Any smartphone owner knows: building your app is not a one-time process. Because of the ever-changing audience and technology needs, you will need regular updates to make sure that your piece of software remains relevant and successful over a long period of time.
That, in turn, brings up a crucial question: how often should you update your mobile app solution? Keep reading for an answer, and what you need to keep in mind about keeping your app up to date.
The Need for Frequent App Updates
Maintaining a successful app is much like reaching for the sky: you keep working toward the same goal, and you may even get closer to it – but the ideal state is almost impossible to reach. Even the most thorough development process may not catch bugs and minor issues that an update can solve. In addition, Android and iOS continue to release operating system updates that will affect your app, sometimes breaking its functionality and other times creating new opportunities to improve it.
Add to that the fact that both your business capabilities and audience expectations change on a regular basis, and you begin to understand what makes frequent updates so crucial. App development is a continuous process: you improve your piece of software one step at a time, but always have to account for external changes that necessitate another adjustment.
Understanding Minor vs. Major App Updates
These adjustments, of course, can vary wildly based on the issue of the day. A month after first publishing your app, you may discover a few minor issues that you didn’t foresee and need to be fixed. That type of bug fix usually requires only a minor update, but will likely occur relatively frequently.
Contrast that with a major update, which can significantly change the functionality of your app. You may want to take advantage of major changes in your operating system; for example, when Apple and Android released mobile payment options in 2014, a number of financial and e-commerce apps received updates that enabled users to take advantage of these features. Alternatively, your business offering or core value could be changing, which also requires an adjustment to your app.
Determining the Ideal App Update Schedule
All of the above examples typically lead to reactionary updates. But depending on how you develop your app, you may also want to take into account proactive updates. For example, your initial release may have only included core functionality, with a plan to expand it over time. Any update that works toward that goal is forward-looking rather than reactionary.
All of these variables play into the answer to the question of how often you need to update your mobile app solution. Studies have shown that apps receiving frequent updates generally rank higher and get more favorable rankings in the app stores than those receiving infrequent updates. So while the exact update schedule and frequency for your app differs based on the above variables of major, minor, reactive and proactive updates, accounting for frequent updates generally leads to more success in user adoption and satisfaction.
Work With an App Development Company that Can Accommodate Your Needs
Of course, regardless of how often you plan on updating your app, you need to work with a company that can accommodate your needs. Ideally, your initial development partner should also be available to perform the updates, which ensures the greatest possible consistency and success.
In addition, look for a development company that can help you determine when an update is needed through regular usability tests and reports. Ultimately, regardless of your business goal, your app needs to be loved by your users in order to be successful. Only frequent updates toward continuous improvement, and an app development company that can work on them with you, can help you achieve that goal. Contact us to learn more about what it takes to develop and update your mobile app.