The following is a curated list of tools and websites used by top mobile app entrepreneurs to run different aspects of their app business ranging from ideation, prototyping, development, marketing, monetization, and analytics. Many of the resources listed here are crucial to running my own business and I strongly recommend them.
These are based on the Mobile App Cycle. As there are many resources it can be a bit overwhelming. The best way to approach this is to identify the stage where you are in the app creation process and go to the resources for that stage.
- App Idea Generation
- App Idea Validation
- App Design/Prototyping
- App Development
- App Publishing
- App Marketing
- App Store Optimization
- App Analytics
- Learning – Books/Courses
App Idea Generator helps you develop a system to identify profitable app ideas in less than 60 minutes. It is created by Carter Thomas of Bluecloud Solutions, who is the gold standard in the mobile app space. He has used this system to generate ideas for 1500 mobile apps that resulted in 19 million plus downloads. Worth having a look!
IdeasWatch is a crowdsourced portal for all kinds of startup ideas. It has 1000+ app ideas for you to choose from and each idea comes with an IdeaWatchScore – the number of people supporting that idea. Some ideas have as many as 1400 supporters! A readymade customer base for you to build upon.
Sensor Tower is a great tool to do ninja research on your app category and competitors. You can find the most popular apps by your category and keyword, their number of downloads and revenue made. It also helps you to analyze reviews by a country which is so important to validate your app features. The paid version is available at $79 per month for developers with a 14 day trial period to check out the features.
QuickMVP is a landing page and Google Adwords combined into one. It can allow you to quickly create a single page app description with an elevator pitch for your app. By just adding app icon and screenshots you can test if people are interested in your idea. No need to develop your app before validation. You can also build an email list of people interested in buying your app by directing traffic with Adwords. The same thing can be done with LeadPages and Google Adwords but this is much quicker.
There are 2 ways to go about designing your app. Either you can start from scratch or you can use an already existing template and then build on top of it. The former strategy gives you more flexibility but the latter one is much faster.
Start From Scratch
It enables you to create beautiful, clickable prototypes for your app. The best part is you can download it on your mobile and test with friends.
This tool is great to create a functional prototype without focusing on the look of the app. You can create links to streamline the app flow.
This comes in handy when you want to quickly hand-sketch your app design.
Use Existing Template
Bluecloud Solutions is one of the top blogs for all tips and resources for becoming an app entrepreneur. It is run by Carter Thomas and has amazing resources for app development. All of these app codes are high quality and have been personally used by Carter and team to make 1500 mobile apps amassing 19 million plus downloads.
Code Canyon is a marketplace owned by the popular brand Envato. It has a large collection of high-quality mobile app source codes for all different platforms. Not only do they sell iOS app source codes or Android source codes, they also have many app source codes for SDK’s to build hybrid apps. You can find source codes built in Unity, Corona and Titanium platform to deploy for all different app stores with a small customization.
This is the biggest marketplace for freelancers and should be your 1st stop for finding good developers. You can post your job with a small test and let the developers bid for your task.
If you are on a ultra-low budget, Fiverr is the place to go. Ranging from icons, app screenshots, video previews to even app development, you can get a good job done but you might have to hunt a little.
Apple Store/Google Play
First of all, you will need an account with your selected app store. For iOS app (walkthrough) you will need an Apple Developer Account ($99 yearly fee). For Android, you need to sign on (walkthrough) Google Play ($25 one-time fee).
An open-source tool to create amazing screenshots in all sizes for app stores. It has been acquired by Google now.
It has a great collection of paid and free graphics, icons, and backgrounds for your apps.
Apps with video previews are rated higher and get more downloads as compared to apps with only screenshots. Screenflow (for Mac users) and Camtasia (for Windows users) are great tools for creating video previews.
Leadpages is a great tool for creating high-quality landing pages quickly and easily. It is a great way to collect emails of interested customers to give a massive push during app-launch.
This is one of the important tools for collecting email addresses before app promotion. Email list will be one of your most important assets and it’s critical to use the right service to manage it. Aweber makes managing your email list and setting up autoresponders super easy and user-friendly. Segmenting my email subscribers into groups so that they get content specific to their individual needs has never been more simple. It is a standard that is used by internet marketers.
I recommend Bluehost for the following reasons. Dependable hosting with outstanding customer service, one-click automatic WordPress installation (our suggested platform for managing your site and content), plenty of storage and bandwidth and extremely affordable pricing. This site is hosted on Bluehost and it is also the recommended choice by 2 great masters of the internet business – Jeremy & Jason of Internet Business Mastery and Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income.
ProductHunt has become the de-facto standard for any tech product launch. You can tap into a huge community looking to try new products.
Mobile Action is a leading user acquisition service for mobile developers. Founded in 2013, and headquartered in San Francisco, the company has released its app store intelligence and app store optimization tools for free. Get competitor rankings, app download and revenue insights and make informed ASO decisions to increase your organic downloads. Analytics for the app is free. ASO Intelligence starts at $69 per month.
Sensor Tower is an app store optimization and intelligence platform for app developers. Founded in 2013, by Alex Malafeev and Oliver Yeh, Sensor Tower provides valuable insights into your competitors through its Rankings and Leaderboards resource. The app store optimization tool’s accurate data and tracking functions help improve your app’s visibility in the app store; while the keyword translation feature translates your keywords into multiple languages to increase your app downloads in other countries. ASO intelligence starts from $79 per month.
It allows you to track your app downloads, revenues, rankings, and reviews and also stores your app data on your behalf.
Great tool to study your app’s user experience and analyze advertising campaigns. It’s free and takes 5 minutes for basic integration.
This free-analytics dashboard from Google is the jack-of-all-trades, providing full insight into app performance and user behavior.
A great course from Evan Kimbrell, founder of SprintKick, San Francisco. In 15 hours of video lectures and exercises, you learn to go from Idea to MVP with no coding. It is one of the bestselling course on Udemy in the app domain and 8000+ students have already benefited from the same.
Over 5 hours of video footage and PDFs teaching everything you need to know about the most lucrative app development model out there from the app ninjas at Bluecloud Solutions. Carter and team have perfected this system and used it to make 1500 mobile apps amassing 19 million plus downloads.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is one of the best and most insightful books on entrepreneurship in the market. He has created a new science for creating a successful startup by applying the lean principles of manufacturing to entrepreneurship. A must-read for any app entrepreneur who takes his venture seriously.
The Appreneur Playbook by Charlyn Keating is basically the distilled advice of 32 app experts at one place. It is full of actionable insights and practical tips that can help you leapfrog your app journey. Keep the book as a ready reference on your device (available in only a pdf version), as you will need to refer to it often.