One of the most annoying things for mobile phone users it to see their apps starting automatic updates when they are low on battery – or on their data plan. For this reason, a lot of people choose to uninstall an app, either because it updates too frequently, or that each update is very bulky and takes a lot of time to download.
Given this issue, companies need to develop a balanced update schedule for their apps, which has to take into account both the users’ convenience and the need to implement new technologies to refresh the look and the functionalities of their business app. This schedule is not a fixed one, valid for all apps and all businesses. It depends on many factors, such as the need to fix bugs, to remove obsolete content, to add functions or revamp the user interface (UI).
These are the main considerations which will help you develop and follow through with your mobile app update schedule:
1. Full Build vs. Minimum-Viable-Product (MVP) App
In order to plan their costs and launch their apps as soon as possible, some companies apply agile methodologies and launch an app with the minimum functionalities. Later on, they add several features and options in a series of updates. This is a good approach if you want to launch a small-sized app and then develop it in increments.
However, your users may complain that the initial app is too simple and offers too little functionality. And this may be further frustrated by the frequent updates which add more functions – one of the criticisms being that the company could have started with an app with more features.
2. Bug Fixes
Fixing mobile app bugs is a must – and it has to be the top priority for your company, especially if the bugs may compromise the security of the mobile phone and the users’ data. You should encourage your users to offer feedback and have the possibility to inform you of any kind of difficulties they find in using the app (such as app freezing, unexpected behavior, errors, etc.).
Your app development firm can collect and categorize this feedback and prepare updates according to the degree of severity of the issue. When it comes to privacy and data protection, no update can be released too soon.
3. Removing/Adding Features
Apps, just like websites, should not be static. A stagnant app, which has not received an update in months, is deemed an obsolete app – one which the company abandoned or does not care to improve for its users. People tend to uninstall these apps simply because they do not feel that they have anything new and interesting to do when using that mobile app.
Once every few months you should look into your app, analyze its features, get user satisfaction reports or send surveys to find out which are the most/least used features of your app, and make some changes accordingly.
4. Making a Complete UI Overhaul
When you decide to spruce up the design and functionality of your app, you should consider first of all to what extent these changes will affect the existing app. Will users with older phones still be able to use it? Will they still recognize the look and functions, or will it feel like they are using a totally different app?
After you find the answer to these questions, you should consider whether you want to apply this major update or to plan for a whole new mobile app altogether.
These considerations, as you can see, do not offer a strict timeline in weeks and months – because it is impossible. Your app development firm knows best how necessary updates are at a certain point, how much features to pack in every new release and what items can be discarded to keep the update file as small in size as possible.