When it comes to mobile app iterations, speed is everything: there is a strong correlation between the frequency of updates and the ranking in the app stores. The more agile the approach, the faster and more iterative the release process becomes.
Mobile DevOps practices increase the frequency of deployment as opposed to the older methods, where larger portions of the code were deployed less frequently. The ideal end result is a fully implemented rolling deployment system — in other words, regular releases to a subset of users. This can be done for testing purposes with either alpha/beta versions, or staged releases to multiple markets. Automating the deployment pipeline reduces the time it takes to roll out new iterations, and enables teams to react faster to user feedback.
UX is one of the most important factors in today's competitive mobile app scene. Compared to desktop apps, users are much less forgiving when it comes to worse user experience, often dropping apps that do not meet their expectations right away.
Since avoiding mistakes in mobile apps is more critical than it is in desktop apps, pre-production testing becomes more important. Teams also need to closely monitor the feedback and ratings on app stores to keep up with future enhancements and continuously improve their apps. Mobile DevOps enables instant reports and feedback, as well as regression testing — all through a transparent process. As a result, developers are able to troubleshoot errors and fix bugs faster, which is crucial for UX optimization.
Mobile app development requires a unique — and constantly evolving — toolset. From building to deployment and performance monitoring, there are always new technologies for keeping up with the ever-growing market needs.
A plethora of tools and practices exist for different projects, platforms, programming languages, and so on — staying up-to-date with all of this is yet another challenge for developers. Mobile DevOps practices address this issue by automating more of the manual tasks and by implementing systems in which code, configurations, scripts, and documents across different platforms are easily trackable. Streamlining the process helps teams adopt new tools and leaves more resources for app development.
Mobile apps go through increasingly rapid development processes, which results in more and more releases ending up on different devices. This means that certain features might not work as expected on all supported platforms.
Apps performing well during tests but failing in the hands of the users is a common scenario. The fragmented nature of the leading mobile operating systems — especially of Android — is a serious concern for developers. Different release dates, version support, and devices also need to be considered on a regular basis. Enabling rapid testing and accurately predicting the app’s behavior on each platform are the main reasons why Mobile DevOps practices encourage the use of multiple simulators, parallel testing, and real device testing.
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