Does Your App Need An Update?
How do you know when your app needs an update? Is it based on a certain timeframe or is it only from need? Some mobile application development companies are updating their apps on an almost weekly basis while others might wait months in between. But which cycle is the proper approach? Let’s review the topic and shed some light on the options and motivations behind using each.
Importance of App Updates
There are a few good reasons to update your app after the initial launch. Obviously fixing problems and bugs is a primary motivation. However, app updates are also a great way to stay connected with their users.
Regular updates help remind a user about an app they might not have used for awhile. For example, if you have a game you haven’t played in weeks seeing that there is an update might spur you to play again to see what is new. Or seeing the update might remind you of how much fun (value) that game provided causing you to reconnect.
The app stores also like to see updates, as that shows them and their patrons that you are making the effort to keep your app current. Plus it shows up in the updates list which is an added bonus. On top of that the release notes offer a forum to speak to users in the app store mentioning what they have improved or talking about fixes users wanted now being completed.
Of course the fixing bugs and problems rational are important as well because that demonstrates a commitment to the users and the app itself. Loyal users appreciate it when their favorite game or tool is being taken care of because that means their needs are being tended to.
When does your App need an update?
There are a handful of times and reasons for updating your app:
- New Features – This can vary based on the type of app and how aggressive you are with rolling out features. Larger features obviously take longer to code and test before release. In our experience larger features should be saved for new releases with any new feature being something that only takes a few weeks to implement.
- Bug Fixes – These should be done whenever they are necessary. While some people think it makes more sense to fix multiple bugs and add a new feature in an update the goal really needs to be app stability. If you have a bug that is affecting user’s ability to enjoy the app it needs to be fixed right away.
- New Release – Major updates to apps should be planned far in advance. If you are going to roll out a new version and overhaul parts of the app then it takes a lot of time and planning. However just because you are planning a new release it doesn’t mean can ignore bugs or small feature changes to the existing app. You need to keep your current users engaged and happy.
- OS updates – Whenever Android or Apple are planning a major release you will most likely need to have your own update to deal with stability and bug fixes that may occur.
The timing of updates
So how often should you be updating your app? The most successful apps are updated every week or two, which is part of the reason they are successful. At the very least your app needs to be updated once a month.
The timing of updates should be mapped out ahead of time based on small features you want to add, big features and major updates. Then within this calendar you add in bug fixes and OS updates as they occur or are needed.
The bottom line is that your app does need an update on a regular basis if you want to keep current and new users happy. If you have a goal of one to four updates per month then you will be in good shape for not only ensuring that the app is stable but also that you are adding new features and staying connected to your users wants and needs.
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