How Often Should You Update Your Mobile App?

Testlio recommends every 1 or 2 weeks—with several considerations

December 4, 2019. Austin, TX. For Android, iOS, and other apps, release frequencies vary. Managed app testing leader Testlio recently queried more than 75K client release records, covering a diverse range of industries (including Commerce, Education, Entertainment, Finance, Productivity, Sports, and Travel). Collectively, these Testlio clients have a user base of more than 1.5 billion people.

Testlio QA Insights Infographic with Data on Apple and Google Play App Store Update Frequency
  • 65% of providers release at least once per month
  • 26% of providers release every two weeks
  • 15% of providers release every week

We’re seeing a trend towards releasing mobile apps every 1 or 2 weeks. I believe several forces are at play: increasingly agile teams, a “shift-left” QA mindset, on-demand app testing services, and a balanced approach to user needs. Providers are achieving predictable rhythms while delivering great customer experiences.

Steve Semelsberger, CEO, Testlio

Of course, there are many reasons to provide an app update: operating system and/or hardware changes, critical fixes, marketing events, new functionality, seasonal initiatives, and more. Apps are integral tools in users’ daily lives. Accordingly, providers feel pressured to deliver high-quality apps with flawless end-to-end customer experiences. Maintaining a fresh and bug-free experience is the lifeblood for many apps. 

Smart providers also are thoughtful about not releasing too frequently, considering distribution point requirements and potential user burdens (including battery, network, login, and learning).

Note that 18% of Testlio clients don’t follow a set release schedule, updating their apps on an ad hoc basis. Many of them test and release more often in some periods and less frequently in others.

Overall, providers must consider a multitude of considerations when designing a mobile app release cadence. And it’s critical that testing be flexible, burstable, and scalable—enabling release candidates to quickly move from engineering to points of distribution (Google Play, Apple App Store, etc.).