Answering Your Burning Questions: App Maintenance FAQs for Digital Product Managers

5 months ago
Answering Your Burning Questions: App Maintenance FAQs for Digital Product Managers Image

When you invest in app maintenance, you can expect improved rankings, user retention, and return on investment over time. Ultimately, the frequency of updates, your team’s bandwidth, and cost should all be considered when building an effective app maintenance plan. Don’t forget to react quickly to user feedback, routinely monitor key performance indicators, and utilize new OS and device updates.

Other frequently asked questions include:

Why is updating mobile OS & applications important?

Updating your mobile operating system (OS) and applications is crucial for several reasons:

  • Updates often come with new features or improvements to the user interface that can enhance your app’s functionality and user experience.
  • Updates frequently address security vulnerabilities, providing critical protection against threats. They ensure your app has the latest defenses against hacking and data breaches.
  • Updates can fix bugs or issues identified in the app’s previous versions, ensuring stability and smooth operation.

Therefore, regular updates signify a commitment to user satisfaction and app quality, reflecting positively on your brand’s image.

How much does a mobile app update cost?

The cost of a mobile app update can vary depending on several factors. Factors that influence the cost include:

1. Complexity of the Update

The scope of the desired changes and improvements will impact the cost. More intricate design changes, additional features, or integrations with third-party systems may increase the cost.

2. Number of Platforms

Updates that need to be implemented on multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android, require additional development and testing efforts, which can increase the cost.

3. App Size & Scope

The size and scope of the app, including the number of screens and functionalities, can affect the cost of the update. Larger apps or those with extensive functionalities may require more development and testing time, resulting in higher costs.

4. Ongoing Maintenance & Support

These are essential for continuing optimal performance and compatibility with new software versions. This cost should be considered as part of the overall app update budget.

5. App Development Costs

As a general rule of thumb, some experts suggest budgeting around 20% per year of the primary app development costs for app updates and support. For example, if the initial app development costs were $100,000, a rough estimate for annual updates and support would be around $20,000.

The factors determining the cost of developing your app may vary depending on its specific requirements. To get an accurate estimate, it’s always advisable to consult an experienced app development agency that can provide detailed information about the costs and help you make informed decisions.

Do frequent app updates help or harm ASO in Apple’s App Store?

Frequent app updates can significantly aid app store optimization (ASO) on Apple’s App Store. Regularly updating your app signals to users and the App Store algorithm that your app is being actively maintained and improved, leading to increased user retention and engagement, critical factors in Apple’s ranking algorithm. Furthermore, each update allows you to refine your app’s keyword strategy, improving its discoverability.

However, it’s vital to balance frequency with quality. Updates focusing primarily on bug fixes or minor improvements may not significantly benefit ASO if they don’t enhance user experience or bring new, engaging features. Your goal is to regularly release impactful, value-driven updates for the best ASO results.

App update frequency: every week or every month?

The frequency of app updates can vary greatly depending on the app’s nature and the resources available for maintenance. However, a good rule of thumb is to aim for once-a-month updates to ensure the app remains up-to-date and functional. This frequency allows ample time for thorough testing to ensure the update is bug-free and provides meaningful improvements to the user experience.

Users may see weekly updates as too frequent and need more time for proper testing and quality assurance. Nevertheless, more frequent updates may be necessary if there are urgent bug fixes or security patches.

Remember, the key is to balance the need for improvements and new features with the importance of providing users with a stable, reliable app experience.

How do OS updates impact a mobile testing strategy?

Operating system (OS) updates can significantly impact a mobile testing strategy. With each OS update, there could be changes in the system’s behavior that may influence how an app functions.

Consequently, every time an update is released, it’s crucial to thoroughly test your app on the new OS to spot and rectify potential issues. It ensures the app remains compatible and functional on the updated OS, maintaining a consistent and high-quality user experience.

How do I push out an iOS app update to users?

To push out an iOS app update to users, you first need to make the necessary changes in your app, then test those changes rigorously to ensure functionality and compatibility with the latest iOS system. Once testing is complete, you can submit your app for review through the App Store Connect portal. Remember to include details about the changes and improvements in the “What’s New” section.

After approval by Apple, which can take a few hours to a couple of days, you can release the update manually or set it to be removed automatically. Users with automatic updates enabled on their devices will see the app update directly. In contrast, others will see it when they visit the “Updates” tab of the App Store.

How will a new OS update impact your app marketing?

