Mobile Application Maintenance :An app doesn’t operate on the “set and forget” principle.Like a vehicle, an app needs constant care and upkeep in order to meet user’s expectations.Mobile app maintenance services encompass the entire activities that need to be done to ensure seamless and trouble-free operation of the application. These services make a significant part of the life-cycle of the app for a number of reasons.Why care about app maintenance?If your app is designed for the external users, some of the variables that will change within a few months of your app’s release date and impact your app’s performance are:· Hardware: As new mobile devices are released, obsolete apps may not work as they were intended.· Operating system: Every year sees updates in iOS and Android versions, and apps need to be updated so that they are compatible with newer versions.· Programming language: Apps will also have to be updated based on changes to the programming language (Objective C to Swift, Java to HTML5).· Styles and designs: Mobile UI used to follow skeuomorphic design principles before Apple and Android both adopted material design. This meant that all apps had to update their interfaces as well.· Libraries: Most apps use third-party libraries and dependencies which change frequently. The apps will be broken unless they are updated.· Usage Patterns: As your app matures, your user base will also mature, and the UI might need refreshing to reflect the changes.· Infrastructure: If the infrastructure on which your app is hosted changes (self-hosted to AWS) you will have to update the app.· Security bugs: Apps may be affected by security holes any time, and you will have to update the app in order to fix the vulnerabilities. Importance of Mobile Application:The Mobile app maintenance is as important as the development of a mobile application. If you are confused why is it so necessary, have a look at the following points:· Every year Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS come up with some significant changes. As a result, it becomes the need of the hour to update your application with those updates and make it more enticing to users. After all, users love to try new technologies and features. For example, 32-bit is completed condemned by iOS 11. If your app continues to be in that format, it will be no longer useful to you or anyone.· According to experts, about 52% of apps are uninstalled by the users within 90 days of app download because of its poor upkeep. In such a scenario, app maintenance is helpful as it can improve the quality of an application. Therefore, increase the chances of productivity.· Even though you might have been involved in market research before app development, it is not easy to understand the user behavior. The best way to ensure the success of your application is to hand it over to the users, analyze their reaction and maintain your app accordingly. In short, app maintenance enables you to increase user engagement and retention.· It is an effective way to enhance the UI/UX experience of your mobile app.· The technologies and trends continue to change in the market. In such a scenario, mobile app maintenance empowers you to integrate the latest technologies into your app and uplift the experience of the users.· With the increase in technologies and facilities, the risk of hacking is also increasing. App Maintenance helps you to keep the mobile app up to date with the recommended security measure and thus, deliver a secure mobile app experience to the users. Types of Maintenance for Mobile Application Development:There are different types of maintenance procedures and techniques provided by maintenance service providers to make a system up to date and more viable.Emergency Maintenance: The problems and errors in the system are unpredictable. The companies use emergency maintenance and support when an unscheduled and unseen problem occurs. This kind of maintenance is so common as many users need support during the time of crisis.Perfective Maintenance: Perfective maintenance is an implementation of new or changed user requirement in an application. It makes functional modifications without affecting the regular behavior of applications and software. Perfective maintenance services make changes in the source code to bring new functionality according to user requirements.Adaptive Maintenance: In adaptive maintenance practices, changes are made to the applications in order to keep the system updated with the change in working environment such as hardware or operating system. The term environment refers to the influences and conditions which act on the system.Preventive Maintenance: Preventive maintenance demands performing actions to stop the occurrence of errors. It tends to lower down the software complexity, as a result, improving application understandability and maintainability.Corrective Maintenance: Corrective maintenance repairs the defects and faults found in day-to-day application functions. It deals with the errors related to application logic, design and coding. All these errors are referred as residual errors. Cost of Maintenance of Application:Very often the main cost of software is not the development but rather the maintenance. It’s hardly possible to release 100% perfect application with no further improvements necessary. Even if you managed to release a nearly perfect app, you still need to add new features and improvements to attract new users and keep up with competitors. Or at least to provide support for new versions of mobile OS.Since the apps are written for different platforms, one has to make the update for users of all mobile platforms. Besides, for one application you’ll need several above-average developers — one for each platform.You can break down app maintenance costs into the following:1) Hosting costs: Your app’s backend will probably be hosted on third-party cloud servers like AWS or Microsoft Azure. Depending on the number of users or consumption of media, your hosting costs can easily go up to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars every month.These costs don’t include the human costs of creating and maintaining the backend, which can be significant as your app scales up.2) Monitoring and crash analytics: You will need app analytics tools to monitor usage patterns which will help you improve the in-app experience. You will also need to invest in tools that send you crash reports in real time.Some of these tools are free while others are paid. While the cost of the tool isn’t going to break the bank, you will have to invest in analysts and other experts who will be responsible for setting up user funnels and analyzing raw data for business insights.3) App store optimization: Like SEO, app store optimization is a constant effort. Between searching for the right keywords, A/B testing headlines and descriptions, answering reviews, noting feedback, uploading new screenshots/videos as features change, running search ads, adding changelogs etc, you will have to spend considerable time keeping your app store listing updated.4) Licenses: Many apps will be built using licensed technologies, and while some licenses can be bought for life, other licenses need to be renewed on a yearly basis.When setting your app maintenance budget, you should take licensing costs into account. A good thing about this is that it’s predictable, and if you have done due diligence during the app development stage you won’t be hit with a crazy high bill.