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How to name your mobile app or game

Published 24th November, 2016 by Stuart Hall How to name your mobile app or game diagram Selecting the perfect name for your mobile app or game isn't just a choice; it's a pivotal decision in your journey to success. Your app's name encapsulates its essence, defines its identity, and can significantly impact its visibility and reception in a crowded digital landscape.

In this overview we will look at:

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Delving into the Data

To help you navigate this crucial process, I conducted a deep dive into the world of app naming. I scrutinized the names of a staggering 8000 apps from the esteemed US App Store top charts. The results were nothing short of fascinating.

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"

Word CountCharacter Count

Word Count

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.

Distribution of word counts in app names

Most apps clustered towards using less words. With 2 & 3 words being the most popular.

Word count distribution

Over 50% of apps use 4 words or less.

Character Count

Similarly looking at the distribution of the number of characters used.

Character count distribution

While a majority of apps kept it under 30 characters, I noticed that 12 characters seemed to be the sweet spot for many.

Common Words

The top 10 words 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:

Top 50 word cloud


Many apps use a separator, e.g. Flipboard: Your Social News Magazine and Pandora - Free Music & Radio.

So I dug into what is used.

Has a - separator2622
Has a : separator578

32% of apps use a - separator in their app name.


Nearly 20% of apps cleverly incorporated their category into their name, enhancing discoverability. 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.


Armed with this wealth of data, I offer you some invaluable tips when it comes to naming your mobile app:

Names I Love


In conclusion, naming your mobile app or game is an art and a science. It's a blend of creativity, strategy, and an understanding of your audience. With these tips and insights, you're now better equipped to embark on your app-naming adventure. Remember, a great name can be the first step towards your app's triumph in the digital world.

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Where to from here?

About The Author


Stuart is Co-founder & Co-CEO of Appbot. Stuart has been involved in mobile as a developer, blogger and entrepreneur since the early days of the App Store. He built the 7 Minute Workout app in one night and blogged the story of growing the app to 2.3 million downloads before exiting to a large fitness device company. Previously he was the co-founder of the Discovr series of applications which achieved over 4 million downloads. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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