Leveraging mobile applications to drive business growth has become a necessity for businesses around the world. From transforming user experience, creating new revenue channels and reaching a wider customer base – mobile apps are the key to success in today's mobile first driven world. Building great app experiences is a critical part of almost every business today.
What many people don’t realize is that the work doesn’t stop after developing and launching a great app. To stay relevant, constant testing and updating your app is crucial, as is keeping up with regular software and hardware updates from major mobile platforms like Apple and Google. App maintenance is key to success and continued revenue.
What is application maintenance?
When you buy a new house, you don’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and then forget about it. You invest in cleaning it, upgrading it and making sure it lasts a long time. Your app is the same. As soon as it goes live, your responsibility shifts from developing your app to maintaining and updating it.
Contrary to popular belief, application maintenance is not just about fixing bugs. You need to update after delivery to correct software faults as well as hardware changes to improve performance
This is no easy task, especially given the rate of mobile platform updates. Outsourcing mobile app development can be a smart strategy for many businesses as it enables companies to reduce development and production time without draining budgets.
Here’s our top five reasons on why app maintenance is important to your business:
Keep your app alive by documenting your strategy and following app developer guidelines
The closer you stick to your strategy and follow app developer guidelines, the easier it will be to maintain. While there is no automatic way to keep your application up to date, you can ensure all involved parties are on the same page about your strategy by documenting and distributing information fully.
The bottom line is that you need to be continually monitoring your strategy, user preferences and expectations—and updating your app. App stores maintain strict quality guidelines, and if your app doesn’t meet their standards, they may reject your listing.
Reduce uninstalls by building great user experiences
In a world where people are using their mobile phones as their primary device, you have to put your customer first. When an update comes out, test from an end-user perspective to find and work out any possible kinks.
If a user is unhappy with an update, they won’t blame Apple or Google for the error, they will blame the brand that represents the app and the developer.
For example, our head of UX, Attila Schmidt, uses his fingerprint to login to his banking app. After a recent update to support facial recognition, fingerprint login no longer worked. The problem was that the banking app did not update to support facial recognition either, so this led to a very frustrating user experience of having to enter in a complicated password manually just to use this integral app.
In this example, Schmidt was willing to go through the hassle to access his banking information. In another situation however, this could be the tipping point for a user to stop using an app all together or switch to another option.
Don’t risk losing the lifetime value of a customer just because your app is out of date. User experience is key to a successful application.
Keep up to date by keeping good communication with the developer community
Staying up to date requires constant monitoring of changelogs, community message boards, and issue trackers. All this information then has to be reconciled against your own memory of app development, so it takes a lot of manual legwork.
As members of Apple and Google developer programs, BitBakery gets notified of software and hardware updates and gets early access to betas prior to official release. This gives us an opportunity to assess new features and compatibility with our apps, ensuring a smooth transition when the updates are released into the wild.
Be adaptable and flexible to increase ROI long term
App maintenance is an ongoing process. For example, Apple announced changes and updates back in June 2020, but for customers, iOS 14 only just became available. From June to September, multiple beta versions were released and your app needed to be tested and retested after each one. This takes a lot of patience and investigative work, but is necessary for long term success.
What’s important to remember is that once the updates are released to the public, the uptake is almost immediate. If your app is not up to date, your users could end up with apps that don’t work as expected – or work at all.
Use an experienced technology partner for app maintenance
If you want to create excellent app experiences – you must plan out app maintenance and this depends on a lot of experience to make good and informed decisions. If you’re an app owner who needs help maintaining your mobile applications, let’s talk! Our team of experienced developers can help you stay relevant and in business.