When you have a mobile or web app developed you’re in it for the long haul. To keep a high performing, engaging and converting app you can’t just build once, upload and forget. There are a number of reasons why you should factor in time for ongoing app maintenance and updates which we have highlighted below.
Each year Apple and Google releases major updates to their operating systems, this can affect a wide range of things, from no longer supporting particular APIs the apps use, or providing better ways to do things.
These changes can cause crashes or unforeseen issues occurring within your app.
We have seen a lot of change over the past 2 years around privacy and management of user data within the operating systems which the Apps need to be ready for as well.
Updates to native app language version also come, and the longer you leave an app without maintenance the harder it becomes to get up to date with the latest. Being proactive about this process makes everything easier in the long run, saving you a lot of time and money.
With these updates comes announcements of new devices, and whilst most apps will scale up/down to work on new devices, they will often not be optimal. For example, if you released your app prior to the Apple ‘X’ devices, and you take a look at them on say an iPhone Xr you will probably notice a lot of black space at the top/bottom of the app because the Aspect Ratio of the screen is different to the previous generation of devices.
Or worse, if you have a landscape app, perhaps the X ‘Notch’ is now overlapping with text or buttons. Users expect polished apps and part of that includes being up to date with all current devices in the market.
Part of an ongoing maintenance plan is to analyse the app data and make informed decisions about the app, from keeping an active eye on crash logs, to viewing feature usage. This can help inform us if the app is meeting its targets, if there are any major crash issues arising, and give us insights on how to optimise it for conversion.
These insights can extend to the features of the app, telling us what is or isnt being used, what people might be having trouble with or simply what feature no longer makes sense in the current technology space.
The App space moves fast, what was current even 1 year ago now can look clunky and out of date. Both Apple and Google provide Material Design Guidelines, which are changing every year. If people aren’t seeing the best performance in terms of UX, and visually current apps they may just stop using it all together.
Updating your App is proof to your users that you’re committed to your app, on top if this it provides an excellent way market new features to your users and keeps your app in the minds of the users. According to an app-update study released by BI Intelligence, more frequent updates tend to be associated with higher ratings from app users.
As you can see, there are many benefits to plan and include regular app maintenance and updates over time and this should ideally be factored into your development budget.