Need Inspiration? Here Are 5 Challenging App Ideas You Can Start Building Today

Sharpen your skills with these coding challenges

Indrek Lasn
Jan 9 · 4 min read

Like with any other skill, coding can be mastered with dedication, perseverance, and hard work. Coding is like a muscle that needs to be constantly trained.

This piece assumes you’re familiar with coding but lack the creative ideas on what to code. We coders often have a strong urge to code but lack ideas on what to build. Use this piece as a pointer in the right direction, and try to complete all challenges in a month.

Without any further delay, here are the coding challenges to sharpen your coding skills.

Customizable Rich-Text Editor

Customizable rich-text editor — tutorial link here

Everyone has used a rich-text editor at some point, so why not build one?

Here are some of the most used rich-text editors. If you’re feeling curious about how to build a rich-text editor, I wrote a comprehensive tutorial a while back — you can find it here.

Here’s what you’ll learn by building a rich-text editor

  • How to listen to events and fire off actions based on the events
  • User accessibility — e.g, how to use the keyboard with the editor controllers

CPU Activity Monitor

Mac OS Activity Monitor

A central processing unit (CPU) is essential to every electronic device. It’s the brain of a computer, if you will. It’s essential to see the working load of your CPU in order to make sure it’s not overworked, overheated, etc.

Here’s what you’ll learn by building a CPU Activity Monitor

  • How to write low-level code, like C or C++
  • How to build a user interface that communicates to the CPU and displays all the critical information

Apple Music Clone

Apple Music

You can either build a web or desktop version. The choice is yours — pick the one that seems the most appealing to you. If you want to practice your web development skills, do a web version. If you want to practice building native-desktop applications, build the desktop version instead.

Here’s what you’ll learn by building an Apple Music Clone

  • How to pause, play the next song, and play the previous song
  • How to handle volume changes
  • Navigating views between radio, albums, and songs

Find the Apple Music API here.

Calendar Application

Apple Calendar

You can pick any calendar you like. I’d recommend the Google or Apple calendar since they both have clean UIs.

Here’s what you’ll learn by building a calendar application

  • How users can book activities to a specific time slot
  • Displaying notifications and reminders when an event is about to begin

Display and filter GitHub Repositories

GitHub repositories page

Here’s what you’ll learn by building a GitHub repositories page

  • How to filter repositories based on keywords, stars, and the programming language
  • How to create a layout with HTML and styling/ positioning elements with CSS


Building as many applications as possible is one of the best, if not the best, ways to get better at coding. Happy coding!

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

Indrek Lasn

Written by

JS, Swift, C++ Indie Dev. Oh, and startups. Connect with me on Twitter @

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

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