How Often Should You Update Mobile Apps?
It seems as though every time you open your mobile device or turn on your computer there is software that wants to update. Companies can update their software whenever they like, and if a critical bug becomes apparent it needs to be addressed.
There has to be a balance though, pumping out updates can have a negative effect on user experience. Too often can mean users stop using the app due to waiting every time they open the application. Not often enough can lead to a build up of bugs and a negative impact on the apps usability.
Deciding How Often
So how often should you update your mobile apps? There are three main decision points that define when to update, the first two are more common and adopted by most companies.
Regular updates. Have scheduled updates, this could be every Thursday or something like the first Tuesday of the month. More frequently is more common with free apps, this might seem odd but free apps get their revenue from ads and in app purchases. Keeping on top of bugs and adding content regularly keeps users coming back. Paid apps or subscription apps can afford to update less frequently as the user has committed to using the application.
Necessity. Bugs, crashes and any other critical issue that might need fixing quickly. These can be necessary to fix outside of a schedule, they could impact users negatively and become cause for uninstalling. One reason outside of bug issues can be feature releases, you might want to release on a specific day like anniversary or a holiday date for example.
Update at will. This is less popular but some smaller teams adopt this, updating whenever it needs to. Fix bugs and issues as they arise and release features whenever they are ready.
Frequency: Big vs Small
A sweet spot is bi weekly to update mobile apps. You can get in one big update a month and one smaller update, this usually covers most applications requirements. This way also leaves room for any necessary updates to address bugs and fixes. Free apps favor more regular smaller updates, to keep on top of content and keep it fresh for users.
Once a month for paid applications is common, but this would be the scheduled update and doesn’t mean there are no others outside of this. Feature releases can be incorporated into this, and one large update a month is negligible to most users. While smaller updates and fixes can be rolled out as required.
Keep it manageable for your team. App stores like Apple’s App Store favor regularly updated apps but regular large weekly updates are unfavorable. The focus should always be to improve the user experience, updating the UI and ensuring bugs don’t build up.
It is entirely up to you and there is no industry standard. Just because most do it this way doesn’t mean it is right for your project. Consulting industry leading custom software development companies can help with deciding on that sweet spot for how often you should update your mobile app.
At Axis Software Dynamics we offer in house custom app development and consulting services. We develop not only mobile applications but also business applications for the web. If you are still left wondering what to do, contact us at Axis Software Dynamics and let us help you boost your mobile app today!