Mobile App Launch Checklist
Launching a mobile app? Donâ€™t make the same mistakes as so many others. Read this guide and be sure to avoid the most common pitfalls of launching an app. Here is a list of pre-launch checks that you should consider critical prior to launching an app. Even skipping one of them can mean the difference between success and catastrophe.
Letâ€™s get to it:
- Conduct proper QA testing: Ensure you have a proper testing protocol with a checklist and that your app passes on each of these criteria. Testing your app on real users before launch is vital; things that seem obvious to you may not be clear to others and users. They might not use your app the same way you intended. Therefore, getting early conceptual feedback from your target market is paramount to validating your app design and avoiding costly errors.
- Continue with beta testing pre-launch: Beta testing is a crucial step before launching your app. The main goal of beta testing is to get real-world experience on how well your app will perform with actual users in the wild. The difference between alpha testing and beta testing is that alpha testing is done internally and beta testing is conducted on real users.
- Perform a clean full build of your app: If you discover any obscure code on Android and are using Proguard, make sure it does not remove code that may lead the app to crash. Android apps are quite easy to reverse engineer, so if you want to prevent this from happening, you should use Proguard as an obfuscator. The other two important functions of Proguard are shrinking and optimization. Shrinking eliminates unused code and is necessary for publishing clean, readable code. The optimization function automatically refines Java bytecode but isnâ€™t 100% reliable to run without manual checks after.
- Provide an In-App Feedback Channel: Nothing kills app growth faster like a low star rating; a low rating will push your app into a downward spiral until it vanishes from the store. For this reason, itâ€™s imperative that store reviews should not be the first stop for user feedback or reporting issues. Creating an easy-to-use feedback channel within the app encourages communication and conflict resolution with the user whilst helping prevent negative public reviews. Adding a feature that enables users to report complaints, suggestions, or ask for help will decrease the chances of a negative user experience and significantly boost app retention.
- Develop a Marketing Plan: Donâ€™t make the rookie mistake of starting your marketing plan after your app launching. Successful apps have detailed marketing plans that are developed concurrently with the application itself. The marketing teams know exactly how much they are going to spend and on what channels. Get this plan in writing so your development and marketing team are all on the same page.
- Static code analysis tools: Static code analysis tools such as Lint and Ktlint for android and OCLint and Swift Format for iOS. It will help you maintain a high quality of production.
- Prepare debug and production builds: Prepare debug and production builds for internal needs. It is vital to check how your app works with a debugging/staging API prior to publication.
- Take advantage of automation: Preparing builds can be also automated with tools like Fastlane, a free tool for automating screenshots, beta and app store deployment, and code signing.
- Version control: Version control, also known as source control, is the practice of tracking and managing changes to software code. Itâ€™s important to notify users if a new version of an app is available so that they can get the best experience possible.
- Firebase crashlytics: Use Firebase crashlytics with your code which will allow a real-time crash reporter that helps you track, prioritize, and fix stability issues. Crashlytics saves you troubleshooting time by intelligently grouping crashes and deducing their causes. Determine how impactful crashes are by seeing how many users are affected by them. And it also receives alerts based on severity, and reports on which lines of code are causing crashes.
- Integrate Google Analytics: Integrate reporting tools like Google Analytics to monitor the appâ€™s engagement and user experience metrics. Measuring and monitoring app engagement and usage behavior through in-app analytics can provide invaluable insights. It is how to enhance the user experience and optimize your marketing strategy, ensuring your app's future success.
As you can see, the number of checks & their complexity can be alarming for new mobile app developers and clients alike. Thereâ€™s a lot to track and keep on top of on this list. Even if we consider this to be the bare bones of pre-launch checks for apps on an app store.
Itâ€™s even more hectic with a bigger team, especially a disorganized one where no one is keeping track of who is doing what. Thatâ€™s why the core of this strategy revolves around efficient project management, but the advice on that is enough for another guide altogether."