You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

To best stabilize any app, you need to have a comprehensive approach which understands that sometimes it’s impossible to know you’ve got a problem until some specific, unpredictable situation arises. This is especially true with mobile apps, and they will be primarily focused on during this writing.

With applications, you don’t know what you don’t know, and it’s hard to even determine which questions are ultimately most appropriate. This is the primary difficulty with mobile applications because differences in networks, users, and tech upgrades can all affect application operation. Keeping ahead of this can be very difficult, and hard to predict.

Oftentimes your best means of keeping ahead of operational problems is through error-monitoring and tracking software designed to help you pin down that which is malfunctioning and fix it. The difference in applications means differing advice will be more or less appropriate for your specific app—there aren’t really any shortcuts. Basically, what you want to do is design the best possible mobile application you can, then put it into operation and see what you haven’t anticipated.

The closest way around this is Beta-testing, but that’s not really any kind of shortcut; it’s just necessary. You definitely want to release your app to select audiences before it goes “mainstream” in order to determine its strengths and weaknesses. Beta-testing additionally has a PR angle to it: you are able to generate a positive buzz before your primary launch date.

Still, beta-testing—though effective and necessary—isn’t the total extent of what your testing parameters should be. Beta testing can only tell you so much. Sometimes errors will take place that users don’t realize are impacting the normal functionality of an app you’ve designed.

Unexpected Situations

Still, even if you’ve got an exceptionally successful Beta-test, you’re yet going to encounter situations where unexpected operational exigencies lead to operational difficulties. For example, if your application takes off and becomes popular, like Tinder, or other well-known mobile apps, then you’re going to experience a massive up-spike in traffic.

Increased traffic will naturally stress the system from which the app is launched. If you don’t prepare for this, things could crash. You definitely want to conduct load-tests to determine how much your application can handle, and where weak-points are. If you’re unfamiliar with load-tests, these are basically means of determining the limits of your mobile app. It may perform at X level of proficiency with 1k users, but how does it perform with 10k?

Things become even more complicated when you stop to consider that your mobile apps will be used by different areas of the tech community. For example, a laptop application is going to require different coding than one used strictly in a modern “mobile” since even if they’re designed for the same purpose.

When you’re designing mobile apps, you will often have to have a desktop/laptop analog which is written to conform to such coding parameters. With a smartphone, someone may have to take a call in the middle of using the app. This probably won’t happen with a laptop.

Meanwhile, cloud computing applications hosted from a server array are their own class. Your mobile application may be hosted from a cloud server array; understanding the functionality of the platform you’re using is wise for best mobile app development. Whether your app is designed specifically for mobile use, or it has some analog on either the cloud or a traditional desktop, you need monitoring solutions that help you to differentiate between errors and apply fixes.

Monitoring Errors

As mentioned at the beginning of this writing, what you need is a kind of error-monitoring paradigm that can catch errors large or small immediately, and bring them to your attention for the address. Some errors will reveal that a bit of coding here or there has been erroneously input, and the fix is simple. Some errors will require a complete retooling of your application.

You can check out three different types of error monitoring at Stackify.com. For every error that you log, Retrace will attempt to collect any details about the current web request. These details are very valuable to get more context. Retrace can really help you optimize your app, and it is only one of several effective error-monitoring programs. The more details you can get through solutions like these, the more swiftly you can pin down where operations went wrong and effect a fix.

But effecting a fix isn’t simple, either; because you have a propensity to create as many problems as you just rectified. These kinds of problems are seen with basic software updates all the time. Your computer forces you to install an update, and suddenly some aspect of the program that worked fine before now refuses to function if you’re using a certain portion of the program in a way that initiates a “buggy” response.

When you fix an error, regression testing is necessary to ensure the problem has truly been fixed, and no additional issues have cropped up as a result. Oftentimes a “scrum” approach is used here. If you’re unfamiliar, “scrum” is a rugby term used to describe a concerted effort at creating or fixing something among IT teams.

Best Stability Utilization For Your AppThe Bigger Picture

If you combine scrum regression testing with a suite of error-detection software that helps you pin down where issues occur, then you can stay on top of your mobile application’s functionality in a perpetual way which encourages its best utility continuously going forward. If you don’t stay on top of your application, you risk losing all your investment into it.

When users consistently come against errors, they’re less likely to make using your app core to their daily egress. They’re more likely to get bored, annoyed, and dismissive of it. Think of your application like digital property. You’ve got to maintain it, or the value will definitely go into decline given time. That’s the truth with anythin, when you get right down to it.

Though digital “property” has an initially “static” quality, it will degrade over time; especially if it’s in regular use, and little errors aren’t fixed when they crop up. Creating the app and Beta-testing it are really only the beginning of the “battle”. From there, you’ve got to effect digital maintenance in order for the app to function at its fullest potential.

Your best bet is going to be adopting a strategy which incorporates regular review of your mobile application. Your strategy should include a “review” of your “Review” as well, in order to ensure you haven’t introduced any new errors into the application. In all likelihood, you will introduce new errors incidentally at some time or another. Provided you’re regularly reviewing your apps, though, you can catch these issues before they seriously impact your operation.