These ingredients will help you create a successful app in the long run, but only if you add them at the right time. Make yourself a things-to-do-when-app-is-done checklist before pulling the trigger and putting the app on the iTunes Store or Google Play.
You know that feeling when you finish your app? You feel so proud that you want to publish your new app and share it with the world. Well, hold on for just a few moments. Keep a cool head and ask yourself, "Is it really ready to be published?" The answer is probably "no".
The thing is, there are some small details that may seem unimportant, but which could have a big influence on the success of the app in the long run. This is a list of some stuff that I like to check before publishing an app.
1. Add analytics code
This is crucial. Find an analytics software that suits your needs and track every single tap, click and behavior of your users. I prefer Google Analytics for measuring user acquisition and engagement. This will help you understand your user base and their expectations so you can optimize your app in future releases.
2. Set up code for tracking crashes
It would be highly irresponsible of you to release an app without a way to track bugs and crashes. You think that your app doesn't have bugs and won't crash? Think again. When published on the app store, your app will potentially be submitted to tens of thousands of users who make millions of different tests a day and expect everything to "just work".
Things like Crashlytics help you track bugs, crashes and the stability of your app. It can also email you when a crash happens and provide all the necessary information like the user's device and operating system, and point to the problematic code which caused the crash. Use this information to quickly fix bugs and prevent unwanted scenarios.
3. Insert remarketing code
Have you ever wondered how you can reach your users outside of your app? A remarketing code can help you reach users who have launched your app or made some specific action. Usual ad-networks like Facebook and AdWords can provide you with a remarketing code. A remarketing code will gather information about your users and make a target audience for an ad. For example, you will be able to promote Facebook posts only among users who have downloaded your app. This can be very useful for communicating with users outside the app, like reminding them about your app after some time of inactivity or presenting some new app features.
4. Check for possible hints and explanations
Always try to tell your users what you are expecting of them. For example, if you are asking for a phone number, put a little hint regarding the format - whether the user should type "+1 (925) 953-2076" or just "9259532076". Or what does it mean for a user when he or she changes app settings. Also, when it comes to private information, always try to build trust with the users and point out that their information will not be abused.
5. Try out your app in airplane mode
It's funny what can happen when you launch a new app while airplane mode is turned on. The app can unexpectedly crash or pretend that everything is alright while it is loading content for 5 minutes. In this way, you simulate the scenario without an Internet connection - the case which is often overlooked during development.
6. Place correct and simple warning messages
When there is no Internet connection, point that out to the user and tell them to check their settings. You are asking for the user's current location? Explain the reason and benefit for the user if they agree. Is the user trying to use a feature for which they didn't give permission? Tell them that and offer short information on how to enable it. Try to explain in a subtle way what behavior is expected of the user and what is going on if something doesn't work as expected.
7. Replace generic details with your own
Users will appreciate your effort to be different. For starters, you can make a custom loader, put some amusing information or picture at the end of your app. Try to replace generic details with your own and your users will love it. If you really want to stand out, try putting some Easter eggs in your app.
8. Ask your grandparents to test your app
There is never too much testing. If you think that you are finished, you probably haven't tested enough. There is always some crazy scenario that you didn't check. The more you test, the less buggy your app will be. And the less buggy your app is, the more satisfied your users will be. At some point, you will become subjective and won't be able to test your app. Ask your friends and family to try out your app. If everything goes well, your app is probably ready to be published!
The bottom line is very simple: show some extra effort and users will appreciate it. Also, putting in some extra effort now will bring you benefits in the long run. You have only one chance to make a first impression and to collect information about your users. It is crucial to be calm and think twice before publishing your work. Make yourself a checklist with things to do before publishing. That's the best advice I can give you.