How to name your mobile app
The ultimate step-by-step guide by branding experts and startup specialists! Learn proven methods on how to create unique and attractive names for apps, and find a wealth of inspiration through the 20+ mobile app name ideas listed below!
We live in a digital world where our smartphones are becoming our best friends. Data shows that we spend 3 hours and 45 minutes on average on our phones every day. (emarketer.com)
89% of that time is spent on mobile apps. To put things into perspective, US consumers are using their smartphones more than watching TV. (decibel.com)
It’s fair to say mobile apps aren’t going anywhere.
As mobile apps evolve even further, so do consumers’ expectations. Your apps’ first impression means everything to a first-time user. A study found that a whopping 48% of users make quick judgments on the brand’s overall credibility based on a poor app experience. (Thinkwithgoogle.com)
You often only get one opportunity to establish trust with your users and turn them into life-long customers. That’s why first impressions matter even more with mobile apps.
The first thing your users see is your mobile app name. That’s why it’s extremely important you find a catchy name for your app. And getting one that’s available is harder every year. There are more than 150 million registered .com domains, and finding one that’s still available is like looking for a needle in a haystack. We recommend our domain name generator to help you find an available name.
This goes to show how important it is to spend enough time brainstorming ideas when creating your mobile app.
Now, taking the time to develop a strategy for creating unique mobile app name ideas is no easy feat. So, we developed our mobile app name generator to make the whole process easier for you.
In this article, we’ll show you how to approach naming your app and how to use our generator to find the perfect name that will stand out in in-app marketplaces.
20 Unique Mobile App Name Ideas
I’m going to help you generate the perfect name for your mobile app. We’ll start with a few examples of catchy names that you can use for inspiration when starting your brainstorming process.
I suggest you use our mobile app name generator to help you speed up the process. I’ll share actionable tips and tricks you can use to create the best name for your mobile app.
Are you ready to get started? These are twenty catchy name ideas that can be used for a mobile app.
- Click Sonic
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To help you brainstorm potential app names, let’s take a look at three successful mobile apps and break down why and how they’ve chosen to name their app and why it works for them. Hopefully, this inspires you and helps you create your own mobile app name ideas.
Gameloft specializes in developing entertaining mobile games. The name is simple and straightforward when it comes to communicating what the company does. It’s also very brandable and easy to remember. The name is simple, meaningful, and memorable.
This name describes the effect that the company’s service has on a client’s sites. We call these types of names experiential names, as they describe an experience. The name also shows the company aggressively strives to deliver the best work for their clients.
This is a business with an unusual name that is not apparently related to their industry. This means that potential customers don’t approach them with a preconceived idea of what they do and don’t handle. The name is hip and modern. It definitely helps position the company as something unique.
As we see, there are different ways we can create memorable mobile app names. Some are simple, descriptive, and straightforward, while others rely on uniqueness to differentiate themselves. We’ll look at some actionable steps we can take to create modern and catchy app names.
10 Things to Consider When Naming Your Mobile App
This section includes 10 actionable tips that will help you create the perfect mobile app name. In this example, I’m creating a name for a mobile app that conveys innovative, effective, and simple values for its users. I also want to differentiate the app from other apps in the marketplace. Here’s how I created these mobile app names.
#1) Analyze Your Existing Competitors
Before we start brainstorming name ideas, we need to know our market and other apps that are similar to ours. This is an essential step that a lot of people overlook when they start thinking about their mobile app name ideas.
Start by listing down ten or twenty existing mobile apps that are similar to your app. Think of the app you will compete against in the marketplace.
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when analyzing your existing competitors:
- Can you find any trends and words that often appear in their app names?
- Do they use similar name types?
- Do any names stand out for being very different?
#2) Position Your Mobile App
There are two basic options you have when positioning your mobile app:
– You can make your mobile app fit in the marketplace.
– You can make your mobile app stand out in the marketplace.
If you want to fit it, you should copy the name styles of existing apps in the marketplace. You can even use the same words other companies use.
Just make sure you’re creating names that are different enough and won’t get you into legal trouble.
If you want to stand out in the marketplace, focus on using unique words and name styles. Make sure your name is different from other apps.
This is the approach I recommend for all new developers. People remember things that are different and stand out. This is the easiest way to position your mobile app for success in the marketplace.
#3) Look for Inspiration Elsewhere
We already analyzed the names of other apps in your market. Now it’s time to move beyond that. You can turn to different markets and niches for inspiration. Pick a niche that’s or market that’s different than yours.
Let’s, for example, pick meteorology. Look at the names people use in the meteorology niche.
You will probably notice a lot of companies use words like “sun”, “cloud”, “storm”, “climate”… Can any of these words be used for your app?
Of course. The word “sun” can be used to express happiness. The word “storm” is a great metaphor for all things electric. The word “climate” can be used to describe a mood. These are just examples. You can turn to any market or niche for inspiration. Don’t spend all your time going through the names in your niche.
#4) Understand Different Name Types
I won’t bore you with details or make this theory too complicated. But it’s important we understand the basics of the naming theory. There are four main types of names:
- Descriptive (literal) names – These names describe what an app does or its functions. This also includes acronyms, initials, founder names, and geographical names. (ex. Measure.me, Gameloft, etc.)
- Invented (made-up) names – These names don’t have any real meaning. They are either completely made-up or come from foreign languages. (ex. Varila, Google, etc.)
- Experiential names – These names describe the experience of using an app. They basically show what people get when using the mobile app. (ex. Logimore, PurestPlay, etc.)
- Evocative names – These names represent the mobile apps in a metaphorical instead of literal way. They represent what the app stands for instead of what it does. (ex. CyberCube, Seed, etc.)
