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Dec 5, 2022

Mobile App Maintenance: Importance, Costs and Best Practices

According to research, users spend about 88% of their mobile time in apps (eMarketer). At the same time, on average, one person uses ten applications per day and about 30 per month. For developers and owners of mobile applications, it becomes obvious that competition in this area is high. In order to successfully exist in it, it is not enough to earn a high installation rate. 

Statistics tell us that almost every second downloaded Android or iOS app will be uninstalled within 30 days. This means that, in order for customers to continue using your app, it must continually improve their user experience. Therefore, today we will talk about how to maintain an app, meet user expectations, and provide the best service. And also will talk about the mobile app maintenance best practices and cost of app maintenance.

REASONS WHY USERS UNINSTALL APPS

Imagine that you came to the cinema, bought a ticket for a great movie, and now you go into the hall with popcorn. Only tickets were sold more than seats in the hall. You are outraged, and the administration is trying to somehow solve the problem. Okay, they gave you a seat, the lights went out and the movie started on the screen. Only after 10 minutes the screen suddenly goes blank. Your evening is completely ruined. You will probably never come to this cinema again and tell all your friends not to waste money and time.

It's the same with applications. If you don't invest in mobile app maintenance, it can cause your app to crash, resulting in horrendous app deletions. The numbers show that while the number of new mobile apps being published to the store is on the rise, the deletion of obsolete apps is no less of a problem.

Conventionally, the reasons why users most often refuse to use applications can be divided into three categories: utility, performance, and trust.

Utility

  1. Does not meet user expectations
  2. App is weak
  3. App is irrelevant for the user
  4. App requires frequent forced updates
  5. There are better alternatives.

Performance

  1. App drains the battery quickly
  2. High CPU power usage
  3. App takes a long time to load in whole or in separate elements
  4. App caches too much data
  5. Some functions work incorrectly or do not work at all on certain devices.

Trust

  1. App requests too many permissions to collect personal information from third-party accounts or hardware
  2. App sends notifications to contacts without the user's knowledge
  3. Other software may indicate an app is malicious.

Why Is Mobile App Maintenance So Crucial?

To keep your application up to date, you should initially consider long-term mobile app maintenance. Let's take a closer look at why this is important and what it means for your business.

Users prefer continuous improvement in functionality.

It is very important to constantly monitor changes in user preferences and requirements and reflect them in the updated application. It is always easier for users to find a better alternative than to adapt to inconvenient functionality or even accept the lack of a desired feature.

In addition, app stores often declare their quality standards, and if your app does not meet these standards, you will be downgraded or removed from the list entirely.

Better UX/UI is the key to your app’s success.

What do you get when you provide the best user experience? Everything is obvious here. Users choose you in the long run and provide quality feedback and reviews. In this way, you can manage the retention of your customers and their loyalty. These all seem like pretty significant benefits.

Nobody likes bugs.

As the audience using your app grows, the number of bugs can increase as well. The more operations are performed, the larger the database becomes, and the application requires additional support and maintenance. Accordingly, with a mobile app maintenance plan, many bugs can be avoided or quickly fixed.

Users only trust secure applications.

By maintaining an application and working to improve its security, you neutralize attempts by fraudsters to steal users' personal and financial information. Since hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to bypass security, you need to keep your product up to date with the latest security protocols.

Avoiding downtime reduces the risk of business loss.

Even the largest and most established companies have lost large sums and faced marketing issues due to application downtime. Therefore, the competent developers who support your application use technology and solutions that will help you avoid downtime and do not worry about the scale of the loss to your business.

Read Also: How to Make a Scalable Web Application?

Types of Mobile Application Maintenance

When you outsource the maintenance and support of your application, Gearheart can provide you with various mobile app maintenance activities. We will describe the main categories of software maintenance that can be used individually or in combination.

  1. Emergency maintenance. 
    This is the fastest possible response to unforeseen failures and errors in order to eliminate problems as soon as possible.
  2. Preventive maintenance. 
    This type includes periodic checks and carrying out work to avoid malfunctions.
  3. Corrective maintenance. 
    This type solves problems of incorrect operation and general malfunctions of application features. This includes programming errors, design, application logic and security issues, etc.
  4. Adaptive maintenance. 
    This applies to system software updates.
  5. Perfective maintenance. 
    This is where user feedback and expectations need to be considered to ensure the best possible experience.

BEST PRACTICES FOR APP MAINTENANCE

Adding new features and updating existing ones

By following the changing trends and wishes of users, you can add value to your application. 

Keeping the user interface up to date

To keep your app icon on your audience's smartphone screens for as long as possible, you need to constantly upgrade the user interface. By tracking user habits and trends, you can create a product that will delight users.

Continuous performance monitoring

Proper maintenance of mobile applications cannot rule out testing the performance of your app. It is a mistake to think that performance testing is necessary only at the development stage. After the release, it is important to track various metrics, such as application response time, load times, lags, and others. This allows you not to lose users due to technical characteristics.

Lightning-fast bug fixes

No matter what, the accumulation of bugs must not be allowed. This not only frustrates the audience but also undermines your credibility as a reliable company.

Scheduling maintenance 

By updating an app on schedule and planning system work, you avoid unforeseen errors and failures. In addition, you can warn users in advance that work will be carried out, and this will minimize their discomfort during this period.

WHAT IS THE COST OF APP MAINTENANCE

The mobile app maintenance costs, as well as development, in many cases, vary depending on the number of influencing factors. So, how much does app maintenance cost? In the first year after the release, the application maintenance cost can reach up to 50% of the budget for its development. The good news is that your app maintenance costs will drop by up to 15-20% in the next years. So if you want the application to function perfectly, feel free to budget an additional app maintenance cost of 20%.

How to calculate mobile app maintenance costs? Here are what you need to pay monthly as part of app support:

  • Servers - $20-60/month;
  • Push notifications - $10/month;
  • Payment gateways - up to $150;
  • Emergency maintenance - depends on an issue;
  • Developer fee - depends on a rate.

Thinking about expenses for app enhancement, it is important to take into account a number of other aspects. For example, you will most likely need a budget for bug fixes, analytics tools, customer support, and marketing activities.

GEARHEART’S  BEST PRACTICES OF APP MAINTENANCE

With most of our clients, we continue to cooperate for years after the release of projects and move into support and maintenance of applications. You can read more about it in the Projects. For example, we have been working with the Olivia project for more than ten years and successfully continue to work on our largest SamrtSuite project after its release.

You can count on a dedicated team for web app development services. Just drop us a line if you need a consultation and we send you mobile app maintenance proposal with the maintenance costs of mobile app.

So, as you can see, maintenance is one of the most important stages in the life cycle of a mobile application’s development. If you decide to build your own custom mobile app, consider maintenance in advance and find a reliable outsourcing partner.

 

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FAQ

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