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Best Time to Update Mobile Apps

It’s impossible to predefine the exact day or the perfect time for publishing your application. Before you roll your eyes and move on from this piece because you think it doesn’t offer anything of value, there are specific factors that can help you decide what’s best for your company and your app.

What do all the numbers mean?

Software version numbers tell a story ­– both to your team and the end user. These sequential numbers give an indication of the evolution of changes and updates to your product. Version 27.2 is clearly going to be more recent and evolved than 12.9.1. But these version numbers also indicate the degree of changes made on an update. Major update 29.2 may result in a few tweaks to version 29.0, whereas 29.2.3 indicates even smaller updates, sometimes even just a small correction to the most recent update.

The software version available to the public is considered the stable version. Alternatively, the development team will have a working version number or beta. This is the behind-the-scenes number used for the team to revise and update on a daily basis.

Genre matters

When updating your app, you’ll want to consider your peak usage. Don’t let your numbers take a dive because you delivered your update when usage is at its highest.

Business apps like LinkedIn or Google Analytics reach peak traffic on Mondays with understandably less traffic during weekends. Alternatively, games and entertainment apps are going to see most of their traffic during the weekend. Messaging apps peak around 9 pm throughout the week.

Major update vs small update

Not all updates are created equal. Your team should complete major updates that can be supported with a little marketing oomph when they’ll bring in some additional traffic from the target market. For optimal results, pay attention to the competitive landscape. Strategically plan your release so it stands out and has a maximized chance for success.

Ideally, most app updates should be delivered when it will cause the least disruption for your users and overall traffic. This will minimize disruptions and cause the least damage in the event something goes wrong.

It’s not only up to you

As much as we’d all love to be at the helm at all times, not all updates can be meticulously planned. Bugs, inconsistencies, open flaws in the operation, and other skeletons in the code uncovered by users and scanned by Apple and Android. When uncovered, these errors will need to be addressed and repaired.

During the software verification phase, additional changes may be requested. You may be asked to provide access to your profile. During this time, you’ll be able to write requirements for some details of the app.

TGI (definitely not on) Friday

There’s an expression in the developer world: “Never launch on a Monday because people are still trying to figure out why they are at work. Never launch on a Friday because everyone leaves early, and something always goes wrong.”

Updating your app on a Friday is the ultimate blunder. Your webhosts often aren’t available on Saturday or Sunday. The Apple and Android stores are closed over the weekend. Your developer team has gone home for the weekend and no one wants to walk in on Monday to a world of trouble – or worse, get called in on a weekend to scramble to make updates.

Mondays themselves aren’t any better for updates, as everyone is fresh off of the weekend and their ability to thoroughly check for errors hasn’t quite kicked in yet.

Aim for Tuesday through Thursday to get the best results. Your dev team is on hand and will be more responsive to any user complaints and support requests.

Summary 3.1.4

There is no solid and straightforward answer to the best time to update mobile apps. Ultimately, you’ll need to look at your app’s analytics, your target market, and other factors to determine your app release schedule.