Mobile Apps and Perpetual Releases

In an internet-driven economy, having a mobile app has become a standard practice for businesses to better interact with their customers. Mobile apps give businesses an alternative storefront, an extension to services, and the potential for brand integration into the user’s lifestyle. However, fulfilling these promises comes with a level of investment.

Like most other business processes, mobile apps require dedicated developers to maintain its effectiveness. This is especially important for service-based industries where mobile app competition, and user expectations, are at an all-time high.

Quality that Serves

In the world of mobile apps, user experience is everything. In a recent survey by Compuware, 48% of responders said they would be less likely to use the app again after a dissatisfying experience.[1] The pressure for customer satisfaction has never been tighter with a surging pool of competitors to choose from. The Apple Store alone has 1.4 million apps available to iOS users across 155 countries.[2]

User interface is the frontline for mobile apps, which means its design is of the utmost importance. Successful designs promote a high level of usability and convenience. However, designs get stale over time, and competitors are always finding ways to improve their service with more intuitive interfaces. Customer expectations drive industries to implement these innovations to retain the customers that they currently have.

Designing for mobile phone interfaces introduces a unique set of challenges to other mobile devices. Different screen classes and resolutions, compact processors and evolving Operating Systems (OS) features all demand a flexible interface that morphs to consistently changing host devices – all while delivering a smooth experience.

Competitive Pressures

The market for mobile devices thrives on a culture of seeking the “latest and greatest.” The growth of mobile devices and their OS resulting in a more powerful product after every release cycle, the time gap in between releases becomes a race to innovate apps to take full advantage of the device’s functionality.[3] This driving force pushes markets upward, adding competitive pressure to mobile apps whose updates lag behind.

Challenges to Mobile App structures

Open-Source Operating Systems

Mobile device companies use open-source OS like Android, Ubuntu and Linux because it offers them the ability to make Original Equipment Manufacturer customizations for unbound OS potential. However, this exposes the OS to potential fragmentation problems that affect the performance of mobile apps.[4]

These problems stem from faults with the device’s OS, which means that consistent maintenance is needed from app developers to ensure that the app isn’t negatively affected by the OS. Bugs and errors in the mobile app’s functionality can lead to compounding problems that developers need to fix quickly. This is especially important for mobile apps in industries that use confidential information in their process, such as a banking or insurance.

The Interconnected Nature of Application Programming Interface (API)

Mobile apps use API’s to connect with a third-party user interface. When an API changes, this may affect the functionality of a mobile app’s features. For example, Instagram’s API is used by many mobile apps to access a user’s Instagram account. If Instagram makes an update its API, this may have an adverse effect on the ability for your mobile app to communicate content to-and-from a user’s Instagram account. If your mobile app serves to edit photographs taken by a device, an incompatible API may affect its ability to upload an edited photograph into Instagram.

Peak Workloads

Growing the user-base of a mobile app is a common business goal for many companies who monetize their mobile apps. However, growing too fast or lacking the personnel to monitor growth can lead to server issues that impact app performance.\

While most servers are sturdy enough to survive the bottleneck effects of operating at maximum capacity, the mechanisms of the server are taxed and jeopardized overtime. This can lead to process crashes, information loss, or faulty hardware. For virtualized machines hosting the processes of many applications, this can be a nightmare.

Succeed with Mobile Development

Meeting the expectations of users is essential to mobile app success. Mobile apps have many moving parts, many of which are out of the developer’s control – devices, internet providers, complimentary applications. So, it is important to have developers ready to build and maintain the success of your mobile app.

Tiempo Development creates mobile apps that surpass industry standards using Agile methodologies and Xamarin – a powerful and consistent cross-platform development tools – for fast and reliable performance. For more information about Tiempo Development’s process of building high-performance mobile apps, read our whitepaper about the Tiempo Quality System.

[1] “Mobile Apps: What Consumers Really Need and Want”. Compuware. https://info.dynatrace.com/rs/compuware/images/Mobile_App_Survey_Report.pdf

[2] Steve R. “iOS versus Android. Apple App Store versus Google Play: Here comes the next battle in the app wars. ZDNet. http://www.zdnet.com/article/ios-versus-android-apple-app-store-versus-google-play-here-comes-the-next-battle-in-the-app-wars/

[3] Eran K. “Perfecto Mobile’s technical evangelist Eran Kinsbruner offers insight into the secrets of mobile success.” Develop Magazine. http://www.develop-online.net/opinions/why-apps-fail-and-what-you-can-do-to-prevent-it/0205247

[4] Ville-Veikko. “What Every App Developer Should Know About Android”. Smashing Magazine. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/10/what-every-app-developer-should-know-about-android/

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