Over 4 million mobile apps are available in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The number of available apps is certainly on the rise, but quality isn’t improving at quite the same pace. While there are several factors at play here, a lack of app testing knowledge and experience is a major component.
Sure, professional testers can help to bring an app to perfection. However, the majority of developers just don’t have the room in their budget to hire them.
Still, users aren’t willing to put up with poor quality. Once a serious problem is identified (e.g. crashes, freezes, or battery drains), they’re very likely to delete the app and move on.
There are always plenty of reasons an app could be deleted. And truth be told, you can set up the best ad monetization tool and have millions of monthly installs, but it’s all immaterial if your app gets deleted immediately.
Let’s check out what developers can do to ensure their apps function correctly, so the question of deletion isn’t even raised in the first place.
1. Always Test Your Target OS VersionsCall us Captain Obvious if you wish, but it’s 100% necessary to test the target operating systems. Some developers use emulators to save time, which is generally fine. However, be aware that emulators often lack the real features and functions that the actual OS has. Consequently, the lack of accuracy can later lead to crashes and the like.
Always test an app within a real OS before its launch, and test it with different versions. Of course, there's no need to test them all, just the popular ones. For example, if you want your app to work with iOS8, test versions 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, etc. with real soft.
2. Check Out the Interface with Different Screen SizesThis one is most critical for Android. An app should, of course, look good and function well on devices with different size screens. Our advice remains the same: test your app on real devices and try to find the biggest number of gadgets with different screens.
If the devices of a given manufacturer have the same screen sizes, it is enough to test your app with just one. For example, if your app supports iPhone5 and iPhone 5s, you can run you test with only one of the smartphones.
3. Don’t Forget About Different Connection SpeedsInternet connection is not a must for every app; if you are working on an autonomous calculator, you can absolutely skip that point. But if your app requires a connection (even for just a brief period), make sure to check how it works with different internet speeds. In some cases, an app can work perfectly fine with fast Internet and fail miserably with a slower speed.
By the way, if your app requires a fast internet connection and only works well with Wi-Fi, let your users know. Otherwise, if user expectations aren’t met because of the slow speed connection, they might delete it without investigating the cause of a bug.
4. Put Your App Through the No Bars ExperienceYes, the “no bars experience” happens as much as we all hate it. Make sure the app works when there is no signal. This is especially important when the user needs to complete a transaction or make a purchase.
We’ve all been there. You download an app requiring registration, dutifully fill out the form, and press complete. Somewhere in the process, the signal disappears, and the whole procedure fails. Truly, an app shouldn’t crash or fail in this moment, but if it does, you should always include a notification about the failed signal, so the user understands the reason behind the madness.
5. Be Aware of Battery ConsumptionBattery drain is a pretty common problem. Have you ever installed something simple, like a calculator, and in 20 minutes, half of your phone’s battery runs dry? Naturally, an app like this one is quickly deleted by the majority of smartphone owners.
The problem here? The developer didn’t test the battery consumption. So, don’t forget to check it, even if your app works perfectly fine. iOS 8 automatically shows battery consumption of every app; for Android use a special tool like Battery Stats Plus.
6. Check How the App Affects the Phone’s Core FunctionsDon’t forget that the phone, as modern as it is, is a phone and the user expects its functions for communication to work. Make sure that your app does not prevent the use of any of these core functions of the device. Check to make sure the phone can accept and decline calls, display system notifications, etc.
7. Compare Ad FormatsIf your app uses advertising, test different ad formats thoroughly. Check the measurements for banners as well as how display and contextual ads work. If a banner overlaps the menu or navigation buttons, a user is likely to delete such an app as it negatively affects the overall app experience. In the case of display advertising, make sure its performance is effective.
8. Follow Platform Guidelines to a TEvery mobile platform (Android, iOS or Windows Phone) has its own app requirements, which concern both interface and functionality. If these requirements are not met, some problems may occur. For example, if you build Android app with a back button included, it might conflict with the system’s built-in back button. However, if you’re working with iOS, this button is a necessity as the platform doesn’t have it.
These are all little things to keep an eye out for as they add up to a greater impact on UX.
9. Keep an Eye on Regional StylesLocalizing an app might be tricky, as localizing doesn’t just mean translation. Date formats are a great example. In the USA, the preferred format is mm/dd/yyyy, whereas in Europe, you’re much more likely to use dd/mm/yyyy. If your app is developed for multiple countries and languages, make sure to check any regional differences and keep an eye on minor details.
As always, the first impression matters. An app that meets and exceeds user expectations is much more likely to avoid deletion and become a favorite. Take your time and make testing a top priority; the results are worth it!