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Tips for Naming Your App

What’s in a name? Maybe a rose would smell as sweet if we called it a thistle, but anyone who’s created an app can tell you how important a name is.

Your app’s name needs to sound good when you say it aloud and look good on the screen. It has to be unique. It should be vetted by several other people to weed out problems you can’t see. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Your app’s name also needs to:

  • Tell people what your app does. Take these task list app names, for example: OmniFocus, Todoist, 2Do, Wunderlist, Things, and Reminders all give you a clue about what they’ll help you do. Your app’s name doesn’t have to be a comprehensive description of everything your app does, but it should be related or allude to some aspect of your app.
  • Tell people how your app feels. Fantastical is one of my favorite apps. It makes adding items to my calendar easy and, well, fantastic! Beacon, an app to help you create events and share them with friends, is as light and bright as you’d expect.
  • Be short. Starting with iOS 11, app names will have to be under 30 characters, which isn’t a lot: Behold, this is 30 characters! I advise you to take it a step further and keep it simple; try to make your app’s name one or two words. You have a subtitle, which is always displayed with the app’s name, to act as a description. iTunes connect also uses keywords to help your app come up when the App Store is searched.
  • Be easy to search for. People can’t download your app if they can’t find it, and they’re more likely to find it if they can spell its name. This is not the time to be creative with spelling and punctuation!
  • Be memorable. If your name is too obscure or doesn’t make sense, people may not be able to pass on a recommendation to their friends. Imagine that a user goes out to lunch and recommends your app to a friend. If their friend can’t remember the app’s name later, they may never find it.

It might take a few days, or even a few weeks, to come up with the right name for your app. I won’t lie, it can be a frustrating process. However, this name will hopefully be with you and your app for years to come. Spending the time to give your app a great name now will be worth it in the long run.

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© Aleen Simms