Everything You Need to Know About Mobile App Maintenance

App maintenance

In the fierce competition, building and launching the app is a half-won battle. The remaining half battle is won when the app thrives the users and continuously engages them while using the app through quality, performance, reliability, and unmatched experience. Here, comes the role of mobile app maintenance that ensures the app is up-to-date, flawless, and performs as users expect.

Mobile app maintenance not only guarantees that the app recently launched functions as anticipated but assures the same for the future as well. Despite the changes made to the app, functionality extensions, UI redesigning, or scaling the device to new OSs or devices impeccably, app maintenance ensures the app performs better than before.

In a nutshell, mobile app maintenance is the oil that keeps the machine greased and running smoothly. Businesses are increasingly understanding the importance of app maintenance to improve user acquisition, conversion, and retention. Still, unsure? The next section justifies your time and money investments.

Why should you go for app maintenance?

Let’s understand the importance of maintenance for a mobile app in brief;

Updating according to store policy

Two of the world’s most loved operating systems Android and iOS constantly keep on updating themselves. Due to these regular advancements, it is common that many apps develop bugs as they are not designed to support these latest versions. By conducting proactive maintenance, you can be ready for these updates. For instance, whenever the beta version of these operating systems is made available, you can gear up to release the new version of your app. This way, when your competitors are scrambling to update their apps you will gain a pole position and release the new version of your app earlier, thus attracting more customers to your app.

Securing Your Mobile App from Cyber Threats

We at Prismetric have been providing Mobile App Services: From ideation to app maintenance for more than a decade now. We know that not maintaining an app regularly can have grave consequences from a security perspective. Today the customers are using mobile apps to conduct banking transactions as well as for availing various e-commerce services.

This has opened the floodgates for hackers who are exploiting the security loopholes in mobile apps to gain access to the victim’s smartphone. In this fast moving technology world, where tomorrow’s technology is outdated today no matter how good you have kept your security protocols, with time they tend to get outdated. By opting for app maintenance and support service, you can ensure that the app is always updated with the latest security protocols.

To keep competition at bay

To gain the advantage over competition the app developers need to constantly monitor the efficiency of an app. By ensuring that the app is bug-free, the app developers can make sure that the user experience is seamless. Thus, the users who are satisfied with the app have no reason to switch over.

Hence we see that app maintenance is an important step in the various steps involved in building an app. You can ignore app maintenance at your own peril.

Benefits of having a Maintenance Plan for your app

Avoiding Downtimes to Avoid Revenue Losses

Even big brands like Amazon, Flipkart, Bank of America, and BlackBerry have faced downtimes in their websites as well as apps. Downtime can cause serious long-term damage to the reputation of an app apart from causing short term damage of revenue lost during the downtime. A start up or a small company might not recover from such a loss. This is where the team of app developers takes responsibility for handling such situations and makes the necessary provisions to reduce downtimes.

Optimizing for new hardware

New processing chips and hardware are launched in smartphones at regular intervals. These changes in hardware have the ability to change the way an app functions. Also, these hardware changes bring with them new opportunities which can add new capabilities to an app. By constantly investing time and effort in the maintenance of the mobile app, the developers ensure that the app is always ahead of the curve by making itself compatible with these hardware changes.

Integrating emerging technologies

The mobile app development world is constantly evolving and new technologies are replacing the old ones at a breakneck speed. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), AR, VR, and Blockchain are enhancing the limits of smartphones. If the business doesn’t avail the maintenance plan and fails to update the app according to the changing requirements of emerging technologies, then there is a high probability that the app will lose its place from the user’s smartphones.

Minimizing uninstalls

Contrary to popular belief, the journey of a mobile app does not end when the users download the app. Once the user starts using the app, then the real test begins. If the app fails to live up to the standards set by the users, then they won’t waste their time and uninstall it immediately. Worse, the users will rate the app poorly on their respective app stores, affecting future app installs in a negative manner. Through continuous monitoring and pre-emptive maintenance policies, the app development team can ensure that the app is updated and upgraded as a result of which the app uninstalls can be minimized.

Types of Maintenance Support

There are a few basic types of app maintenance, that as an app owner you should be aware of.

