Opinions: Copycat App Idea?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by apm8, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. apm8 macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2011
    I'm curious to hear opinions on this issue:
    I've been thinking about an idea for a Mac app (possibly iPhone app as well) that I want to develop. After doing some research online, I found a website describing an in-progress web app that is very similar to my idea. With little signs of recent progress, I even contacted the developer, who replied that he was almost finished with the project, but was currently making slow progress due to another job.

    I want to continue with development of my Mac app but feel like I might be encroaching on "his idea," even though it is not completely unique. Thoughts? Do I have any obligation to stop my own development plans?
  2. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2011
    Gallifrey, 5124
    If you think you can do it, then do it! Even if the other guy does finish the app yours could be better. Just build a great app, and people will want it.
  3. Vader macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2004
    Saint Charles, MO
    Think of how many browsers there are for the iOS devices, or even better fart apps. As long as you are not copying the other guys idea or code, you are perfectly fine to continue development.
  4. apm8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2011
    That's my concern. While I am certainly not copying anything directly (esp. code), the similarity in functionality and general design could make it seem as if I've copied his idea.
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I wouldn't worry about that. The whole tech industry can go on and on about who invented it and who copied it, but the reality is that it's not the first person to build it that gets the fame, it's the guy who builds it best.

    Who invented the light bulb? The telephone? The computer GUI? Edison, Bell, Apple? Nope... although they are the ones most widely credited with popularizing the inventions.

    In fact that's Apple's whole game. They weren't the first to build an mp3 player, a tablet PC, or a smartphone, but they were the ones who paid the most attention to the quality and user experience.

    I suggest you focus on making your app exactly what you want it to be, and let your users take care of the rest.

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