Every once in a while, new smartphones and mobile features disrupt the market. If your application isn’t adjusted to these innovations, how would it function? Would it keep more than 6 billion smartphone users satisfied if the app is outdated or unsupported by the new Android or iOS app versions? Would an app store keep this app if it has no user downloads or overall user engagement? Of course, not, apps that are not updated for more than a year are being deleted. For example, the Apple Store’s policy claims that applications that crash on launch, don’t function as expected or follow current review guidelines, and are outdated are subjects to removal. Google Play store went even further and created a video, where it is explained why and when the mobile app hosting platform has the right to remove your app.
To receive value from the app, business owners need to keep an eye on the new market trends so that users could experience enhanced mobile app performance. Staying updated continuously is the right choice, but how much does it cost to keep an app running today? What are the strategies you can implement to reduce risks of app failure and decrease time and money wastage? Let’s find out!
Why mobile apps maintenance is important?
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The mobile application development process includes six main stages that are the pillars of successful application building. Usually, these stages start from gathering requirements, proceed with planning, designing, head into developing a product, testing it, and providing continuous support.
Here, maintenance and support is the last pillar but, nonetheless, of great value. Why? Because you can’t just launch an app, make it available in the app stores and forget about it. To be sought-after on the market the app’s performance has to be monitored and assisted on a monthly basis.
Software maintenance is the exact technical support of the mobile application after it has been delivered. A developer is hired to be responsible for app maintenance for the long term. This is done to improve the app’s performance, correct emerging issues, fix bugs, provide regular updates of newer versions, configure with the OS updates, and more. It is a crucial part of mobile app development services and an important factor in mobile app monetization strategy.
With software maintenance and support you will get:
A fully updated app
With support and updates, the app runs smoothly and does not take up all the smartphone’s resources to carry out its tasks. The functions that users like about this app perform well and adjust to the ever-changing Android and iOS features and versions. The key here is to be fast and update an app adjusting to new conditions and enhancing the app’s functionality.
No more app uninstalls
Let’s imagine, you like an app, it is functional and convenient and works fine on your old device. But, suddenly, you change your smartphone for the better version and it does not support the outdated app anymore. What would you do in this case? Probably, uninstall the software and search for another one that will configure with your OS requirements. And, the sad truth is that many users will do the same. In 2020, the uninstall rate of mobile apps was 70% higher than it was the year before, according to Business of Apps. To reduce app uninstalls the software has to keep up with the time 24/7. Users would be more than happy to continue using the app they find useful and convenient than search for another one and try to understand how everything functions all over again.
A 100% better user experience
The overall application quality and performance maintenance is a priority and a good background for the end-users to meet their needs and be satisfied with the software functionality. What’s more, the value of receiving an excellent experience with the app reduces the risk users will want to uninstall it at any time.
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Higher ROI and bigger app revenue
Every end-user has certain preferences and expectations concerning the app he/she downloads from the app store. Although one app cannot satisfy every user there is in the world, it surely can have fewer issues that discourage people from using it. For instance, if the app is slow, crashes all the time, has a bug, and doesn’t add much to the user’s positive experience, then it is necessary to notice these flaws from the start and eliminate them instantly. This way you will not only regain your past users but obtain dozens of new ones. The better the turnover of the app among users the more profit (ROI) you will get.
Secured app from cyber attacks
With the help of incremental updates, a software engineer, who is responsible for the software maintenance, also keeps an eye on the app’s security. In a world, where cyber attacks happen every day, it is vital to be protected and protect your users from unwanted threats. In 2020, Statista counted 24 mobile malware types, with AdWare counting for 60% of all the mobile hazards. And, as it is known, applications that support advertising and receive revenue in such a way overcrowd the app stores. Thus, as the ads in software can be malicious, security updates are essential to protect from data theft and data leakage by properly securing the platform.
The benefits you will get if you choose to support your app after launch are numerous. But, don’t forget that the costs of maintaining an app will count for at least 15-20% of the app’s general development cost. For instance, let’s break the process of maintenance down into smaller constituents. These will be:
To host an app it is best to have a webserver to do the work. For example, you might be aware of such web servers as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud as these are the leading ones in the software development market. And, based on the type of application you have developed – a media-rich one with lots of features or not, the higher CPU, RAM, and disk space you need the more will be the hosting fees. Business of Apps suggests that the server costs for apps start with a price of $70 and cover more than $320, depending on the type of app, the industry, and the app’s features.
