App Maintenance: Its Importance And When Should You Do It?

App Maintenance: Why and How Often You Should Update Your App

Application maintenance is necessary for an app to stay viable and in league with company, market and user evolution. We herein, analyze  why and how to do it effectively.

Updated on :
November 25th, 2020
Twinkle Kalkandha
Twinkle Kalkandha
Product Strategist

Developing an application is a big achievement and a defining milestone for any organization but creating an app isn’t the end of things, it is a beginning!

71% of users uninstall an app within 90 days of download. Businesses have a very short window of user attention and if there are glitches or downtimes then users are a lot more likely to uninstall.

App maintenance and updation is a constant process, an integral part of business success. Releasing an app update isn’t just about expanding the scope of your product, there are many ways an update can upgrade your business standing.

These are 5 Types of App Maintenance

For ease of understanding, mobile application maintenance has been segregated into five categories-

1) Emergency Maintenance

Various teams and tangents come together to run an application. Even a single malfunction can cause the app to glitch or start showing errors.

Such critical situations need immediate intervention from the development team. This type of maintenance is called Emergency maintenance.

2) Perfective Maintenance

When the feedback received from the users is worked upon to improve the application, it is called perfective maintenance.
This functional modification is aimed at perfecting user experience on the application.

3) Adaptive Maintenance

When companies work towards keeping the system updated, it is dubbed as adaptive maintenance. This involves making changes in a live working environment like software, operating system, etc.

4) Preventive Maintenance

The idea with preventive maintenance is to be able to forecast problems and then work on preventing them through code optimization/re-structuring and document updation.
Re-constructing the code to make it simpler and smoother is one example of preventive maintenance.

5) Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance is an ongoing task- Fixing faults or defects in the application function. It extends to repairing all aspects of the app including design, UI, coding etc.

Benefits of App Maintenance

There are plenty of reasons to consider regular polishing and monitoring of your application. In fact, most mobile development companies proactively stress the importance of post-development maintenance and even include that in their payment plans.

Saves Money by Avoiding Downtime

Any application downtime is a direct loss to the company. Even minutes can lose millions. Application maintenance acts as a monitor to avoid, detect, and instantly jump to resolve the disruption.

Companies like Amazon & slack have suffered downtimes for a few hours which resulted in noticeable losses. Imagine what would happen if the downtime lasted days?

This is exactly what happened to Sony.

One of the biggest losses due to service outage was suffered by Sony’s PlayStation network in 2011. Due to a break in their cybersecurity, sony suffered an outage for 23 days which resulted in a loss of about $250 million.

Due to app maintenance, they were able to get things back up on the 24th day but imagine what would have happened if it lasted even longer? Xbox would have swooped in to take a huge chunk out of Playstation’s customer base and Sony might not have recovered from this.

Reduces Uninstallations

Applications that crash too often or have too many annoying bugs don’t last long in anybody’s phone. Continuous corrective maintenance keeps things up and running without interruptions.
A smooth app functionality with uninterrupted service significantly reduces uninstallations and increases customer retention rate.

Improves Quality of Experience

With a regular maintenance update, you can ensure that the superior quality of your application remains intact. Remember that the application quality reflects on the brand and product pricing.

If you are known as a brand that provides the best quality in the market and values quality over everything then you have an option to charge a premium for your services.

Apple is the best example of a brand that doesn’t compromise on user experience and quality. With consistent monitoring, maintenance and integrating latest technologies, Apple has built a luxury brand reputation and charges a heavy premium for its products that customers don’t mind paying.

Type of Applications that Require Maintenance

It is undeniable that all applications require some form of maintenance. The scope of maintenance differs from one app to another.

Complex architecture apps- Applications with a multi-layered structure store more data in the database and this requires regular maintenance and support. If left unchecked, the amount of data can cause serious crashes and server downtime.

Greater number of active users- A higher level of server load would need constant maintenance & monitoring. E-commerce apps with millions of daily active users require regular supervision to ensure that things move smoothly.

Apps with real-time data- Mobile applications that deal with real-time data, for instance, a linked inventory management system, stock prices, railway tickets, etc generally require a higher level of maintenance.

Why is it Important to Update Your App?