When Apple or Google releases a new OS update, you may need to revise your app marketing strategy. If the update significantly changes the app’s functionality or introduces new features, it presents a marketing opportunity. You can create a buzz by highlighting these changes and improvements in your marketing communications, attracting new users and retaining existing ones.

However, if the update causes disruptions in the app’s functionality until fixes are made, it can negatively impact your app’s ratings and reviews—two crucial marketing elements. Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly test and provide timely maintenance updates to ensure a positive impact on your app marketing.

Where & how can I promote iOS & app updates?

You can promote your iOS and app updates via several channels.

  • Foremost among these is the App Store, where the “What’s New” section lets you highlight updates and improvements.
  • Social media platforms and email newsletters also serve as excellent promotional mediums, allowing you to reach your existing user base while attracting new users.
  • Consider also using in-app notifications to inform users about updates.
  • Lastly, pay attention to the potential of app review websites and tech blogs, which can broaden your reach.

For all these methods, be sure to underscore the benefits of the update, such as new features or improved functionality.

Take control of your app’s success

Discover the secrets to keeping your app on top with our comprehensive guide on app maintenance. Gain insights on the importance of regular updates, security enhancements, bug fixes, and more.
Recent Posts

Business & Strategy

How Company Culture Drives Innovation in App Development

In today’s fast-paced, high-demand digital world, clients expect app development agencies to deliver highly innovative and top-notch solutions—an impossible task without the right people working. Companies that prioritize creating creative workplace cultures are well suited to hire and keep talent that drives productivity, teamwork, and respect.  A company’s culture is critical to its success in the app development industry. This blog post explores how an innovative workplace culture within an app development agency can lead to better solutions and experiences for digital product owners. What is innovative company culture? An innovative company culture is a collaborative environment that encourages out-of-the-box thinking and fosters a spirit of exploration and experimentation. It’s a paradigm that values diversity and inclusion, understanding that unique perspectives are the bedrock of originality and innovation. A supportive company culture: Practices clear communication and mutual respect, creating a space where everyone feels heard and validated. Emphasizes creativity and intellectual curiosity, encouraging employees to challenge norms and create disruptive solutions. Trusts employees, cultivating a landscape where individuals feel safe to express ideas without fear of judgment or ridicule. Shies away from office politics, focusing on collective progress rather than individual agendas. More and more employees are seeking this innovative and empowering company culture. A recent study by Glassdoor found that 77% of job seekers consider company culture before applying for a job, and 56% of employees rank culture as more important than salary. These numbers indicate a shift in the job market, with employees prioritizing personal growth, creativity, and job satisfaction over financial remuneration. This shift changes how companies attract talent and significantly impacts team synergy and client satisfaction. How Company Culture Fuels Innovation Among App Development Employees Consider a high-performing app development team. Behind their success, you’ll often find a vibrant, supportive company culture providing the backbone for their achievements. This culture doesn’t just exist; it actively molds, empowers, and inspires the team in key ways. Employee Longevity & Retention A positive company culture: Fosters employee loyalty. Boosts morale. Reduces turnover rates. Leads to a more dedicated, efficient, and satisfied workforce. This culture is a noteworthy factor in retaining talent and attracting new, competent employees, thereby contributing significantly to an organization’s success and efficiency. At InspiringApps, we prioritize building a workplace culture that inspires creativity and empowers employees to innovate and contribute meaningfully. All these facets of the company culture allow our team to thrive and grow at the company, leading to long tenures. Nearly 40% of our team has worked together for six years or more.  