Corrective Maintenance

While hiring mobile app developers, ensure that the company provides corrective maintenance. This maintenance is done to remove any residual bugs or little errors that have crept in during the app development process. Normally good companies will offer you 1-3 months of corrective maintenance support.

Adaptive Maintenance

Adaptive maintenance is done so that the app attains good adaptability towards the ever changing app store guidelines and other external parameters like launch of new hardware and integration of new technologies. The essence of adaptive maintenance is to ensure that the app continues to work seamlessly in ever changing and upgrading environment.

Emergency Maintenance

Many times the need for emergency app maintenance arises. During this time it is essential that the team of developers are ready and competent enough to solve the issue. Ask your App developers regarding their emergency maintenance policy, so that if an emergency arises, then you are not left in the middle of the sea with no oars.

Preventive Maintenance

To ensure that everything works smoothly in the app, preventive maintenance is done. It is an important aspect of app development and should not be ignored. Discuss with the app development company regarding their preventive maintenance policy to make sure that everything goes on smoothly later.

Knowing a bit about app maintenance will help you in discussing about it with your app development company. Understand that app maintenance is one of the core fundamentals of the app development process.

Best Practices for Mobile App Maintenance

Mobile app maintenance is a systematic approach that brings effective results when the best practices are followed. They are-

Continuously upgrade features

Amidst changing market trends and evolving user behavior, it’s essential to enhance the app with new features that keep the users hooked to the app. the app reviews or user survey would help in knowing the user interests and emerging demands that helps in creating the features around the users’ needs. It keeps the user interested in the app forever.

Redesign UI

The design trends and app usage habits are also changing. Keeping the users engaged in the app with a unique design and layout requires upgrading the UI according to the latest design and style. For instance, minimal design is more favored by the users which helps them browse the app glitch-free and makes everything easily discoverable.

Performance monitoring

Continuously checking the pulse of the app performance-wise is necessary to make sure the app is responding to the users’ requests even during peak times as expected. The analytics reports help in identifying the performance variation and the metrics to improve the app, which, in turn, helps in leaving no room for users to look further.

Fix issues instantly

The users have zero tolerance for crashes, bugs, or performance lags. It drives the users away, which is not healthy for the mobile app. The technical team should regularly keep testing the app that otherwise ruins the user experience and bring loss to the businesses.

 License Checking

Presently, modern applications are developed leveraging licensed technologies. The certification or license of the technologies needs to renew after a regular interval for smooth operations. App maintenance ensures this optimally.

Scheduled maintenance

Scheduled means checking the app from start to finish after a fixed time which helps in ensuring the app is functioning as defined, and there are no unexpected bugs or crashes that hurt the user experience

How much does it cost to maintain a mobile app?

Stating accurate app maintenance cost is an implausible task as the cost count on several factors that influences the final app maintenance cost. However, the app maintenance cost gets diminished by 50% after a year of the app launch. Subsequently, the app development cost is reduced to 15-20% of the initial maintenance cost.

The app maintenance cost goes southwards because the improvements that need to make in response to users’ reviews get minimized year after another. The mobile app development company can provide an accurate estimate for mobile app maintenance costs after looking at the app development and future upgrade requirements.

Factors affecting the maintenance cost of an app

While considering the cost of app development, many times businesses tend to ignore the cost of maintaining the app. Have a look at the various costs involved in maintaining an app so that you do not make this grave mistake and take a wise decision for your business.

Hosting

Hosting is an important costing component, as for your app to actually work, you will have to pay for maintaining the database of your app on a server. The cost of hosting has come drastically down in recent years due to the availability of cloud hosting services like AWS (Amazon Web Services) and GCP (Google Cloud Platform). Make sure that you get estimation for your app maintenance cost from the trusted app development company, and do include the hosting costs in that estimate.

Analytics

By using tools like Google Analytics, the app developers can find out a lot of interesting information about the interaction of the app with the real world. This information can then be used, in order to take better decisions regarding app maintenance. The more complex analytics that you desire, the more costly it would be. But understand that the cost of a bug gone unnoticed is far higher than the investment made in acquiring high quality analytics systems.

