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Mobile App Trends in 2018 – 5 Upcoming Trends for Entrepreneurs

2017 was a rapid-growth year in the tech space. With increased consumer and research spending, we expect this trend to continue throughout 2018 as well. Based on the growth and advancements in scientific research, the following are the main categories we believe that the largest business opportunities will arise.

1. Significant Improvements in Audio and Video-Based Artificial Intelligence



Audio and Video-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made significant improvements over the last two years. Google, Microsoft and IBM have now opened their AI platforms for public use, which makes AI projects much more affordable and accessible for tech-startups.

We’re also seeing increased spending in research by many large tech companies, which means this AI continue to grow. Google has even publicly stated they’re shifting their strategy from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘AI first’.

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Young businessman in black suit wearing virtual reality goggles.

5 Ways Businesses Could Use Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is changing many businesses and industries around the world. AR is different to Virtual Reality (VR) or one would say AR is one step ahead of VR. AR gives the user the ability to interact with the technology that is created using computer-generated enhancements and an existing reality. This technology is developed into Apps which need to be used on mobile devices. Here are some great examples of AR in the Retail Industry.

VR is slightly different and is typically achieved by wearing a headset while playing a 3D game or watching a 3D movie and candidates who train to become pilots use this particular technology in flight simulators.

However, industries use AR to do amazing things such as holograms. Therefore, an Organization will be able to differentiate itself from its competition by using a feature such as AR in its business operations.

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8 Apps Surprisingly Valued Over $10 Million

The amount of revenue one could earn from an App is unlimited. It is similar to managing a Company, with the correct strategy in place whether it be Operational or Marketing, the revenue is limitless.

Just think of the net worth of Apps such as WhatsApp (USD 9.7 billion), Facebook (USD 71.5 billion), Instagram (USD 1.48 billion) and Twitter (USD 10 billion). All the above-mentioned Apps, did not possess the net worth overnight. It involved strategic planning which differentiated from its competitors and positioned itself with a competitive edge to capture the market share. It is important that focus is given not only to planning but also to the execution of the plan and it is of utmost importance that reviews are done periodically in order to understand the current position and determine the way forward.

There are many Apps which are developed on a daily basis addressing the needs in the market but this article will highlight a few Apps which have made headlines by being valued over USD 10 million while having the strangest of ideas.

1. YO



This App has only approximately 50,000 users and is available on both App Store and on Google Store but has surprisingly raised funds of almost USD 10 million. The main concept of this App is to send text messages to the friend list saying ‘Yo’. Approximately USD 1 million has been raised from investors such as Betaworks and from Pete Cashmore (founder of the news website – Mashable) and much more investment was found through seed investment rounds. These types of investments will assist the developer of the App to upgrade its features and launch the App in other parts of the world which will bring in incremental turnover to the business.

2. SoundHound



On Google Store itself, the App has 650,000 users and its estimated net worth is USD 10 million. It is such a simple App where it allows the users to discover the music which is played around whether it is in the vehicle or outside (shops, shopping malls, public areas etc). The phone only needs to listen to the song for a few seconds and the App will tell exactly what is playing: title, album, artist and even the lyrics. Also, the songs could be played back free of cost through the built-in You Tube player. This concept is quite unique but given the fact that the radio announcers mention the name of the song before or after it is played on the radio, it is quite surprising that the App is worth USD 10 million.

3. Draw Something



It is one of the most popular drawing games. Launched in the year 2012 and it currently has around 100 million downloads and an estimated revenue of around USD 200 million plus. It is an astonishing estimate given the fact that it is only a fun App where one could exchange doodle art with family and friends within the network. Even though we assume that people are busy, both parents are working etc. data suggests that people want innovative, fun ideas to keep them occupied sometimes and/or else, destress themselves by engaging in games like these.

4. Restaurant Story


This App was developed in the year 2010 and the estimated revenue is believed to be USD 22 million plus at a valuation of USD 1 billion. The main income generator for this App is through In-App Purchases thus it builds on its database of clientele on a daily basis since the App is free of cost to download. It is an App where the users could design their own restaurant (seating, menu, recipes etc) and exchange recipes from friends and do much more. This App could even be used in Universities and Schools for students studying Hospitality or Hotel Management to increase their creativity. Therefore, the market is endless for this App.

5. Fat Booth



This App has an estimated revenue of USD 24 million and it is believed to be in the top 25 bestselling paid Apps of all time. The App is rated as being very funny and simply due to that fact, user downloads have kept increasing over the past few years. The cost to download the app is only $0.99 thereby, resulting in potential users downloading the App and exploring its opportunities. The basic concept of this App is that it shows the user how the user will look like if he / she puts on few extra pounds and the results which will be displayed would be quite hilarious.

6. Hipstamatic


This App has an estimated revenue of USD 10 million while the number of downloads has exceeded 5 million. The users could take photos from the iPhone and transform them into trendsetting retro images with filters and other effects. Each download costs $4.49 and it is one of the most top grossing apps on iTunes. You would wonder how with photoshop and with all other related software available to add filters to photos, how this App is making this amount of revenue? As discussed earlier, with the correct strategy being planned and executed, anything is possible.

7. Design This Home



This App is managed by only three (3) full-time employees but it has around 300,000 daily active users and a total user – base of 4 million. The gross revenue of this App is around USD 12 million for a year and the income is mainly generated through In-App purchases. The target audience of this App are the people who want to build their dream house and design it. As a result of using this App, people do not have to consult architects or interior designers and could design their house just the way they want for a fraction of the cost they would spend on hiring an architect or an interior designer. No one would have thought there is a need for this App before it was launched since the services and the value it offers is already being fulfilled by architects and interior designers. But for people who want to save money and time and would like to design their perfect home, this App is ideal and the revenue data suggests that the market is growing daily.

