Lowest Hanging Fruit for Improving App Performance

“Work smarter, not harder” so the mantra goes. Who couldn’t agree? When it comes to app development, one might rephrase this as “don’t do a bunch of stuff you don’t have to do yet.” The gruff manner of this paraphrase isn’t meant to be funny as much as to highlight the benefits that become possible with a no-nonsense, prioritized approach to app development.

Prioritization can profoundly affect your productivity in development cycles. It’s no laughing matter for the people in the trenches or the people accountable, and it really does come down to “what should we do and when should we do it.”

The good news is that there are several things you can do to make your app perform more efficiently without even opening a coding environment and these low hanging areas of repair should take top priority in any in any investigation into app performance struggles or preventive measures.

Optimizing Image Size

If we’ve said this 100 times, it’s probably not enough. Image size in apps matters. Image optimization in apps is just as important as it is when it comes to classic web development. Beyond just download heft and install speed, the screen rendering burden is handled differently from smartphone to smartphone, and there can be effects from sluggishness to outright battery drain.

Loading Screens

Speaking of images, sometimes you may NEED imagery that is large, inefficient or deliberately downloading asynchronously. You already know this, but don’t forget to plan the UX to include intentional and interesting loading screens or scenarios.

Scale

What could be worse than having a user account architecture that limits the number of concurrent sign-ins? It sounds crazy, but we’ve seen it before. With an unscalable account setup, you can be victimized by the success of your marketing tactics when you attract users to come back to the app, all at once, and essentially create your own DDoS attack. Users think there is a problem with the app itself when the reality is the infrastructure may be holding it back. Don’t be that app.

This leads to another question about scale…

Does your app server architecture scale easily and quickly? Not just for user account sign-ins but for overall traffic? This can get left behind if your app is becoming popular after being launched on a less flexible or non-virtualized back end. It’s something to plan for.

Native or Hybrid

Is the app fully native or hybrid with some web content redistributed within? In the case of the latter, when network connections are not optimized accordingly, there can be much more visible performance problems like broken content or visible lag.

Is There Low Hanging Fruit I’m Missing?

Every situation is unique, so there are always prioritized places to look for efficiencies that may not be as easy to remember. A dedicated QA process helps keep this organized. If you are a small operation, QA can often sadly fall on the shoulders of developers. This kind of multitasking is less than ideal. Regardless of your staffing allocation, we all benefit from a second set of eyes to help us recognize what can be done quickly and efficiently before diving into the more complex solutions.

Embrace.io’s set of comprehensive tools can help teams, small or large, prioritize and problem-solve performance issues so solutions can reveal themselves faster. Find the lowest-hanging fruit for improving app performance!

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