A statement from an InspiringApps team member on our recent anonymous survey illustrates the power of culture to impact retention: “I have never worked with such a talented and supportive group of people. Management is incredibly honest, transparent, and ethical, and if anything, I never want to leave!” Collaboration, Teamwork & Respect Maintaining respect in the workplace and presuming the best of your teammates is essential for any successful company. Errors are usually a result of process problems, not people, and a good company acknowledges that to make room for understanding and learning rather than blame and defensiveness. This approach significantly reduces the negative impacts of office politics on team dynamics, fostering a more supportive and collaborative atmosphere. An environment where each member feels valued, heard, and judgment-free, truly fuels innovation. When people feel safe to think differently, take calculated risks, and push boundaries without fear of retribution, they can contribute to creating innovative products that resonate in the marketplace. InspiringApps values teamwork and collaboration, with employees contributing in good faith and focusing on producing the best work. The absence of politics and the encouragement of mutual respect create a positive atmosphere where everyone’s voice is valued. In another quote from our recent employee survey: “Management finds the best people to hire in every department. Mutual respect is genuine among all team members.” Impact of Positive Company Culture on Clients A vibrant and positive company culture benefits employees and profoundly impacts clients. When employees are motivated and respected and work collaboratively, it translates into their work and service quality. Clients receive exceptional quality products and services, building trust and strengthening relationships. The energy of a positive work environment permeates through every interaction, making clients feel valued and appreciated in a few specific ways. Client Benefits of a Positive, Supportive Culture Good communication with app partners brings clients a significant business advantage. Working with a flexible, positive, and problem-solving-oriented team ensures that client needs are accurately understood, prioritized, and effectively addressed, resulting in tailored solutions that align perfectly with their business goals. This transparent, open, and consistent communication minimizes misunderstandings, reduces project delays, and increases efficiency. It fosters a synergistic relationship in which clients are regularly updated and are part of the decision-making process, thereby nurturing trust and satisfaction. Ultimately, these elements contribute positively to the client’s bottom line, as the more accurately the solution addresses their needs, the greater the return on their investment.  InspiringApps’ style brings these benefits to the forefront. While bringing an outside expert perspective, our honest approach to problem-solving helps propel solutions forward. For example, our client, Fidelity National Financial, commended our collaborative approach: “We appreciate that the InspiringApps team is straightforward and honest. If there’s something we’re doing that doesn’t make sense, or that’s hard, we just have conversations about it. No games, no dancing around it—you just tell us, and we work through it together.” Client Benefits of a Collaborative Culture In many situations, clients who partner with app development companies boasting a robust collaborative culture enjoy amplified project success. Having access to a top-tier talent pool, they are privy to the best and most innovative ideas coming to the fore. This collective talent shares many perspectives, brainstorming ways to approach the project to optimally meet the client’s vision and goals. The collaborative culture ensures that the team is not merely ticking off a task list but engaged in a continuous process of ideation, refinement, and innovation.  At InspiringApps, our culture results in a bespoke solution that encapsulates the client’s unique needs and aspirations, far exceeding a standard, one-size-fits-all product. As a recent InspiringApps client, Good Nutrition Ideas, stated: “Working with the InspiringApps team of designers and developers was an excellent first app experience for us. They were already familiar with accessibility issues in apps and app development, and they continued to learn and deliver on this app directed at people with disabilities. We anticipate working with them again, which is the best recommendation there is!” Supportive Company Culture: A Win for Employees & Clients An innovative workplace culture within an app development agency is vital in creating better solutions and experiences for digital product owners. Creating a supportive work environment emphasizing teamwork, innovation, and respect leads to a highly motivated, engaged, and productive workforce. Moreover, these qualities lay the groundwork for creating a solid foundation for employees’ personal and professional growth, resulting in an overall positive experience both for employees and clients. At InspiringApps, we remain committed to fostering an exceptional workplace culture, driving employee engagement and productivity, and developing innovative solutions. We’re proud that, as a result, we’ve been Certified™ by Great Place to Work®  for three consecutive years. Discover how culture fuels everything we do by viewing our Inspired Employees Make InspiringApps series.

