For developers coming from the world of web and desktop applications, mobile development offers a wealth of new opportunities. Many developers find that the mobile arena provides an avenue to compete with more established titles in ways not previously possible in the desktop market. Still other developers are quick to take advantage of the innovations that mobile technologies make possible—innovations not easily duplicated in desktop or web-based applications.
Despite whatever success may be had in the mobile market, developers large and small often face unexpected challenges. The lack of tools or features easily taken for granted in more mature platforms can test even the most experienced developer, while the limitations of touch-based, mobile interfaces can sometimes make it difficult to bring an idea to fruition.
As a result, it’s important to know from the outset what issues to watch out for and what can hurt your app from the moment it’s released. Here’s the top three things to consider.
Ignoring Mobile Demands
One of the biggest mistakes developers make, especially coming from desktop or web-based development, is not taking into consideration the unique needs of mobile devices. What works good on a desktop platform, whether in an app or browser, doesn’t always translate to a touch interface on a small screen.
This means that developers must often completely rethink their application interactions. Mouse and keyboard-driven controls must be translated into touch-based input that’s logical and intuitive. Menus, options and settings have to be accessible in a way that makes sense for a small screen. In short, a mobile app’s interface must be designed for a mobile device—not simply shrunk down from a desktop or web-based application.
Putting Off Improvements
One of the worst things a mobile developer can do is put off improvements and performance enhancements as something to do later. Because mobile development often occurs at a much faster pace than traditional development, there’s always the temptation to release something as quickly as possible and worry about optimizations later.
Unfortunately, this approach can be disastrous. With statistics proving that the vast majority of users will only give a slow or buggy mobile app a couple of tries before moving on, developers don’t have the luxury of putting improvements off to a later date. Bug-free operation and responsive performance must be a priority from the first day of planning.
Failing to Properly Iterate
An often overlooked area where many developers hurt their app’s chances of success is failing to iterate from one version to another. While the majority of developers are always looking for new features to add or bugs to fix, many are haphazard in their approach to new releases, rather than having a steady, systematic approach to improvements. With each release, there should be a quantifiable improvement and evolution over the previous version, ensuring customers have a reason to keep coming back.
This is an area where performance monitoring tools like the Embrace platform can help. By providing a deep-dive into user sessions, you can see exactly what issues your users are experiencing with a version of your app and how that compares with each previous version. This gives you important insights into each iteration of your application, where it is, where it’s been and where it needs to go.
The Embrace Advantage
As an industry leader in mobile performance monitoring tools, Embrace can help your company access the information it needs to give your app the best chance of success. Contact Embrace for more information and a trial of our industry-leading platform.