One mobile study shows how the average shelf life of a mobile application is only 30 days. While on one hand this may mean that the quality of the apps is not as good as the users expect it to be, it may not always be the case. It may even be a situation where the app is not engaging enough from its core offering – app makers are working very closely to strengthen habits around apps they build, so the loyalty and continued usage patterns are strong.
As mobile application testing experts, we look at this mainly from the quality angle – and some trends we see in the mobile app development world are particularly worrying for us from a quality angle – what are some of them? Firstly, there is a rise in citizen app developers – this is a trend where users who are not necessarily trained in software development take the lead in developing apps, especially Android apps, largely leveraging plug and play solutions. This is mainly for simple apps, leaving the more complex ones to the development experts. While this makes app development possible for even non developers, as mobile app test experts, this trend is worrying for us – we then connect the dots with the message called out earlier, that we may truly see a shorter shelf life for apps due to quality issues. These are users, who may not pay a lot of heed to software quality, take short cuts to get a functional app into the market completely ignoring other elements such as performance, security, accessibility, integration which are all very important in the mobile space today. To counter this, the industry should not only encourage citizen app developers but also citizen app testers and emphasize on the need for quality – we have our platform bugmoney.com that encourages crowd testing, particularly mobile crowd testing. The good thing is that app stores, including Apple are bringing in more stringent checks for quality – for example, Apple made an announcement about the need for App Transport Security feature starting 2017 in all the apps it certifies. Mobile apps will see greater focus on payment solutions, IoT, on demand solutions, cloud connectivity, machine learning and AI, lazy loading etc. As experienced developers focus more on these complex solutions and the citizen developers take over the mass development of easy applications, the only way for this to sustain in the market place is reliable quality – without that organizations making headway into building habitual and progressive apps are also not going to succeed. Here’s to a bright stint for mobile application testing experts and end users who pool in as a crowd for citizen app testing efforts.