attacks on their security and privacy while transmitting and receiving information over the internet.  Application security controls must be enhanced and programmed to be less susceptible to threats.  Moreover, apps must undergo fuzzing to test various inputs to see why they react in such a way, which may lead to discovering a security hole.

Do you know that each time you turn on your mobile phone and use an app, you are revealing these things:

  • The places you visit
  • Passwords
  • Messages and texts
  • Personal IDs
  • Google Accounts

WhatsApp Messenger 

WhatsApp made millions

WhatsApp is a free, multi-platform messaging app used for video and voice calls, text message sending, sharing status, and more.  It was launched in 2009 but purchased in 2014 by Facebook for $21.8B.

And speaking of security, what’s app has several advanced security features.  Just like Apple’s iMessage and Signal, it has end-to-end encryption. This means that all messages going through it are secured, ensuring that only the sender and the recipient can view them.  Even WhatsApp couldn’t read your message.  Another good thing is, WhatsApp doesn’t store your personal information, and those in your contact list are the ones who may message you.

It also uses two-factor authentication like Google and Facebook.

According to Statista:

As of July 2021, two billion users were accessing WhatsApp messenger on a monthly basis. The app’s reach is usage penetration is particularly strong in markets outside of the United States, and it is one of the most popular mobile social apps worldwide. 

The app must have a humanitarian value – a mission to help.

No matter how profitable apps are, they must not deviate from making this world a better place for all of us. However, more significantly, this is a “cliche” to some developers, but not for  Dong Nguyen, the genius behind Flappy Bird.

simple apps that made millions

Flappy Bird is one of those simple apps that made millions after its launching in May 2013. For one dollar to download, it was making $50,000 a day.

But Dong Nguyen was not just any developer turned entrepreneur. He’s someone who believes in more significant things.  This character of Nguyen made him shut down Flappy bird in February 2014, despite the application’s high revenue of $320 million.  This decision came when he saw how Flappy Bird was affecting so many people that got so much addicted to the game, with him also absorbing the stress.

“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” Nguyen told Forbes reporter Lan Anh Nguyen. “But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.” (Dong Nguyen said in an interview with Forbes.)

Got Some App Ideas? Talk to Us and Make Your App a Reality

There are so many apps, and there will be more in the future, both in the Apple app store and Google play store.  Many apps have already made millions, and more will be making millions.  Many apps are being used, and more have been forgotten already. Simple apps make millions, and more simple apps will be making millions. The possibilities could go on and on.

But one thing is for sure if you have app ideas that you think are worth a try, you must jump on to the challenge – for only then will you know if your idea is a click or a flap.

When somebody begins a sentence with “IT WOULD BE NICE IF..” the right thing to do is to wait politely for the speaker to finish. No project ever gets around to the it-would-be-nice features: or if they do, they regret it. Wait for sentences that begin “WE HAVE TO..” and pay close attention, and see if you agree.

 – Tom Van Vleck

We know just how to handle your simple ideas and help turn them into famous ones at Design Develop Now. Talk to us today!

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