There are many benefits of updating apps. The majority of mobile app maintenance is done only through frequent updates. Why do apps update so frequently? Mostly to fix glitches and bugs but there is more to it than that. Have a look at 8 important reasons –

1) Rescue from AppStore Oblivion

In October 2016, apple removed 50,000 applications from its app store in an effort to clean the marketplace of abandoned & problematic apps.

This emphasizes the need for regular application updates.

app maintenance

Ever since this purge, application owners have learned to respect app updations & the practice of keeping things fresh.

2) Better Security

No matter the level of application security at the time of development, it will get outdated and this invites maleficent hackers to steal important user data.

Newer security protocols make applications & app data safer and more secure.You can update your application with the latest security measures to safeguard your users and their precious personal data.

3) Customer-centric application

When you update your app regularly as per user feedback, you convey your commitment towards a more customer-centric approach.

This doesn’t only have a short term benefit, it helps in shaping your brand & increasing profits.

As per Forbes, brands that deliver better customer support and experience have an astounding 5 to 7 times more revenue than their competitors.

4) Competitive Edge

Market trends keep changing from time to time. It is important to stay ahead of the game and keep adopting the latest technologies.

Brands that incorporate trending technologies to their application at the right moment can capitalize on the popularity of that technology.

Snapchat is still considered by many to be a leader in AR (Augmented reality) technology just because they managed to successfully integrate it on their app at the right time.

AR technology already existed before Snapchat adopted it but they were the ones to make full use of it & create an engaging and fun user experience.

5) New Features Attract New Users

Adding new and complementary features to the app is another way of increasing your target base and attracting new bees to the honey.

Every time WhatsApp or Instagram introduces a new feature, audiences make it a point to explore it. This newness keeps your app fresh and exciting to customers.

6) Battery Optimization

Many applications provide value to the customer but at the cost of excessive battery drainage.No one wants the bad reputation of a battery vampire.

Re-constructing application code to keep making the app more and more battery-friendly can be done with a regular app update.

7) Data-driven Strategy For Update

You get a ton of information about the user’s application presence and behavior. This data is pure feedback from your customers. Unadulterated by surveys and the human element. It can show you which features are popular and which are not being useful at all.

With an update, you can remove the feature that isn’t being used and introduce a different one that is more relevant for your customers.

mobile app maintenance

8) Better UX

Constant improvements directed towards a smoother & easier user experience can and does increase brand loyalty.

A PWC study showed that 43% of buyers are willing to pay more money for greater customer experience. Updating the user interface, increasing speed, reducing steps to purchase are some examples of streamlining the customer journey through application updates.

These 8 points answer your question- “Should I update my apps?” Well yes, you should and we will also show you how frequently and when you should update.

How Frequently Should You Update Your App?

Application support and maintenance is a regular task. Updating your app will depend largely on the nature of your business and market trend for your domain.

It isn’t common knowledge but an update can also be used as a marketing tool. The strategic updates give the app more visibility and user attention.

Google Play store & Apple store remind users about your app update from the moment you release it. This keeps users excited about new feature releases. The following points highlight the frequency, factors affecting update timelines & the best time to update your app.

-Many successful applications update 1 to 4 times in a month.

-The frequency of updates depends on user feedback and the size of the team.

-Plan at least 2 updates beforehand. This will give you more time to create an elaborate marketing strategy announcing & promoting that update.

-Update your app regularly to blend new technologies with your app offerings whenever possible.

-You should consider mixing bug fixes with elaborate feature releases to keep users interested.

-Align your mobile app updates with major OS launch days. This can get your application featured on the day of the OS launch.

Whenever Google or apple launch a new version of their OS, they boast apps that have upgraded the new technology and are making full use of it.

This is an amazing time for you to update app. It can give your app amazing visibility, conversions, and extra brownie points for the acclaim that your developers will receive. Reaping press benefits of an OS release is a dream for every app company.

Mobile App Maintenance & Update is Inseparable from Quality & Revenue

The verdict is clear, an application like any other tangible product also needs monitoring, care, and updation. This is the answer to your question “why do apps update so often?” They update frequently so they can maintain a strong brand presence, keep the engagement alive, and deliver a quality browsing experience.

Maintenance makes sure that your app’s performance is premium and customer-centric. This increases brand loyalty, retention, and re-sale of products. Regular feature additions & technology integration can significantly increase the customer pie, these are really profitable reasons for updating your app regularly.

Next up

Analyzing the app development stages and their various inclusions.