iPhone App Idea: Will it work?


I've been developing my first iPhone app for awhile. Mostly for learning purposes. I'm starting to have some other app ideas and am wondering if I should start developing those or go ahead and finish this one. Before I do that I want to go ahead and see if people might want the app I'm working on. So I figured I would release what I'm working on to get some feedback on if people would want it or not.

The app basically allows you to pick your favorite friends from Twitter and Facebook and displays the updates from those friends in one view. So yo would have post from Twitter and Facebook post in the same view. The idea is that I would like to quickly see the 'important' updates from both my twitter and facebook account easily with little thought or search to find their post.

What do you think? I have the code working. I just have to add animation, UI, design, basically all the hard stuff.

Marketing Iphone

asked Jan 18 '10 at 07:30
148 points
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7 Answers


I'd pick the SIMPLEST app from your ideas and develop that one. Then build on that knowledge for subsequent apps.



Alternatively - pick the one that fulfills one of your needs the most. If you have a real need for some functionality that is another indicator of successful outcome.

answered Jan 18 '10 at 08:44
Tim J
8,346 points
  • +1 for focusing on your simplest app and get it done. That is sound advice. Too often, all those ideas floating around in your head never get done because the focus is not there. – Jarie Bolander 14 years ago
  • +1 - but in case of a tie, choose the one you're most passionate about. – Jeff O 14 years ago
  • Yes, I agree - picking one that you can use/solves your own "pain" is also a great way to go. – Tim J 14 years ago


"What do you think?"

Who cares what I think. The odds I can pick out a winner business or app from what you just described is close to 0. You think I would have said "yeah an app that makes fart noises is going to sell real well".

Ignore what everyone else says. Use it maybe as some feedback that you might not be explaining how awesome whatever you are making is, and you need to teach them better.

Echoing Tim in this thread, look inside yourself. Would you pay for what you are making? Do you want or need a solution to whatever problem you have so bad, that you'd be willing to use a completely terrible solution to your problem. For example, could you cobble some stuff together to give you a crappy version of your idea. Could you basically code up a version of this idea just for you so you could see "your favorite friends from Twitter and Facebook and displays the updates from those friends in one view". Forget about the animation. Forget about even the picking friends part, hard code those friends in. Make a web app that runs in the web browser that has the friends hard coded in and does the status updates in this single view. But don't spend much time on that single view. Just get it done.

Now, use that for a couple weeks. After a bit you should have a good feeling of whether or not you love this crappy prototype. If you keep going back to it because it's so useful, than you have something great on your hands you should go back and complete.

But until then, figure out what you can do today to solve your problem. The crappiest, quickest, dirtiest way to meet the need you have. Everyone is sweating this product + market fit stuff. Forget the market. Figure out the product + you fit. You aren't so much different than thousands of other people out there. If you find you want to use you're own product constantly, you'll have something awesome. Then start worrying about making other people awesome.

answered Jan 18 '10 at 23:58
Nathan Kontny
1,865 points
  • I really like this answer. – User1926 14 years ago


Continue your learning process. Developing, deploying and maintaining an iPhone app is not easy. You'll find it takes longer than expected. The time to approval could be used to start your other app. You will also find certain programming techniques are not allowed.

Take a look at the app ThomPete recommended; maybe you can improve on it.

answered Jan 18 '10 at 08:36
Jeff O
6,169 points


Have you tried Tweetdeck for the iPhone?

answered Jan 18 '10 at 07:57
Thom Pete
1,296 points
  • why the downvote? – Thom Pete 14 years ago
  • probably because you didn't answer his question - you just told him that he should look at another app/ – Tim J 14 years ago
  • +1 I think it's a reasonable answer to "will it work" to show a similar app. – Denis Hennessy 14 years ago
  • I took "will it work" to mean the business, not the technical problem. – Tim J 14 years ago


Part of the Twitter experience is discovering cool stuff from new people so you would cut out a part of the potential users of that. Moreover Twitter list servers the problem you are trying to solve.

but I would say go for it. build the app and learn from it. Just check your expectations. Remember to segment potential user like this > Twitter userbase - iphone user - unsatisfied with current crop of Twitter clients - those looking for friends-only Twitter experience.

Maybe the real size of that apps market is 100 or 10,000 iDevice users so make it in a way that you dont spend too much time/money on it.

answered Jan 18 '10 at 09:59
352 points


This is a pretty competitive space with a lot of larger companies working on similar apps. Do you plan to run this ad-based or paid? I understand that you want to keep it simple, but what if you could integrate email into this app as well. I have a few people who I follow that send me a ton of emails in a day as well. A nice app on my phone where I could just see their updates on:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Blog Feed
  4. Email

  5. Recent Phone Calls

I know it complicates things and all this doesn't need to be in V 1.0 but maybe could be part of your roadmap. Looking forward to seeing your first iteration soon.

answered Jan 18 '10 at 17:47
Usman Sheikh
1,728 points


If it was my app I'll just finish it, release it to the App Store and then start working on some cool improvements as soon as possible. Once you release it and it gets approved, you'll have a good change to get real feedback from people all over the globe.

This application is more a feature than an app, however that does not mean that people will not use it.

I use various Twitter clients for my phone and I have yet to find an application that allows me to do what you mentioned in a simple and effective way.

answered Jul 28 '10 at 16:44
4,815 points

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