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How to Create Your Killer Fitness App

Health and fitness app creation is a promising avenue for building and scaling up your business. To create stand-out apps for fitness, you need to know the industry pitfalls.

Working with brands like Under Armour or Athos, the Solvd team has accumulated relevant knowledge in creating fitness and wellness apps. In this article, we will share app development tips, discuss basic user features, engagement strategies, monetization models, and quality testing.

By Katrine Spirina, Content Manager
December 15, 2021
Contents:
1. Fitness apps market overview
2. What makes a quality fitness app
3. Monetization models
  • Paid application
  • Payments inside apps
  • Sponsored ads
  • Guest content
4. User features
  • Informative user profiles
  • Activity tracker
  • Geolocation
  • Push notifications
  • Social sharing option
  • AI and ML features
5. QA and testing of apps for fitness
6. How you can get started
Fitness Apps Market Overview
The fitness app downloads have recently seen staggering growth, mainly due to the COVID-19 lockdown and the popularity of a work-from-anywhere model.

In 2020, the global consumer demand for user-friendly apps in the fitness market increased by 67 percent. Currently, it holds up: consumers wish to get back in shape after being forced to stay at home for too long. Many still can't go to the gyms because of the continuing pandemic restrictions.

Statista reports that global installs of mobile fitness apps reached $16.20 million in January 2021. That is 80 percent higher compared to the previous year. And according to McKinsey, the fitness and wellness market value has surpassed $1.5 trillion and will grow annually by 5-10 percent.

Technology innovations also contribute to the fitness market growth. For instance, connected running shoes by Under Armour, a fitness industry giant, collect data and send it to a user's smartphone or wearable device. Fitbit wearables help track user activities all day long, monitor heart rate, sleep, and nutrition.

So, smart sports and fitness equipment has won customer recognition and now offers new business opportunities in the niche, with which mobile app development companies and web app developers can assist.
What Makes a Quality Fitness App
To get into fitness web and mobile app development, start with choosing your app type. Users install fitness apps primarily to track daily activities, receive personal coaching or assistance with dieting and nutrition.

Next, you need to focus on monetization models and user features that will make your fitness app bring value. You will also need high-quality QA and testing for your app.

Monetization Models

Do you have ideas on how your fitness app will bring you profit?

Let's consider several ways to monetize it:

Paid applications. Users will have to purchase your app, and the price will depend on the type of application you offer, unique features, and exclusive content like workout plans or low-calorie recipes.

Payments inside apps. You may create a fitness app with built-in paid options, such as personal workout plans or other content worth purchasing. Besides, you can offer a Premium subscription and entice users to get an advanced set of features or other paid content and services.

Sponsored ads. Invite other businesses in the fitness niche to place ads within your app. For example, if you develop a mobile workout planner, manufacturers of sportswear, running shoes, and equipment may use your app for advertising their goods, while you will be charging a commission.

Guest content. Your fitness app may serve as a platform where fitness coaches and experts share valuable tips, guides, recommendations, and other valuable content with your audience.

User Features


Marketers and app developers cooperate to add unique features to fitness apps. Before employing some specific ideas for your app, look at a basic set of features that we recommend.

Informative user profiles. The work of fitness, nutrition, and sports apps largely depends on user data. Such apps are aimed to help users monitor their progress on the way to becoming stronger and healthier. Users need profiles designed to save and update their physical data.

Activity tracker. An app should allow connection to smartphones and wearables so that users can track their physical activity and access data collected by devices via APIs.

For one of the fitness industry clients, FitBod, Solvd engineers tested an app that tracks athletes' workout routines and gathers data for FitBod. They had to simulate daily activity workout scenarios of real users, apart from passing test scripts.

Geolocation. If your app deals with walking, running, swimming, cycling, or similar activities, it should let users know the distance they've completed and inform them about their current location.

Push notifications. Reminders will motivate users to achieve their activity goals. Your app can notify users about their workout schedule and mealtime or remind them about the completed milestones.

Social sharing option. Users love to share their achievements across social networks. If your app provides that opportunity, users will tell the world about what they've completed with the help of the app. It is another way to reach your target audience on social media.

AI and ML features. Artificial intelligence and machine learning provide opportunities ranging from data analytics and data-driven personal trainers to pose estimation and smart clothes. Your app will gain an edge if you integrate some tending features.

Solvd tested and calibrated smart training apparel by Athos that collects user data to visualize it on a fitness app for iPhone or other iOS devices and provide users with insights into how their muscles perform. The team has also created a fitness app for Apple Watch that increases battery efficiency by 60 percent due to its well-balanced performance and feature range.

QA and Testing of Apps for Fitness

Based on the cases of Under Armour, Athos, MyFitnessPal, and others, Solvd team can tell you for sure that QA and testing of a solution are as important as embedding engaging user features.

If 15 percent of all app development costs are spent on software quality management, you may expect a dramatic increase in customer loyalty while reducing the churn. Check this infographic for insights into the benefits of QA and testing from your project.

When quality assurance engineers test fitness apps, they focus on the following testing aspects:

  • Metrics and data calculations should work correctly to enable accurate monitoring of running activities and weight changes as well as give personalized training recommendations.

  • QA and testing teams need real-life user data for testing. Using mock data won't work for complicated fitness apps that involve plenty of modules and services.

  • Fitness apps work on various platforms, including such wearable devices as activity trackers and smartwatches. Test engineers should consider all platform specifics and choose test sets accordingly.

  • An app should pass through several test circles. Fitness apps for Android and iOS are widely available in the stores, and whatever issues may result in poor app ratings and customer churn.
How You Can Get Started
To initiate the development of your fitness app, you need an engineering team. You can prefer a dedicated team model or choose staff augmentation instead, after which you can move on to planning, writing documentation, designing, web and mobile app development, and testing.

Hire your development team. A flexible and scalable dedicated team will work over your project exclusively. That might be your best option if you are setting up for a long-term project and don't know the exact size of a team you may need. Alternatively, you can handpick and hire several engineering talents to reinforce your existing team.

Plan your budget. The costs for software development services differ depending on where your team resides. The rates of a senior software engineer in the US will be much higher than those of an equally experienced app developer from an outsourcing destination.

Also, consider paid tools, software, or hardware that your developers may require. To finalize your project roadmap, decide on the goals of the MVP stage, the resources you will need initially, and the cost of scaling your team up if your project will grow.

Prepare documentation. When creating a fitness app's technical documentation, your should make sure that all technical specifications are mapped out based on the requirements. Platform types, app use cases, user features, and other technical information are indispensable for a fitness app development team to start building your solution.

Think over UI/UX design. If you are unsure about how to arrange features in your app, make it interactive and user-friendly, you may opt for the assistance of a UI/UX consultant for your project. And if you are experimenting with product offers and your target audience, a web design consulting specialist will help strategize your success.

Keep quality assurance in mind. Before publishing your app to a store, check every aspect twice and more. According to global statistics, engineers waste 620 million hours yearly on software debugging, and 62 percent of users uninstall glitchy apps. You definitely don't want to lose your app users to bugs that can be rooted out before the release.
Wrap-up
The fitness and wellness apps market is thriving due to the lockdown and work-from-home trend that drive increased interest in physical activities as a way for people to have a break from daily routine, de-stress, and keep themselves fit.

Mobile and web app development for sports and fitness is a lucrative business niche to enter. You need to hire an app development company possessing proven case studies of fitness app creation. Solvd is here to guide you through the stages of your app planning, development, QA, and testing.