Third-party

The more number of third-party plugins and services that you use to maintain the app, the more will be its cost. This is because these third party services charge a monthly or an annual fee and hence while discussing the app maintenance costs; you should discuss the third party maintenance costs as well.

Customer support

To ensure that the app remains in favor with the customers, it is vital that the customer complaints are solved quickly. You should consider the costs involved in maintaining a customer support team in case your app is a customer facing one, like e-commerce. This will have a positive effect on your ratings.

Make sure that you discuss all the above mentioned costs with your app developer so that you can avoid hidden app maintenance cost in the future.

App type

The mobile app maintenance cost relies on the type and size of the app developed along with the complexity level in design and functionalities. When advanced features are added or major changes are brought to the UI/UX design, it makes the app trendy but increases the maintenance cost proportionally.

Developer’s location

The development team’s location influences the app maintenance cost too similar to the app development cost. The maintenance cost varies across the globe due to the differences in quality and hourly rates for app maintenance.

Bug fixing and Updates

With every technology and OS upgrade, the app needs to update to ensure the users can avail of the latest functionalities. Also, fixing the bugs to ensure flawless performance is essential. However, be it bug fixing, performance upgrades, design enhancements, or OS updates, it takes a week and eats up nearly $1000-$3000 as maintenance costs. The cost is a variable that depends on app size.

How can you diminish app maintenance costs?

The maintenance cost of the mobile app depends on several factors that we have already discussed before. However, a few tricks help you to trim the maintenance cost such as:

Choose the development approach smartly

When you want to get an app developed for one or more platforms, there are two options to move ahead- either opt for the native development approach or the cross-platform/hybrid development approach. Both development approaches have their pros.

Native development guarantees quality app development that requires an app developed for every platform individually which means the increasing number of platforms surges the development price accordingly. The same goes for mobile app maintenance cost which gets doubled when the app is developed for two different platforms.

On the flip side, with a cross-platform approach, the app gets developed for multiple platforms at the time and cost of building an app for one platform. The app maintenance for apps published on multiple platforms can also be done in reduced time and cost.

 Keep MVP development your priority

MVP development plays a pivotal role in app development for testing waters. If the app with basic features is well-received by the users in the target market, the app is enhanced with more features and UI design gradually which reduces the chances of getting bugs or unexpected crash detection in the app.
The app’s feature upgrade and design enhancements based on user feedback and competition research help in bringing the app to life that’s liked by the target users. It reduces the app maintenance cost as well.

Discuss maintenance plan beforehand

Trustworthy app development companies always provide quality app maintenance services that help businesses launch and maintain the app smoothly. Being an expert in the field, you can discuss with company stakeholders about maintenance costs in the years to come and plan your budget accordingly.
The informed decision helps you know how to move ahead in the app development journey and then plan for app maintenance.

The final check
Mobile app maintenance is one of the most important aspects of building a mobile app. But it is often neglected, as in their quest for building a perfect app, many times businesses forget that the users want an app that will function as intended. We have seen many times that a sufficient budget is not allocated towards app maintenance. This is one of the major reasons that the quality of the app suffers in the long term and the app fails even after having a good response after app launch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is mobile app maintenance important?

Mobile app maintenance is vital post-development to ensure the app performs to the notch without any bugs, crashes, security threats, and UI/UX design issues with continuous monitoring.

Which types of mobile app maintenance services are offered?

Different types of mobile app maintenance services are selected based on application needs such as

  • Preventive maintenance
  • Corrective maintenance
  • Adaptive maintenance
  • Emergency maintenance
  • Perfective maintenance

How much does a mobile app maintenance cost?

Typically our app maintenance cost starts from $3000 for an app with basic features. Since mobile app maintenance cost depends on several factors such as

  • App type
  • Bug fixing and Updates
  • Developer’s location
  • Hosting
  • Third Party
  • Customer Support

How is mobile app maintenance beneficial for businesses in the long run?

The mobile app maintenance is advantageous in various ways such as

  • Minimize uninstalls
  • Wow experience delivery
  • Strengthen security
  • Helps in keeping up with competition
  • Improved reliability
  • Improve brand image

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