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The App Development industry has skyrocketed. So has the demand for a high quality mobile app development company. While developing an app the app developers must strive to achieve a healthy balance between product ideas and project constraints. But before you hop on to the app development bandwagon and scout for or an app developer, it is essential that you understand a few important things about app maintenance. This is an aspect that most businesses fail to understand or else have not aptly understood its importance.
There are many ways in which bugs creep into an app. Instances such as the release of a new OS, release of a new device, changes in the design of the app inadvertently invite bugs.
To ensure that the app does not lose its fan base due to the occurrence of these bugs, app maintenance is necessary.
App maintenance is the oil that will keep the engine of your app running smoothly.
Let’s understand the importance of maintenance for a mobile app in brief;
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.
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 In this fast moving technology world, where tomorrow’s technology is outdated today no matter how good you have kept your security protocols, with time they tend to get outdated.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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are a few basic types of app maintenance, that as an app owner you should be aware of.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.