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App Maintenance: How To Know When Your App Needs a Major Upgrade
A ‘’one and done’’ undertaking doesn’t work when it comes to mobile applications, especially in today’s competitive market. With thousands of new apps being launched daily, app upgrades are now a must for companies to stay relevant and competitive.
Those with an existing mobile application may already be familiar with routine updates, which commonly entail the following:
- Fix bugs
- Keep the product running on the current operating system
- Inform Apple and Google that the app is still active
- Features and functionality alterations
However, there are situations when a more comprehensive redevelopment project is necessary. If you’ve discovered severe stability or security issues, those need to be resolved right away. Nevertheless, other signs of a major app upgrade can be more subtle. In this article, we analyze 7 critical signs that indicate your app is ready for a refresh.
1. Performance Is Flagging
App metrics play a huge role in determining a mobile app’s success. Setting quantitative goals earlier in the app development process enables you to easily keep track of the app’s performance once it’s released on the market. Some important metrics include the product’s average usage, active users, session time, bounce rates, and levels of engagement. These metrics can give you an overall idea of your app’s performance.
Hence, if one of these metrics fails to live up to your expectations, examine why - there might be a problem requiring upgrades. Do users uninstall your app within a short period? Does your app have a low customer retention rate? That’s a sign. Take it. Target the areas your app needs to improve, plan it at the earliest and roll out an update.
Consumers are challenging to acquire but even more so to retain. Even major corporations struggle to keep clients on board. Among millions of apps available on the market, customer experience is what separates the wheat from the chaff. Continually upgrade your app and show users that you care about their experience.
2. Listen to your customer feedback
Users matter most to your mobile app; thus, you should always consider their reviews.
Consumer feedback offers valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t. Pay attention to customer feedback from app store ratings, assistance queries, in-app comments, and social media channels and ensure you respond. However, be mindful that you don’t have to make every update in response to every review. Before making any new adjustment, you would need to evaluate it with the findings of the customer analysis, app roadmap, and metrics. Otherwise, you might end up with a massive investment in significant features that add little value to your product.
3. Stay caught up with market changes
There can be a time when a rival gets ahead of the curve with an unconventional idea, features, and design that draws your customers away. The current app market is madly crowded, and competition comes for even the popular apps. Businesses that fall short of catching up will undoubtedly lose customers. Don’t get left behind. When the latest trends emerge, act on them! Employing cutting-edge technologies can help you become an innovator and leader in the industry.
4. Accommodate the changing platforms and devices
Companies need to provide mobile app support for 331 different device models to reach 90$ of active users, as per Flurry's research. Not to mention that this study only entails smartphones and tablets of the popular operating systems of iOS, Android, and Windows. You get the point. The race to cover all mobile platforms seems endless. There is no chance a company can introduce one application to serve all mobile devices and platforms.
Additionally, mobile hardware is evolving at skyrocketing rates. Newer gadgets are continually launched, given the rapid advancements of mobile technology. New display orientations and screen resolutions greatly impact how consumers interact with your apps.
When the edge-to-edge screen of iPhone X was introduced in place of the rectangular screen, it drastically altered how apps were displayed. This caused several troubles for apps that weren’t optimized for the new format. The increased screen size made everything appear more stretched while parts of the screen were cropped, and the content at the bottom was hard to tap.
To stay relevant, regularly updating your app to take care of new platforms and devices that are yet out of your reach is essential. This allows your enterprise to expand your outreach.
5. Don’t fall prey to security breaches
Data security is a top priority for every business that handles highly sensitive personal information. And while large corporations like Amazon, Slack and Klarna can withstand the damage of significant data breaches, smaller enterprises find it much tougher to weather the fallout.
Studies reveal that consumers no longer have complete confidence in their data security. That doesn’t mean they won’t care, though. They will still drop you for competitors if their data is compromised. Hence, any anomalies or potential security loopholes should be patched via regular security updates.
6. Pay heed to aging code base
Considering the tech’s ever-evolving nature, it’s no surprise that the foundations on which you create it shift rapidly. This shows in codebases for apps that quickly age out. Take Swift - Apple’s programming language, as an example. The programming language was first launched in 2014. In June 2022, the most recent version, Swift 5.6, was made available. This implies that there were five major upgrades over an eight-year period,, along with several smaller updates.
Although updating a codebase is time-consuming and challenging, it’s frequently the best choice. Otherwise, it reaches a point where maintaining an app is all but impossible due to obsolete code. Worst of all, it might not even become compatible with the new OS.
7. Transform digital experience with design refresh
Mobile app design evolves over time. Even if you don’t aim to be trendy per se, keeping up with design trends is crucial. You should, at a minimum, follow Google’s latest Material Requirements and Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines, which occasionally may necessitate a new architecture.
Beyond the fundamentals, you should also investigate the app market, particularly rival apps in your sector, to determine where and how you can revamp, either gradually or with a complete overhaul. Delivering more captivating in-app experiences helps you dramatically enhance app engagements and reduce bounce rates.
As consumers, technology, and industry trends are constantly changing, the only way for your product to deliver value to users is if it upgrades and adapts over time. While many IT vendors assist you with the mobile app development process, some rarely ever discuss upgrades and maintenance. Thus, this comprehensive list is intended to provide recommendations when an app upgrade is essential.
To make the right upgrade at the right time, you need a robust app upgrade strategy that can help you monitor app performance, schedule upgrades, and deploy them smoothly.
With 12+ years of developing and maintaining world-class applications, KMS Solutions team has helped numerous businesses to create strategic app upgrades that bring long-term value and greater ROI. Are you ready to roll out the next upgrade and elevate the customer experience? Get in touch with our experts to get started today.