Your app or game name is one of the most difficult, but also most important, decisions you will make.
Back in the middle of 2014 I looked into what made a successful App Store name. 18 months is a long time on the App Store so I thought it was time to follow up, see what’s changed and have a more in-depth look.
I analyzed 8000 apps in the US App Store top charts.
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The results varied greatly.
From names with 1 word and 2 letters like “QQ” to the crazy with 38 words and 254 characters – “Voice Translator with speech recognition – Does translate understand and speak 29 languages like Spanish English Russian French Czech or German – Dictate and hear the app read its translation to study or exchange with foreign speakers like an interpreter”
Looking at the distribution of the number of words used.
Most apps clustered towards using less words. With 2 & 3 words being the most popular.
Over 50% of apps use 4 words or less.
Similarly looking at the distribution of the number of characters used.
Peaking 12 characters, the majority of apps use less than 30 characters in their app name.
The top 10 words used were:
Ignoring stop words like “and”, “for”, “the” etc gives:
The top 50 words were:
“free, pro, tracker, weather, music, photo, video, mobile, news, iphone, calculator, gps, guide, manager, player, instagram, editor, best, edition, live, new, map, text, radio, maker, daily, videos, camera, bible, hd, voice, game, photos, get, plus, phone, emoji, maps, scanner, english, dictionary, games, google, keyboard, calendar, baby, sleep, audio, reader, world”
Plotting it on a word cloud:
So I dug into what is used.
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32% of apps use – in their app name.
Almost 20% of apps used the name of the category in their app name.
And when you look at a category like Music 50% of the top 200 apps had music in the name, or Weather where 62% have weather in their name.
It pays to be descriptive and clear.
When naming your mobile app think about:
- Choose a name that is 2-6 words long.
- Be descriptive and include your main keyword / category (photo, music, video, news etc)
- Consider using a – to seperate your name and pitch.
- If you have a longer name consider how it will wrap on different devices.
- Call your app “Free Weather Tracker Pro” (just kidding)
Names I Love
- Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists
- Shazam – Discover music, artists, videos & lyrics
- Waze – GPS, Maps & Social Traffic