Monitoring and User Engagement
After an app has been launched and placed on any of the mobile hosting platforms (Google Play or Apple Store), you should engage in the app’s performance monitoring. For instance, gather analytics to have insights about what your potential users like and dislike about an app, how many users downloaded the app and how many of them abandoned it, and, most importantly, what was the cause. If you want to know more about what kind of metrics you should be measuring, read this article.
Everything from installing an app and making it noticeable everywhere is a job done by the marketer. Thus, engaging users to install the app, make in-app purchases, and use this app has to be planned way ahead. Statista shows that costs of the average mobile app user acquisition were the following in 2019 -the 2020s:
So, the costs to run an app also include the marketing costs for the app installs, subscriptions, and purchases.
Each app published has to be updated once in a while. To update an app it is necessary to monitor all the latest app platform and hosting platform changes. For this reason, it would not be wise to develop a full product – a flawless app, which does not need any updates. On the contrary, it would be cheaper and better to develop an MVP and update it from time to time to achieve the best system operating results. And mobile application maintenance cost here will depend on the type of project you plan to build and the app’s complexity.
The development cost, as well as the cost to maintain an app, will be impacted by the design incorporations and technology integrations that require licensing fees. Business of Apps suggests that some fees ground on the number of devices used and the annual sum that should be paid, and can result in slightly less or significantly more than $120,000 a year for approximately 50 devices.
These prices have been relevant a year ago, but, today, the prices depend on the mobile software development vendors you choose and their development practices. Only they are eligible to give you a clear budget on how much does it cost to maintain an app.
Learn more: what are software engineering KPIs?
How much does app maintenance cost today?
Mobile app maintenance costs should, by all means, rely on a software maintenance strategy you decide to pursue. The main types of the strategy have to include the following processes:
- Keep up with hardware changes
- Improve UI issues
- Configure the app with changing OS compatibility standards
- Continue to provide security
- Plan downtime management
- Follow all the software library updates
Using this strategy to ensure growth and prevent revenue losses, you should also take into account factors that influence the app cost directly. For example,
Which platform will the app be built on?
By so far, there are two types of platforms to choose from:
- Android or iOS (Native)
The choice of a platform is cost-dependent. To know more about the difference and cost of the Native apps vs Hybrid platform, and React Native vs Flutter development, click here.
What is the approximate number of screens your app should have?
It is possible to make up to 5 simple screens and also more than 20 screens per your request. It depends on the complexity of your app and your intentions to see the app’s visualization in detail or rather on the surface. To understand, how many screens you need, view our How UI/UX Impacts Product Success article.
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How will your users sign up and login into the app?
Choose between the following options:
- Email or id password
- Invitation by other users (deep link)
- Via social media profile
- 2-step authentication
- No verification at all
These features are important for security matters and the more complex is your authorization method the more end-user trust you will gain afterward. Although this choice might not reduce the cost, there will be fewer data breaches and advanced security for your app.
How do you wish to secure your app?
There are some options to consider:
- With HTTPS (for initial MVP only)
- Basic OS security policies
- Full protection (XSS and SQL injection for apps with sensitive data)
For more information, see our Cybersecurity in Action article.
Dates & Locations building
It is quite important to understand your aim according to the specifics of dates and locations. For example, you’d like:
- Synchronizing with the Calendar application
- Standard App Geolocation markers
- Custom drawings on the map
The more complex your application features, the bigger the cost.
Where are you going to save your application data?
There are three ways to store your app data and these are:
- Data cache
- Cloud database
- Offline storage
Each of these methods requires particular developer effort as well as an investment.
Which administration features do you need?
- Crash reporting
- Usage analytics
- User settings
- Performance monitoring
- User roles and access management
Of course, these features depend on your app type. Consider whether the app has to have several user roles as it will impact the app’s architecture greatly and add to the development efforts as well as maximize spending.
