If i have an idea for an app, can I patent it so that no one else executes the idea first while I am still working on it?

Sure, as long as it meets the various requirements (such as being patent-eligible subject matter, being novel, being non-obvious, being enabled etc).

The difficulty is that at the idea stage, you may not have enough substance to meet these requirements (especially enablement). Without knowing more, it is impossible to say.

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