8. Fruit Ninja



This is a fruit slicing game which has an amazing number of 20 million downloads. Even with ever-popular games such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga, Fruit Ninja has captured its target audience and is earning revenue.

The above-mentioned Apps exemplify the fact that it is possible to generate very high revenue by understanding a need in the market and by implementing the correct strategy.

Do you have an App Idea?

Have you ever had an App Idea and thought, I wish I can make an App like that? Elegant Media is an Australia based tech company that specialises in smartphone App development. We can sign Non-Disclosure Agreements to protect your idea, and then design, develop and release Apps under your own name. Contact us for a free consultation.


young girl with backpack, tourist traveler on background panoram

The App Growth Strategy of AARRR – App Marketing Guide

With billions of Apps now in the App Store, you need a solid growth strategy to bring more users to user your app. The AARRR strategy, which is also known as the Pirate Metrics, is a battle-tested plan that gives you actionable metrics to grow your user base exponentially. Though these measurement techniques have been around for a long time, it has been popularised by Dave McClure of 500Startups.

Though it is explained below as it relates to launch of an App, these metrics can be applied to any digital product with ongoing user activity.

AARRR is an abbreviation for the following steps.

  • Acquisition
  • Activation
  • Retention
  • Referral
  • Revenue

Most people think building an app is a simple process which you can do within a few weeks. However the high-growth apps are designed and planned with growth, scalability and distribution in mind from the start. Here is the simplest way to approach these metrics.

Acquisition – How do you get the users?

It’s important to think about the distribution strategy of your App. If you don’t get this right, all the other steps are practically useless. You need to have a solid strategy to acquire new users at a reasonable cost. The User Acquisition Cost (UAC) depends on your budget and the expected Average Revenue per User (ARPU) over the user’s lifetime. If you’re already funded by a Venture Capital (VC) firm, you can expect to spend a lot more money to acquire users in the beginning. High-growth companies such as Uber has very high customer acquisition costs, because most of it is subsidised by Venture Capital funding.

man using mobile smart phone

Activation – How Many Users Take Action?

Once you have defined a way to get users through Acquisition, the next part of your strategy should be influencing the users to ‘Activate’ the product. In other words, what’s the first hurdle a person needs to pass to become a ‘user’ of the app. In most cases, it will be the registration process. In some cases, it could be just downloading and opting-in to receive a notification through the app. Regardless of the action, you should have a clearly defined ‘activation’ goal and a method to track the ratio of users come from the acquisition stage to activation stage.

Retention – How May Users Stay?

We’ve seen apps where there are many users downloading the App and signing up, but some fail to stay as ongoing users. It’s important to engage the users back into the app from time to time. Most apps do this by sending push and email notifications encouraging them with new information about the app.

Sometimes users may get confused on how to use the product and they may never come back. To reduce drop-off rates because of this, you can use tutorials and guides within your products to make it easier for your users to understand it.

Surveys and user feedback forms can give you some insight into why the users may not use your app. If your app is in App Store or Google Play, don’t forget to monitor the user reviews. If there are negative reviews, these are direct user feedback and you can use that to improve user experience and improve the app for better retention.

Because of Hawthorn effect, when users are observed, some users may not tell the real reason why the retention rate is dropping. To eliminate those situations, you should use a tracking software such as Google Analytics to measure where users might be dropping off from a conversion funnel.

Referral – Are Users Referring your Product to Others?

As you know, one of the best marketing methods is ‘word-of-mouth’. After you have all the above steps covered, think about creating strong referral loops. Word of mouth or referrals is generally assumed as a ‘free’ way of growing the customer base. However, this is not the case anymore. Companies such as Uber and DigitalOcean have accelerated their growth by creating incentivised referral campaigns – where both the referrer and the referred user are incentivised by to bring more users. This creates a viral-loop that gives a high ROI for your marketing campaign.



Revenue – Are the Users Paying Enough?

Whether your product is bootstrapped or funded by investors, at some point you’ll plan your revenue generation strategy. If the product is bootstrapped, then you’ll closely have to monitor the revenue and the profit generated, so that you’re going to at least break-even in the initial stages.

If you’re backed by investors, your investors will have some expectation about the long-term plan for your company and when they can expect to see a return on their investment. Therefore, discuss it with the investors at early stages, and change your revenue model to align with their goals.


Launching a new App creates a lot of noise and it’s easy to get distracted with all the incoming requests after it is launched. AARRR metrics are a simple way to monitor the progress of your app or product and ensure it’s moving towards success. When you’re launching the App, create a simple dashboard to measure AARRR metrics, so that you can tweak and optimise them to reach your target levels.


How Do You Make Money from Apps?

There is a school of thought which states that Apps can be costly to develop. Yes, it could be costly but the interesting fact is that the Return on Investment (ROI) could be quite high too. And once the initial investment is covered using one or more revenue streams within an App which I will be highlighting in this article, the additional income would be all net profits.

Nowadays it is a common practice by most App owners to make their App available on either App Store or on Google Play free of charge so that the user-base for the App could be enhanced rather quickly. It is interesting to note that more than 25% of IOS App owners earn more than $5,000 per month and with the Android user-base increasing daily, more than 16% Android App owners too enjoy an earning over $5,000 per month.

So, if most of the leading Apps are available free of cost for users to download, how do the owners make money?

Apart from making the App available at a cost on App Store or on Google Play, mentioned below are few methods where Apps could generate revenue.

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