Release Practices for Mobile Apps–What do Users and Developers Think?

by   Maleknaz Nayebi, et al.

Large software organizations such as Facebook or Netflix, who otherwise make daily or even hourly releases of their web applications using continuous delivery, have had to invest heavily into a customized release strategy for their mobile apps, because the vetting process of app stores introduces lag and uncertainty into the release process. Amidst these large, resourceful organizations, it is unknown how the average mobile app developer organizes her app's releases, even though an incorrect strategy might bring a premature app update to the market that drives away customers towards the heavy market competition. To understand the common release strategies used for mobile apps, the rationale behind them and their perceived impact on users, we performed two surveys with users and developers. We found that half of the developers have a clear strategy for their mobile app releases, since especially the more experienced developers believe that it affects user feedback. We also found that users are aware of new app updates, yet only half of the surveyed users enables automatic updating of apps. While the release date and frequency is not a decisive factor to install an app, users prefer to install apps that were updated more recently and less frequently. Our study suggests that an app's release strategy is a factor that affects the ongoing success of mobile apps.


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