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If you are thinking about cloning the latest game craze, put that idea to the side for a second. There is nothing wrong with using existing source code, if you can improve on what is out there.

But many times, clones end up looking way too similar. If you truly want to differentiate yourself from the crowd, then you might want to take a different approach.

Luckily, your next big app idea might already be staring you in the face. The key to finding these ideas lies in the future of computing. You may not agree with this post but I ask that you keep an open mind because it could give you an idea for a Top Charts app.

How Can You Replace Your Laptop With A Tablet?

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There is going to come a time when the average person won’t need a laptop computer. That is just my opinion, but we already have many of the pieces available to make this a reality. It will happen sooner or later.

Keeping this in mind, the best place to look for new app ideas is on your laptop. There is a lot of software that has been ported to mobile devices, but there are still a lot of applications that have not.

A great way to find your next killer app idea is to think about what it would take for you to replace your desktop or laptop with a tablet.

Go through all of the applications you use on your laptop and figure out which ones do not have a corresponding mobile app yet, or at least has very little competition. Your app doesn’t have to have all the same capabilities, but start with the most important ones.

There are people who are really taking tablet computing seriously. A few people have been able to completely replace their laptop with an iPad. Many others are experimenting with the idea.

If I could do it, I would. But there are still a couple programs that I absolutely need, which will only work on a laptop. Hopefully that will change soon.

By thinking about where computing is going, you can start to build apps that are ahead of the game, instead of making apps that are always behind the curve. Now let’s take a look at the details of how you can make this happen.

Simplify

To transition these desktop apps to mobile devices, you are going to have to rethink the way that people interact with an app. The first step is to simplify the interface.

Many times, there is a lot of room for simplification. This is not an easy task however.

It is easy to make a confusing app. Crafting an elegant app can be really hard.

But this is what will set you apart from other apps. So put a lot of time into figuring out how to make your app simpler and easier to use.

Luckily, the more complex the existing laptop programs, the harder it will be for others to create a similar mobile app. But before you start designing your app, you have to find out what is already out there.

Competitive Analysis

Start by looking at what is already available on the app stores. Even if there is an existing app, don’t give up before you do an in-depth analysis. You might be able to improve on what is out there or simply add one or two functions that existing apps do not have.

If there are apps that are similar to the one that you want to create, you can do some Review Mining to find out what people like and dislike about the app.

You can do this by manually examining app reviews on iTunes or Google Play. Look for common complaints, feature requests and anything else that can help you make a better app.

If you want to save some time, you can use a resource that compiles reviews and makes them easier to search and sort by rating. Our Review Analysis module will allow you to see what users are saying about an app. You might be surprised at what you find when you search for certain keywords.

Example

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Take Adobe’s Photoshop, for example. If you run a blog or create your own graphics, you need to be able to edit images by doing things like: adding text, adjusting the contrast and working with layers. This is easy with the desktop version of Photoshop.

Serious image manipulation can be hard on a tablet however. Even Adobe’s Photoshop Touch doesn’t please all users and several competing apps have been able to cater to other use cases.

Your app doesn’t need to be as complicated as a Photoshop obviously, but start thinking along those lines. What apps do people absolutely need and how can you provide an alternative?

Conclusion

“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” – Wayne Gretzky

So stop what you are doing right now and jot down a few notes on what it would take for you to replace your primary computer with a tablet. Think about where the personal computing market will be in the next five years. You might be surprised at the ideas you come up with. We look forward to seeing the app you create!

Do you think that desktop and mobile will converge one day or will there always be a need for more powerful desktop-class computers? Are you already using a tablet as your primary computer? Let us know what you think in the comments below…

About the Author

Hugh Kimura enjoys travel, surfing and night photography. He is the Head of Content at Sensor Tower, an App Store Optimization platform that gives app publishers the app intelligence they need to rank higher in App Store and Google Play search results.

Steve Young

Founder at AppMasters
I started building apps in 2011 and my first app hit #8 under educational games. I started making a few hundred dollars a month, but had no idea what I was doing. Then in 2013 I decided to start a podcast so I could pick the brains of app creators that I admired including the co-founder of Shazam, Tapbots, Crossy Road, etc and that changed everything.

Now I run an app marketing agency where we’ve helped 28 clients get featured by Apple, 5X downloads with ASO, and get coverage on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venture Beat and other major publications. I also write about apps on The Next Web, Entrepreneur.com, and on my blog AppMasters.co.