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App Development

General

Mobile Best Practices: How to Improve Your App Health

"I want to understand…" QUESTION ANSWER FORMAT ANSWER FORMAT
...user goals What problem/goal are you solve or achieve with this app? Open text (verbatim) ANSWER FORMAT
...product utility Does this app help you achieve your goal? Multiple choice:
  • Very helpful
  • A little helpful
  • Neutral
  • Not very helpful
  • Not helpful at all
ANSWER FORMAT
...user goals What problem/goal are you solve or achieve with this app? Open text (verbatim) ANSWER FORMAT
...user goals What problem/goal are you solve or achieve with this app? Open text (verbatim) ANSWER FORMAT

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Users are impatient with apps nowadays, due to the huge amount of apps available to them. The challenge facing mobile teams nowadays is huge when you consider the 2.5 million apps on the Google Play Store and 2 million on the App Store according to Statista. Getting users to download your app is a big enough challenge, but getting them to stay is an even bigger one. If users experience any crashes or bugs they're likely to delete your app altogether. If your app isn't healthy, it won't be successful. In this article, we will cover your app health as well as how to improve it to keep its pulse up.

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What is app health?

In any context, the health of something is usually defined as how well that thing is functioning. In the case of apps, it’s no different. App health covers everything from the app’s stability and how often it crashes to the UI/UX issues its facing. App health is therefore not a very strict metric. It’s basically like saying how well your app is doing. Success for one app could mean 100 downloads and for another could just barely mean 1 million downloads. Similarly, app health has a lot of metrics that can be quantified and optimized like stability and bugs. Due to the nature of app health, it won’t be as easy to identify how healthy an app is from the outside. However, it would be very easy for a user to gauge how unhealthy your app is if it’s suffering from a lot of issues. It’s the sort of thing where no one notices until something goes wrong. So how exactly do you keep track of something as general as app health?

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Monitoring app health

From the developer’s side, it’s vital that you keep track of your app’s health. Even though app health itself isn’t really quantifiable, the metrics that make it up are. And more importantly, there are ways of keeping track of these metrics in an effort to make the app as healthy as possible. Let’s take a look at the most important metrics and how to monitor them.

Bugs

There are two sides to monitoring bugs. Since bugs are non-fatal and have a huge variety of different issues that could come up, it’s a challenge to properly track them all. One side is having an efficient way to have developers, testers, and users reporting any bugs they run into. And the other is having a way to track all these bug reports to be able to fix these issues. Fortunately, there are tools that serve both these purposes.

Performance

Similarly to bugs, there are two sets of metrics that need to be monitored when it comes to performance. The first side has to do with what the app users are experiencing with the app. This includes average response and load times users are experiencing while using the app.

The other side to performance monitoring has to do with the resources used by the application. By tracking metrics such as the load on computational resources of the app then you will be able to judge if there is an adequate capacity to support the load. This helps identify possible bottleneck situations and keep your app running as fast as possible.

APM (application performance monitoring) tools are your best friend when monitoring these metrics. And it shows that by staying on top of monitoring, you will be able to allocate and adjust resources to keep your app performing to the best of its capabilities. Misjudging heavy load times can lead to your app freezing and even crashing when your users need it the most.

Crashes

Probably the biggest indicator of your app’s health is its stability. An app crashing too often is a surefire way to lose users for good. Since crashes specifically are fatal errors and completely stop the user from using the app, they can become a huge issue quickly. It’s important to measure your app’s stability score and to keep constant track of it. And one of the best ways to monitor your app’s health is to have a strong crash reporting and monitoring tool. This serves two purposes:

  1. Strong crash reports let you figure out the root cause of the issue faster. By finding the cause, it helps your mobile team figure out a fix faster and more effectively.
    Monitoring crashes in real-time is an invaluable tool. By keeping track of crashes in real-time, you will be able to catch any potential issues before they damage your app’s health.
  2. Don't wait to find out about bad news from reviews on the App Store or from angry messages from users. Crashes are an inevitable occurrence, which is why keeping ahead of the curve goes a long way towards improving and maximizing your app’s health.

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