What Makes a Problem App?

Push Technology - February 25, 2016

Apps can be thought of in one of two ways – dream apps or problems apps. Dream apps are easy to name – WhatsApp with 900 million users, KakaoTalk with 170 million users, Instagram with 400 million users or Snapchat with 6 billion daily video views. The clue is in the numbers – there are millions of users. This is the aspiration of all apps developed today – achieve great app adoption by delivering a great experience.

Problem apps, on the other hand, are an issue because users are intolerant of them, especially repeated problems, and are quick to abandon according to a mobile app survey by Dimensional Research. A vast majority of app users will only have a problem app three chances. 80% indicated they will only attempt to use a problematic app three times or less, 54% uninstalled or removed a mobile app with sever issues like crashes, freezes or errors and 36% will stop using a mobile app due to heavy battery usage (usually a sign of poor data handling).

Furthermore, the same research showed that users blame the mobile app and the company who made it – more than half (55%) see a company’s brand devalued when a mobile app crashes or produces errors.

What makes a problem app?

App does not support real-time events or live streaming

It is widely believed that millennials are embracing event-driven and live streaming mobile apps and adopting them at record rates. Gartner says you need to be ready for it especially as the Internet of Things (IoT) enters the mix. Gartner even went so far as to claim that centralized systems will not work and a distributed architecture is required for IoT with data being “fanned-out” closer to the edge. Your apps, especially IoT uses cases, will need to rely on event-driven data integration, be ready to handle unexpected traffic and casually connected devices. So consider how your app can recover when the network lets you down, and the data distribution technology you need to handle this.

When developing apps, the problem is that many integration architectures were never designed to work across the Internet, let alone handle event-driven data.

App is irrelevant to customers/ doesn’t meet their needs

Huffington Post complained in an older article about the Weather Channel App. Why? “Should you bring your umbrella for today’s commute? Your Weather Channel App might tell you – if it feels like updating to today’s date. Too often we’ve left our rain boots by the front door because our app was stuck on yesterday’s forecast.” This complaint is a few years old now, but still holds true today. Apps – and therefore users – should be able to rely on continuous, intelligent data updates using real-time integration.

App cannot scale

Headline grabbing app crashes such as ‘Starbucks Users Steam over “Venti” iPhone App Snafus’, truly awful: Centrelink, Medicare apps slammed’ or iPhone 4S Release Crashes App Web Site’ are bad for brands. In such cases, while apps are developed hoping for success, investment upfront isn’t done because success is uncertain, it’s complex, time-consuming and could be money down the drain. 37% of users will think less of a brand if its mobile crashes or causes error. Nearly half of users will remove the app, damaging your revenue stream.

To build scalable apps, microservice architectures have become important. Microservices is an architectural style in which complex applications are composed of small, bounded and loosely-coupled services that can evolve, scale or even disappear with total independence. However challenges arise:

  • To reduce service coupling and improve scalability, microservices must be able to exchange data objects without being aware of each other.
  • HTTP resource APIs are under-performing, and the request/ response pattern inherently causes unwanted coupling.
  • An event-driven integration pattern will achieve the best loosely-coupled architecture, but will introduce data complexity.
  • Legacy middleware and messaging patterns aren’t designed for a cloud-native Microservices architecture.

The Diffusion® Intelligent Event-Data Platform makes it easy to consume, enrich and deliver event-data in real-time across all network conditions. Push Technology pioneered and is the sole provider of real-time delta data streaming™ technology that powers mission-critical business applications worldwide. Leading brands use Push Technology to bring innovative products to market faster by reducing the software development efforts using the low-code features. The Diffusion® Intelligent Event-Data Platform is available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in a hybrid configuration. Learn how Push Technology can reduce infrastructure costs, and increase speed, efficiency, and reliability, of your web, mobile, and IoT application.

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