What Parents Look For in Mobile Apps

Mobile apps that appeal to young children are doing better and better in the marketplace, but in most cases it’s the parents, and not the children themselves, who you’ll need to impress first if you’re looking to peddle your digital wares.  Thankfully, the good folks over at KinderTown crunched the numbers and provided a much better understanding as to the kinds of children’s apps likely to meet with success.

The study, called “KinderSights,” analyzed search criteria for parents and teachers, and the results might surprise you.  The most popular search criterion by far was age, ringing in at just over 50 percent.  In other words, the most important factor for parents when choosing a new app is age-appropriateness, handily beating out type, platform, and even price.  Indeed, the study found surprising that “price isn’t the most popular given app buyers’ reputations for wanting something for nothing.”

This is important information for app developers.  If you’re considering putting together a mobile app – for argument’s sake, let’s say a game app that teaches math – your first consideration should be to target a specific age group.  Additionally, the KinderSights study also shows that the younger ages are more frequently searched than older ones, as parents don’t want to waste time or money on an app that their children won’t appreciate for several years to come.

Language apps were the most popular when it came to type, at 35 percent, with math coming in second at 34.2 percent.  Pre-reading, number sense, reading, and geometry were the most popular categories within those subjects.  Science proved the least popular, comprising only 8 percent of the type search total.

All that said, KinderSights includes in its study the following caveat:  “Developers should refrain from assuming it’s a great idea to target the most popular areas. These are often (if not always) the most competitive app markets too.”  Science can be challenging for children between 3 and 5 years of age – or at least adults think so – so if you can find a way to develop a fun and creative science app that targets kids and pleases parents, opportunity awaits.

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