If you’ve got a great idea for a new app but aren’t quite ready to commit to the development just yet, you might want to think about reserving its name.
There are now an eye-watering 1.96 million apps on the Apple App Store and 2.87 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store, and though the chances are someone’s already created an app in your niche, there’s no reason why yours can’t climb to the top of the charts and dominate.
Whilst app development can take time and require a sizeable upfront investment, the rewards can be immense. Last year, the App Store alone generated sales of $64 billion, and with Apple introducing a new Small Business Program that cuts its commission from 30% to 15% for apps that generate less than $1 million in revenue per year, there’s never been a better time to bring your idea to life and develop an app that changes your users’ lives.
Below, we’ve put together some tips on reserving a name for your app for future use…
Reserving an app name on iOS
The first thing you’ll need to do before reserving a name for your app is to search the App Store and check that your name is not already in use. It’s important to note that Apple only allows one app with the same name. You can’t launch an app called Uber or what3words, for example, so if you’ve got an idea for an app and a great name, you should reserve it quickly.
The good news is that Apple allows developers to reserve a name for a future app. All you need to do is log into your iTunes Connect account, head to My Apps in the top right-hand corner of the screen, add a new app, and then complete the information. You’ll need to have an app bundle to complete the application process, but you don’t need to have developed the app. Once you’ve filled out the necessary information, press ‘Create’ and you’re done.
Bear in mind that you’ll need to enrol in the Apple Developer Program, which costs $99 per year, and if you forfeit your membership, your name reservation will disappear, too. It’s also worth noting that Apple does not allow brands to ‘name squat’ forever, so only reserve the name if you’re confident you’re going to work on the app in the future. If your name goes unused for an extended period, Apple may release it back into the wild for other developers.
Reserving an app name on Android
Unlike on iOS, Google does not allow developers to reserve names for the app. However, the good news is that it’s possible to have multiple apps with the same name, which is great if you’ve got an idea and are worried someone else has used your name already.
Of course, this comes with its drawbacks; for example, there’s no point in calling your app Uber, as you will not only struggle to compete in the Play Store search engine results page but you could be sued by the ridesharing giant for using their trademark.
If you are planning on using a name that’s already taken, consider adding a descriptor to the app name. So, if you build a calculator app, call it ‘Calculator – #1 Tool for Bookkeepers’ rather than just ‘Calculator’.
Away from the app stores
As well as reserving your name on the App Store, you might also want to think about the bigger picture and your overall brand. For those who are planning on developing an app for their existing business or brand, this step isn’t as important, but if you’re thinking about launching a standalone app, then it’s wise to reserve a domain name (choose dot com if it’s available), as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram handles.
Consistency is key – you’re better off choosing ‘CalculatorUK’ on all platforms than ‘Calculator’ on one and ‘Calculator232’ on another. It’ll make it easier to communicate your channels to customers. If you’re struggling to come up with a name that’s available, use the free Namechecker tool.
Although reserving a name for your app might not be at the top of your list, it’s better to be safe than sorry and futureproof your brand on iOS as well as social media. Follow the tips we’ve listed and reach out to the UK app developers at Zudu to get started on a project.