Once your customers can start downloading and using your mobile app, you’ll probably feel like taking a deep breath and enjoying the moment. But the hard work isn’t over yet.
Software development includes creating, designing, deploying, and supporting software. That last step – support – often gets overlooked. But maintenance can make or break an app’s success. If you don’t take care of your app with regular maintenance after it’s deployed, your hard work will result in failure.
The software development life cycle includes six stages: requirement analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, documentation, and evolution. Evolution includes maintenance and user support, such as an option to report bugs or a way to contact customer service for help.
Your assets in the digital world require the same periodic maintenance that physical ones do. Let’s start by explaining why maintaining your app is so important.
Why Should You Be Concerned About Mobile App Maintenance?
Technology changes every day. For apps intended for external users, the following factors will change within a few months of release and will impact performance:
- Software: Every year, iOS and Android versions are upgraded, and apps must be updated to be compatible with the newest versions.
- Hardware: As new mobile devices are released, old apps may no longer function properly.
- Language: Apps will require an update as the programming language evolves (Objective C to Swift, Java to HTML5).
- Libraries: Most mobile apps rely on third-party libraries and dependencies, which are regularly updated. Unless the apps are updated too, they will become unusable.
- Usage Patterns: Your user base will expand as your mobile app evolves, and the UI will also need to be modified to mirror this.
- Security: Apps can be harmed by security flaws (bugs) at any time, and you’ll need to upgrade the program to repair the problems.
There are no rules on how often an app should be updated. In general, you may notice low ratings and reviews if your app hasn’t been updated in over six months.
7 Strategies for the Maintenance of Mobile Apps:
So, how do you maintain mobile apps? Consider these seven strategies.
1. Installing Updates
It’s hard to create a perfect app on the first try, even if you’re an accomplished app developer. Updates are required in order to improve. In addition, as technology advances, it becomes necessary to incorporate newly developed capabilities into current software. Regular updates keep an app up to date with the latest technology while also showing that the creators are always striving to improve the user experience. Updates to mobile apps are simple to install, making adding new features to the app a breeze.
2. Testing Upgrades
Mobile apps save data on devices, and when these apps are updated, two scenarios emerge. First, the user installs the new version of the software without first installing the previous version. In this case, all that is required is for the app to be thoroughly tested and error-free. In the second situation, the user is already using an older version of the program and wants to update it to the most recent version. Then, it’s possible that the new version has a different data storage format, which necessitates the use of a migration tool to convert the data from the old to the new format.
3. Improving Existing Features
Technology evolves at a rapid pace, and so do software features. Developers must focus on upgrading existing features in addition to issuing updates for new additions. It’s important to take user feedback into account so that desired improvements can be implemented. As a result, the app improves and becomes more successful over time.
4. Fixing Bugs
Your users will lose interest in your app if you don’t maintain it frequently and fix bugs. Sometimes, a large number of bugs can cause your program to crash and eventually fail. If you leave it alone for a long time, there’s a good chance that these bugs might also become more expensive to fix. Always test for bugs and technical problems, and repair them as soon as possible. You also should listen to your users and read their comments and reviews so that you can address their complaints quickly.
5. Changing User Interfaces
Your app’s long-term success depends on how you keep up with your customers’ shifting tastes, trends, and habits. This means maintaining your user interface (UI) at all times. Users become more mature over time, so your UI must evolve as well. This is especially important if you want to keep existing users engaged and give them a better experience. Furthermore, if you want to stay current and relevant, you must build your UI to change with designs and trends.
6. Integrating Feedback and Analysis
It’s critical to implement a metrics analysis tool to understand how your app is working, which features people like, and which are less useful. Requesting customer feedback is also a good idea because it provides a clear picture of the areas that need to be improved and the new features that people are looking for. Also, if you include an analytics tool in your app, make sure your users are aware of it and give them the option to opt-out or opt-in.
7. Checking Licenses
Mobile apps are made with the licensed software. Make sure you’ve done your homework and are aware of any expiring licenses or credentials. The good news is that this aspect of maintenance is rather straightforward to predict. There’s a fair chance you won’t be surprised by astronomically high renewal costs if you did your research during the development process.
Mobile app maintenance is a critical component of an app’s success, and developers must devote time to this software development stage after the app is released. Keep in mind that if you make your mobile app the best, your users will make sure to return for more of the same.