How to Develop the Best Fitness App?

Since fitness apps continue to rule the world and conquer new markets, why not develop a fitness app worth millions of dollars? In fact, it is not that hard to create your own fitness application.

How to Develop the Best Fitness App?

As the fitness app market flourishes day by day, the demand will continue to grow. Soon, fitness apps might become great substitutes for gyms as people can achieve their fitness goals simply by using their smartphones. Therefore, developing fitness apps sounds like a great idea. This article will teach you the basic steps of how to develop a fitness application and win in this crowded market. Keep reading!

Why create a fitness application?

Today, billions of smartphone users across the world can do whatever they want with the help of numerous useful mobile apps. The lack of free time to go to a gym is no longer an obstacle to achieving a healthy and fit body. Numerous fitness apps, from ‘workout’ apps to ‘diet’ apps, accompany users in their fitness pursuits 24 hours per week.

According to Store Intelligence, in 2018, mobile users spent $124 million more on the top highest earning health & fitness apps in comparison with 2017, which is a 61% increase. For example, the meditation app Calm grossed $63 million, up by 271 % in comparison with 2017, when it grossed merely $17 million. Therefore, the demand for health & fitness apps is obviously growing, and will continue to grow in the coming years.

In fact, the recent boom of fitness apps can be easily explained as traditional health equipment, such as glucose meters and scales, are being replaced by all sorts of fitness apps installed on mobile devices. Indeed, it is much more convenient to carry out scales within a mobile app rather than use traditional scales for body measurements.

Another groundbreaking solution by fitness apps developers has been their integration with social networking sites. As a result, people have the opportunity to share their fitness achievements with family and friends, and thereby receive additional motivation and cheering. Needless to say, integration with social networking sites has also been among the key drivers of mobile apps’ recent expansion.

Taking into account the above-mentioned positive considerations, why not build a fitness app worth millions of dollars and change the fitness industry for the better?

Key features to include in fitness app development

Prior to moving on to the basic steps of fitness app development, let’s look at the most common types of fitness apps, which include: ‘activity trackers’, ‘diet’ apps, ‘workout’ apps, and ‘yoga’ apps.

‘Activity trackers’

They are equipped with motion sensors in order to track various human physical activities, such as cycling or jogging. Such apps show accurate numbers of burned calories and/or covered distance in kilometers/miles.

  • ‘Diet’ apps calculate consumed calories based on users’ data. Typically, people provide such apps with their current height, weight as well as their daily rations. ‘Diet’ apps, in their turn, give recommendations or issue warnings depending on users’ daily rations and diet goals.
  • ‘Workout’ apps mostly substitute gym instructors, as they teach users how to perform different fitness activities. By downloading a typical ‘workout’ app, people learn how to do push-ups and sit-ups in a correct way, determine their own fitness pace, track their performance with timers and monitor progress by calculating weight loss.
  • ‘Yoga’ and ‘meditation’ apps mostly comprise tutorials where users can learn about different yoga practices and meditations as well as select their own complexity level. In addition, several apps, such as Daily Yoga, offer regular online sessions with professional instructors for community members.

Once you discover different types of fitness apps, we recommend that you think about incorporating the following basic features, no matter what type of app you want to create: personal accounts, personal profiles, synchronizing with other services, social networking integration, geolocation, integration with wearable devices as well as different features setting fitness targets. At a minimum, your fitness app should be able to have smooth communication with Bluetooth, camera, GPS, microphone, and Wi-Fi networking.

Here are the key features to include in fitness app development:

  • Personal account: this option is a must for highly personalized fitness apps. By using personal accounts, users might store their personal information such as age, height, and weight as well as track their fitness progress.
  • Personal profile: although not as mandatory as a personal account, a personal profile containing a user’s photo should bring additional personalization and motivation to succeed with fitness goals.
  • Synchronizing with other servers and social networking sites: it is important to provide users with an opportunity to log in through Facebook, Instagram, and other social media to be able to share their progress. In this way, your app should combine a number of social networking functions, such as tracking, RSS, searching for friends, and others.
  • Integration with a wearable device: if users wear different smart devices such as bracelets, rings, and watches, it will be easier to connect with the app via a wearable device. In addition, it will be easier to track their performance. Therefore, your app should be compatible with a range of wearable devices.
  • Geo-location feature: it will enable users to build their jogging/walking routes and track their positions in real time. There is a range of navigation services that will help integrating a geolocation feature into your app.
  • Additional features for setting fitness targets: they may vary depending on your app’s type. The examples can include notifications, workouts sets, diet information, music playlists, online sessions with well-known coaches, and many others.