We won’t go any further. This is enough to give you a basic understanding of different name types.
#5) Go Beyond Descriptive Names
We learned about different name types in the previous point. We saw that descriptive names are the simplest names out there. While there’s nothing wrong with them, they can’t help your mobile app stand out in a crowded market.
I suggest we move beyond simple descriptive names when launching a new mobile app. Descriptive names are great when we want to blend in. But we already learned that this isn’t the best approach for new developers.
Instead, think of unique words, phrases, and metaphors that could be used to represent your mobile app. This will help you stand out from your competitors.
#6) Brainstorm Your Name Ideas
It is now time to start brainstorming what words could fit into your mobile app name. Your goal here is to create a list of words or names that come to mind when thinking about your app.
In my name ideas, I used words like “Click”, “Stream”, and “Digital”, you can see that while these words can be related to mobile apps, they also suggest that you can expect a modern, creative outlook from this product.
If you’re stuck on words to use, try our mobile application name generator. Here are my mobile app name ideas after brainstorming:
Click Sonic, Hyperstream, Digio, Varila, Measure.me, Clickology, Digitops, FrameUp, Logimore, Ventilo, Chummerly, Talsterz, Virtulum, CyberCube, FunFarms, PurestPlay, Gamester, Shredda, LeanBot, Grammatica
#7) Shortlist Your Ideas
Once you’ve developed a list of possible app name suggestions, analyze your ideas. Remove any names that could be hard to remember, spell or speak aloud.
Keep names that are brandable, sound great, are memorable, and communicate your mobile app values to your target audience.
Here’s a quick checklist you can run your ideas through to help shorten your list of names:
- Is the name simple and easy to remember?
- Is the name easy to read and say aloud?
- Is the name different from competitors?
- Does the name convey a relevant meaning?
- Does the name avoid overused words or cliches?
#8) Get Some Feedback
You should now have a list of 3-6 great mobile app name suggestions, and you can start gathering feedback. Ask potential customers or people working in the industry for feedback (your target audience).
Avoid feedback from family and friends. They are more likely to praise all your ideas, and they aren’t your customer.
Be sure to ask questions like:
- What first comes to mind when you hear the name?
- How would you spell it?
With your customer feedback, you can start objectively analyzing the app names you picked. Ask yourself – Are these ideas still relevant? Do they still represent my mobile app?
#9) Check If It’s Available
At this point, it’s good to have at least three great mobile app names on your list in case any of your names are already taken.
You can start by doing a quick Business Name Search online to see if your name is available within your country/state. While doing so, it’s also good to make sure that the name is available for Trademark registration. While apps aren’t necessarily businesses, it’s good to make sure you can legally use the names you created. This can save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Make sure you also check domain availability for your app name. You will need a URL address to create a landing page for your app.
You can use our random app name generator for this step. It shows available domains for all app names it generates.
#10) Develop Your Brand
This is the last thing you need to do before launching your mobile app. The name on its own isn’t enough to help you dominate the app market. You have to create exciting visual cues that go with the name.
How will the name look in the logo? Which tagline will you use for your app? What colors represent the emotions of your mobile app?
Make sure you create a cohesive brand where all elements work together. I suggest you get help from a professional graphic designer for this step.
How Do I Know If An App Name Is Copyrighted Or Trademarked
App names generally aren’t subjected to copyright. They are covered by trademarks. You need to check if the name you created is covered by a trademark.
Keep in mind that a trademark doesn’t have to be registered in order to exist. That means that if there’s an existing app with the same name as yours, it’s possible that it’s protected by a trademark even if the app isn’t registered.
You can use USPTO to check the database of registered USA trademarks and you can use WIPO to check international trademarks databases. This is a difficult and demanding task, especially if you don’t have experience. It’s usually easier and faster to hire a trademark attorney to do this step for you.
You can do a preliminary search to eliminate names that are obviously covered by a trademark. But to know for sure, we always recommend hiring an attorney. While this will cost you money, it will save you potential legal troubles down the road.
Can 2 Apps Have the Same Name In App Store or Google Play?
The name of your app has to be unique for the App Store. You will receive the following eros if you try to use a name that is already used in the App Store: “The Application Name that you provided has already been used. Please provide a unique Application Name”.
But the name on the icon of your application can be whatever you want. It can be the same as another mobile app’s icon name. The App Store names can differ by as little as one character, punctuation mark, or space.
You can even add a simple suffix like “for iPad” to make your app name slightly different. Keep in mind that doesn’t ensure you can legally use the name. You still have to check if the app with a similar name holds the trademark for the given name.
Things are a bit different in Google’s Play Store. Two apps can share the same display name, as long as the package names are different. That’s why you often see apps that have the same descriptive name in Play Store.
Pick your package name with care. You can not change your package name once you upload your app to the Play Store.
Should I Name My Mobile App Before or After I Develop It?
This is a tough question, and both approaches have their pros and cons. You can find successful mobile apps that started with a catchy name, and you can find successful mobile apps that started with great code. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of naming your mobile app before developing it.
– You can concentrate on creating the name
– You will know the name when you start working on the app
– You can make the app visually match the name
– You don’t yet know all the features
– You don’t know how the app will look like
– You don’t necessarily know what makes your app different
Let’s look at the pros and cons of naming your mobile app after you develop it.
– You can use the apps’ features to name the app
– You know exactly what the app does
– You know your target audience
– You will be limited by the app’s capabilities
– You will have to pick names that match the app’s visuals
– You can get burned out from working on the app
As you see, both approaches have their pros and cons. You have to pick the one that works best for you. There’s also the middle road – the right name for your mobile app can come to you while you’re developing the app.
You have a good chance of creating the right app name by following the tips we shared in this article and by using our App Name Generator.
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