Regular app updates maintain iOS/Android OS compatibility, security, fix bugs, and keep your app relevant in a rapidly evolving landscape. How often should you update to meet these needs without fatiguing your users?
Monthly Updates with a Catch
Most agree that monthly updates are frequent enough to address your myriad goals without upsetting users. That said, there are times when a bug or security issue can’t wait for the new moon. Address these issues as quickly as possible regardless of where you are in your monthly update cycle.
Beyond Monthly Cycles
iOS/Android OS Updates
Operating system compatibility is the most obvious reason to update regardless of where you are in your monthly cycle. Fortunately, both Apple and Google give plenty of warning before implementing a major update that will impact your app’s ability to function on their latest OS.
Update enough to ensure your app is up-to-date with market expectations – i.e. what might have passed as a great app in terms of features even a few months ago could easily be outdated now. Consider chat apps which have gone from basic text, to adding images, emojis, video calling, voice notes and gifs over time.
Basing updates on UX improvements keep you relevant. Nothing beats improving users lives and they will rarely be peeved with an update that shows them you genuinely care about and want to improve their experience.
Responding to User Feedback
Read user reviews from your app and your competition to understand what features you should consider adding. Look at their complaints as well. When you spot an issue or feature with critical mass, address it before your competition.
Struggling to find the right time update? Consider milestones like a launch anniversaries or an annual New Year’s Update.
Updating delays or remaining stagnant can alienate current and prospective users. Establish responsibility for updates and make them regularly. Whether you intend to make spontaneous changes based on market trends, a periodic schedule or both, ensure you have a strategic update implementation plan.