3 months ago

App Development

People, Process & Scalability

The goal of building an app is to eventually watch it grow in popularity. No business owner has ever said, “I’ll spend money on an app and hope it stays at the bottom of the download chart!”  Scalability is the end game for most apps, but it is more than just building the app and hoping someone downloads it in a crowded app store. Defining scalability—the balancing act between taking an application’s capacity to grow while maintaining its performance—should be top of mind for any organization developing or adapting applications. Dozens of factors complicate scaling. Development teams must consider future-proofing code, responding quickly to scope or requirement changes, and focusing on the people involved: end users, developers, and designers. People-first scaling demands thoughtful strategies on how best resources can efficiently meet customer needs while aiming for superior results. In this blog, our engineers and developers offer insights into the power of people and processes and how they work together to reach scalability goals. What is scalability? Scalability refers to the capability of expanding a system in a focused and strategic manner, allowing it to effectively handle increased traffic and accommodate growing demands. App scalability involves thorough documentation and the accumulation of knowledge right from the outset, ensuring a solid foundation for future growth. When done right, scalability enables you to spend more time solving business vs. technical problems—and saves money in both coding and maintenance. While there may be multiple approaches to achieving scalability, the key lies in carefully selecting one method and remaining consistent throughout the system’s development and evolution. By doing so, organizations can ensure the scalability of their systems and effectively adapt to changing needs and requirements. Considerations for Scalability Clarify Your Goals: Engineering teams need to set crystal-clear goals to achieve scalability. Understand different ways to achieve scalability, including a surge in traffic, orders, sales users, or speed. Map out a timeline and budget for your scaling endeavors, ideally before you begin the project. Build for the Future: Launching a minimum viable product (MVP) is a quick and cost-effective way to get started on a small virtual machine. However, it’s crucial to approach it with a forward-looking perspective. Engineers and developers may need help with the temptation to optimize too soon, so leaving room for future optimization and app growth is vital. Plan for Scope Changes: In a project, it’s not a question of whether the scope changes but when it does. Scaling brings changing requirements in terms of technology and features. It is crucial to acknowledge this from the beginning while building. The key is to ensure extensibility. People-First Scaling Developers and engineers should remember that their creations are not solely meant for fellow developers (although a widely used application will inevitably involve interactions with many developers along the way). It is equally important to consider other stakeholders who will interact with the application, such as designers, stakeholders, and end users. Here are some valuable insights on scaling with a people-first approach. Test Assumptions Don’t rely on untested assumptions about what users want from an app. Users generally desire fast, high-quality, cost-effective solutions, but achieving all three can be challenging. Instead of presuming, ask the right questions. For example, inquire about the importance of loading videos quickly or whether security or speed takes precedence. You can gain valuable insights to guide your decisions by asking these pertinent questions. Delay Decisions Delay decisions as long as possible. Small decisions made over time can compound into something unattainable. This is especially true with end users, particularly in the case of native mobile apps. Users have specific expectations regarding how these apps should operate compared to web apps. While many things may change and evolve, having good, clean code will facilitate these changes. Investing time in writing quality code is always worthwhile. Stay Focused To achieve scalability, developers should decouple components to enable independent functionality, making updates more manageable. When considering mobile scaling, there are three key aspects to focus on: Evaluating how to scale new features effectively. Implementing compartmentalization to enable independent work for future developers joining the project. Developing strategies to ensure updates are tolerable. Respect Your Team You’ll undoubtedly add new team members who bring a fresh perspective to a complex project. However, it’s essential to carefully evaluate recommendations and changes. How one new person does something could lead to developing a bad habit that becomes the norm. To scale an app with your people on top of your mind, it all comes down to respect. You’re all learning from one another, from the developer to the designer to the user who downloads. Focus on building a collaborative environment for everyone to be able to scale together. Establishing a Process To Scale Your App Maintaining and managing a project is crucial for building a solid code base. If you continuously onboard developers to work on an ever-expanding list of features, prioritizing your process becomes paramount. Avoid taking shortcuts and establish a robust foundation for long-term success. Here are a few tips for creating a process that will stick. Defining a Process When working with multiple developers, teams, and leaders, it is crucial to establish transparent processes. Leaders play a vital role in determining the essence of the application, while smaller teams focus on tackling specific feature sets. Frequently, these teams operate in parallel but independently, emphasizing the need for proper staffing and training to ensure consistency and seamless integration. However, avoiding overstaffing is essential, as involving too many individuals can hinder progress. Research suggests that there is a tipping point where additional resources slow down progress in the wrong direction. Documentation Matters To mitigate potential issues, anticipate future questions from your team, establish well-defined tickets, clearly define your workflow and responsibilities, and clarify specific acceptance criteria. Things To Watch Out For Rushed coding can lead to sloppy development and an app vulnerable when scaled. Refactoring or restructuring the code without altering its original functionality may be necessary to address these issues. However, refactoring can pose a significant challenge when it comes to scaling, as it requires keeping the base code of the project intact, even as scope and requirements change. Refactoring can add years of work to the project, especially at the platform level. Secret to Scaling: Value Your People & Process Successful scaling of an application is not solely dependent on technology but equally hinges on the people involved and the processes they follow. People-first scaling, focusing on the suitable composition of teams, well-defined roles, and proper training, is integral to achieving streamlined operations and meeting project goals. Equally important is establishing robust development processes, which guide the production of high-quality code and form the bedrock of a scalable application. Processes ensure an app remains resilient despite changing requirements. Scaling is about balancing the human element with the technical and ensuring that one complements the other.

5 months ago

Blog Categories
App Design
App Development
App Marketing
Business & Strategy
Client Projects
Culture & Innovation
Digital Products
Events
InspiringApps News
Mobile Industry
Technology
Webinars