Apart from adding the key features, think about creating a comprehensive menu and including a payment option. Your upcoming fitness app should be both fun and easy to use.

How to make a fitness app: niches, costs, and monetization strategies

How big is the fitness app market? According to a the study by Polaris Market Research, the global fitness app market is projected to reach about $14.7 bn by 2026. According to the 2017 data, personal trainer apps and fitness activity tracking apps have dominated the market in terms of revenue.

So far, North America has prevailed in the fitness app market as a result of the increased awareness of health. However, with the rapid growth of smartphones and tablets in Asia Pacific, a major expansion of fitness apps is also expected. Europe is also catching up, as being fit is becoming a major trend there.

This leads to the question of what niche to choose to create a fitness app and to avoid high market competition. Indeed, finding the right niche might be rather challenging. Obviously, you should look into such fitness and health fields with the highest market potential and the lowest market penetration.

According to the Health Economic 2017 study, the top 3 fields with the best market potential for digital health care solutions include diabetes, depression, and obesity. Therefore, developing a niche app to help people fight depression might be a smart business decision.

At the same time, a genius business idea may visit you in any field of fitness if you conduct proper market research. Alternatively, you may be an active fitness fan with practical experience in using countless fitness apps and be willing to bring better experience and make a fitness app with the potential to revolutionize the whole industry.

Anyway, you have to conduct proper market research or hire a professional company to do so. In addition, think about what a typical user may expect from your app. Consider the following questions:

  • What is your target audience?
  • What do your future users expect?
  • What type of fitness mobile apps will be the most profitable in the upcoming years?
  • What are your strongest competitors?

Once you’ve realized what type of fitness app you want to build and which basic features to add, start thinking about how to create a fitness app with the help of a development company and also about the cost of building a fitness app. The cost of developing a fitness app varies according to its type, features, and the number of developers. On average, demo versions of fitness apps are completed within 2-3 months, although this also depends on the platform. When you're done with the cost, it's time to think about monetization.

Most common monetization strategies

  • Premium subscription: a great number of fitness apps offer premium subscription to all the app’s activities and features. Therefore, in order to obtain the best app’s features or get access to exclusive activities (for example, sessions with the best yoga coaches), users have to buy a premium subscription.
  • Fremium upsell: fremium upsell presumes that users are able to download an app for free to experience what they might get. However, in order to use some cool app features, they have to pay for a subscription.
  • In-App purchase: in-app purchase gives users the opportunity to purchase different in-app content, most often subscriptions, new features, and services.
  • Other strategies: fitness apps also make money by featuring ads, CPI networks as well as investments and sponsorship. Therefore, in case your app is really useful, you may already start searching for ads and sponsors.

Our experience

Our team has created Racefully – a geo-location ‘activity tracker’ available from the App Store. Racefully tracks all kinds of fitness activities from gentle jogging to intensive jumping in real time. In addition, Racefully provides a ‘competition’ feature. Therefore, two or three users living abroad may compete in real time at various distances. Racefully will take into account the features of each particular terrain and show fair results.

Final thoughts

As top fitness apps continue making tremendous profits, developing a cool and useful fitness app sounds like a good idea. At the same time, creating a great fitness app is truly challenging: not only does it have to be innovative, but also contain all of the necessary features and perform smoothly. Moreover, your app’s features should not distract users from their fitness activities.

The development cost also matters. Adding each particular feature brings additional costs. Therefore, if your budget is tight, the best solution would be including only the most important features at the development stage. In case your app performs well, you may start adding new features based on users’ experience and recommendations. The good thing is that fitness apps can be easily monetized through selling premium features and subscriptions.

Finally, remember the high personalization levels of the upcoming fitness app. As users store their sensitive data, it is important to ensure maximum data safety.

Summing up, fitness apps are great both in terms of monetization and self-gratification: while people become healthier, you earn money. Therefore, don’t give up if you are dreaming about creating a fitness application and patiently following the basic steps of fitness app product development. Changing the fitness world is worth it!

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