Which other features will you have in your app?
- In-app purchases
- Push notifications
- Chat availability
- Images/audio/video manipulation
- Ratings and Reviews
- Device sensor data manipulation
- Health data
- Camera/QR codes/barcodes/scanners
Of course, you should always focus on the mobile app trends and user preferences as user experience has to be seamless and far-flung. But if your app does not require additional features – save the costs for something more important!
Social & Engagement
- Social Sharing
- Social APIs
External APIs and Integrations
Connection to one or a few third-party services. Here, a concrete number of services is required to generate the potential cost.
Additional features that influence mobile application maintenance cost
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To figure out mobile app maintenance expenses and the average cost of maintaining an app it is also important to understand that these costs will include:
- Hiring a development team or a single developer
Part of the costs assigned for the app maintenance will be intertwined with the hiring of the right person to deploy the app and support it afterward. Not to miss this opportunity to reduce money wastage and get an engineer to build your app, learn how much does it cost to hire an app developer.
The cost of app hosting depends on the Google Play Store or Apple Store prices. Learn the policies first and get to know monthly fees. If you have an app for both platforms, be ready to pay twice as much as Android and iOS services differ a lot.
The app server cost depends on the server you choose to host your app and the complexity of the app, which might take up disk space, and intensify the work of CPU and RAM.
According to Mobile App Daily, push notifications cost as much as $10 per month. Push notifications are rather a cross-platform technology that pops up on your smartphone with the app-relevant content that requires user action and instant engagement with the app. These little messages remind users that they have to interact with the app and bring to an increase in the daily app visits (DAU).
Payment gateways belong to the most common security protection protocols and require proper encryption to enhance in-app purchasing protection and gain user trust. Some sources mention $150 or more per month to maintain this feature and keep it updated.
- Extra (non-predictable) expenses
Among the other expenses might be sudden crushes, unexpected bugs, configuration errors, and more problems that might or might not occur in the long run. However, you still have to be prepared for them and have a little budget set up to ensure these issues will be maintained right away. The longer is the time users have to wait for an app to work accordingly, the more there is a chance they will uninstall it and find the one that works better.
See also the statistic of the most common challenges in app monetizing strategies below.
To reduce the costs of app maintenance, you should set priorities while still being at the planning and development stages. Make a detailed description of your app and make sure to communicate your goals to the development team correctly. Inoxoft can make the process of cost calculation a bit easier and more understandable for you. Visit our application cost calculator to get a close cost estimate of how much does app maintenance cost just within a few clicks!
Consider Inoxoft your trusted partner
Inoxoft is an international software company offering clients from the USA, UK, Canada, Israel, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, and other countries our android app development services, ios development services, and flutter app development services. We partner with large, medium, and small businesses, and startups on outsourcing terms and conditions. You can trust us with B2B, and B2C software solutions as we:
- Deliver software according to your requirements
- Take into account details and respect customer’s vision
- Are responsible and always meet deadlines
- Are the talented and skilled app development team
- Use effective, innovative, and fast technologies
- Consult you comprehensively and are happy to answer all your questions
We have numerous success stories you can view here. Especially, our music synchronizer app solution. Our clients trust Inoxoft in delivering expert solutions in android application development services that help their businesses grow and prosper. Most of them recommend us and turn to us again with new mobile app ideas to implement. Contact us to receive the best experience in developing mobile solutions for your business needs! Or contact us to receive an extensive consultation! We will be glad to provide you with all the necessary information to make you one step closer to your idea mobile application.
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To sum app, mobile app maintenance is as crucial for an app’s future as development is. With the help of constant monitoring and support, the app will stay up-to-date, be valuable for its end-users, be desirable to install, it will impact your ROI, and bring your business lots of success. If you happen to hesitate, whether you need app maintenance at all – don’t be. Without proper updates your app will crash as the Android and iOS OS versions change all the time as well as Google Play and Apple Store policies. You will reduce costs spent on maintenance only if you have a pre-planned strategy on how to avoid potential losses and act instantly when some issues occur. Stay updated and make sure your app is flawless with the help of our software engineers. We are experts when it comes to your app’s work and stability. Contact us to get more details on app maintenance!