Get In Touch

How To Recognize If a Mobile App Is Due For Major Update

December 2, 2017 |
Mobile App Updates

The recent times have made us more dependant on our mobile phones than ever. There are so many daily jobs which are completed through our mobile phones, unlike the traditional ways. Smartphone users are no longer under the custody of storage limitations which has allowed them to download and use more and more apps. With so many apps being actively used, developers have a task at hand to keep their apps updated and in sync with latest trends. That’s why we see so many app upgrade notifications on our devices every day. But, what are the factors that motivate them to push an update?

There are 2 kinds of updates, a minor update, and a major update. A minor update consists of small changes, tweaks, bug fixes etc. Whereas a major update consists of a handful of new changes, a new user experience or an entirely new visual design. These updates are less frequent and there are certain factors which help in identifying the need for such an update. Let’s check them out!

1. Addition of An Important Feature

The most basic way to identify if it’s time for a major app update is by analyzing the features of the app. If you are planning to implement a major addition to the list of existing features which has a direct impact on the overall user experience, then that calls for a major update. These important features could be an addition of social media element, authentication and syncing features, new revenue model, third-party integration or other application-specific features.

2. Changing The Existing App Design

There’s no rocket science involved here. If you are planning to change the visual quotient of the app, you will need to go with a major update. The change could be in design terms, user interface or user experience. Changes related to scrolling patterns, color scheme, layouts etc. come under this umbrella. A change in the app design is quite a motivator for people to update the app.

3. A Deteriorating Codebase

The world of apps is a strange world and keeps updating every day. In terms of apps, even a 1-year-old codebase can be considered old. Technology is changing and updating at such a fast pace that an aging codebase becomes a big driver for rolling out a major update. There are often more than one hands involved in the development process which helps in a faster release. However, it also makes the code more complicated and hard to manage. If adding a new feature is a daunting task or if new libraries would make a feature easier to implement, you must look out for a major update or maybe even a completely rewritten code.

4. Poor Performing App Metrics

Reaching out to your target audience and proper management of key app metrics are very crucial to the success of any app. Underperforming app metrics like poor app ratings is a leading factor to roll out a major app update. Monitoring the app data can only provide you numbers. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You might see that users are not returning back to your app on a regular basis or not visiting a particular screen. What it doesn’t tell you is that why are they not coming back? It’s essential that you use the insights from these numbers to understand the root cause of the problem. Also, talk to the real users and understand what they feel. Implement the required changes and push it through a major update.

5. App Not Able To Match Latest Design Trends

Sometimes it becomes absolutely necessary to change the design of the app. The design trends are updating every now and then to match the pace of changing technology. This forces the big guns like Google and Apple to define certain guidelines and rules in terms of app designs and you need to abide by them. Not following the latest design trends can be a big factor to push a major update.

Not following the latest design trends could include ignoring Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines or Google’s Material Design. It could also simply mean not living up to user’s expectation. If your app doesn’t look or function like other top apps, it won’t be on a lot of devices.

Releasing a major update gives you an opportunity to brightly shine among your users. You can implement big changes and give your app a complete makeover and upgrade. Even if everyone doesn’t notice the good work you do in the update, there would certainly be some important eyes which will notice it. Writers, analysts, power users etc. will definitely notice it and will appreciate your hard work and commitment towards your app. Lastly, never use the major update as a marketing gimmick. Stick to the above-mentioned factors and consider other important aspects before you decide to go for it.

Get in Touch