Cory Althoff

Former Vonage Team Member

Cory Althoff is a developer advocate at Vonage and the author of two books: The "Self-Taught Programmer" and "The Self-Taught Computer Scientist". Book Authority named "The Self-Taught Programmer" ...

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The Ultimate List of iPhone App Ideas

Last updated on Feb 16, 2022

Adding iPhone app development to your list of skills can help your career, but it can be challenging coming up with ideas for an app to practice with. Don't worry, though; we will brainstorm some ideas for iPhone apps together! By the end of this article, you will be ready to create a new iPhone app! 

What is iPhone App Development? 

iPhone app development means building an app, for you guessed it: an iPhone! 

iPhone app developers create software using Objective-C or Swift. 

Swift is an open-source language Apple created to give app developers a better experience than Objective-C. 

If you are interested in learning Swift, here are some resources to get you started:

  1. Learn Swift on Codecademy
  2. iOS & Swift - The Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp.
  3. The Apple Swift documentation

Now, let's dive into some application ideas!

Easy Ideas

  1. Building an iPhone app to play the classic game Hangman is a great way to develop your skills. 
  2. Make a messaging app to send text messages. Add at least one feature Apple's messaging platform doesn't already have. 
  3. Code an app to play TikTak Toe with your friends. 
  4. Program the cook dinner app. Every day it sends you a text message with a new, home-cooked dinner to inspire you to make dinner that night. 
  5. Build an app to play chess. Creating a chess app will not only make you a better iPhone app developer, but it will also make you a much better programmer too!  
  6. Make a chatbot app on a niche topic. This app is a fun opportunity to learn about AI. So, for example, you could build a chatbot that lets the user discuss Pokemon. The Pokemon API might help you with this!
  7. Make an app you open up, and it gives you information about a random cryptocurrency. There are more than 500K cryptocurrencies out there, so you will have a lot of data to work with!
  8. Program a working calculator. 
  9. Develop a random name generator to create stage names for actors.
  10. Create an app that scrapes data about oranges and displays it. For example, it could tell you how many oranges were grown that day. 

Education

  1. Create an app for remote learning. These already exist, but I bet you can make an even better one! What if you added AI that could detect students' faces when you hovered over them and then gave you information about each student? The Vonage video API is a great starting place for streaming video.   
  2. I'm obsessed with to-do lists. I use them to manage everything. There are a million To-Do lists, but even the best program out there most likely doesn't have every feature that would work best with your productivity system. Code a to-do list with two features the to-do list you are currently using don't have.  
  3. Continuing with the to-do list theme, I use a calendar app, notes app, reminder app, and a to-do list to manage my entire life. I would love it if someone created an app that combined all these things into one master app I could use to manage everything.  
  4. Build an app that highlights a coding library or framework every day. 
  5. There are many apps to teach people how to code, but not as many that teach how to program in machine language. Make an app that teaches people how to code at a low level! 
  6. Develop a "standup app" for kids in classrooms. 
  7. Code a tool that lets you organize your Kindle highlights in various ways. You could create folders for them, export them to programs like Notion, drag and drop them in different orders, etc. 
  8. Remember when you did group projects in school and how one person would do most of the work? Create an app to help manage group projects. 
  9. Did you know teachers love memes? Well, some teachers do! Build an app for "educational memes." 
  10. Develop an app that is like Grammarly, but for grading papers!

Random

  1. Did you know there is an app for cats in the Apple App Store? There is! It is called Paint for Cats, and it helps your cat make pictures. It costs $1.99, though, so there is an opportunity to create a similar app and give it away for free.
  2. Do you remember the app Yo? At one point, it was one of the most popular apps in the App Store, despite its only functionality being sending "Yo" to a friend. It is time for programmers to have their own "Yo" app. Make an app that only has one feature: to send "Hello, World!" to friends. 
  3. Are you inspired by "Yo" but looking to go even further? Try building an app that generates random text, puts it on a randomly selected meme, and texts it to a friend.
  4. Here is one last "Yo" idea, which also happens to be a great business idea. Since everyone is talking about crypto these days, create an app with only one function: it texts a friend "crypto!"
  5. There is an iPhone app called Sim Stapler that simulates stapling something. I think the world is missing an app that simulates shredding paper. I double-checked, and this app does not exist, so this is your chance to make history.  
  6. Getting things right during an emergency is extremely difficult. Something as simple as opening up your camera app can be tricky in an emergency, so you should build something to help solve this problem! Make an app that starts recording as soon as you open it and then automatically sends the video to your top contacts without you having to do anything. 
  7. One of my goals this year is to build a website for myself. Do you already have one? Why not go one step further and turn your website into an app? Your app could include your resume, projects, and more. 
  8. Create an emergency broadcast system to send friends and family an SOS message with your location when you are in an emergency. You can use this web app as a starting point.
  9. Continuing with the "emergency theme," build a flashlight app with a button to send an emergency message. For example, you might use it at night when you hear something at night, you need a flashlight to investigate, and you may need to send an emergency message quickly.
  10. There are many inspiring quotes apps, but if you narrow down quotes to one person, you can be the first person ever to build an app that gives you a new quote from them every day. 

Final Thoughts

Working on side projects is one of the best ways to improve your coding skills, but coming up with ideas is hard. 

I hope this article helped spark an idea for your newest app!

Need more inspiration? 

Check out the other articles in this series: The Ultimate List of Fun APIs and The Ultimate List of Hackathon Ideas for more projects to build. 

Also, make sure to join the Vonage Slack community and follow us on Twitter for more tutorials and inspiration. 

Thanks for reading!