How A Freelance Mobile Developer Helps Maintain Mobile Apps in a Flexible, Efficient Way

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You’ve likely heard that when it comes to mobile projects, an app is rarely “done”—but what does that mean? For mobile apps, the launch is often just the beginning of an app’s lifespan. Issues arise, there are new features to add, and new devices and operating systems are always right around the corner.

After developing their apps, however, many growing businesses naturally taper off their development capabilities—and often don’t have the same workload, budget, or bandwidth to keep a full-time developer on board. But when smaller, quick-turnaround projects arise, not having that full-time help can leave them in a lurch. For businesses that don’t have developers in-house to address these maintenance items, that’s a frequent reality.

The good news? Engaging a skilled freelance developer is an affordable, flexible solution that’s also one of the smartest investments a business can make in the continued success of its app. A last-minute issue suddenly isn’t a crisis when a company can tap into a freelance marketplace like Upwork to find highly skilled developers ready to dive in and get things done.

Use Case

For one company that needed sporadic, hourly development projects completed over the course of a few months, they turned to a freelance developer for help evolving, maintaining, and updating their native Android and iOS mobile apps. Partnering with a freelance developer helped them stay competitive with new features, address any problems that arose on the fly, and remain compatible with the latest operating systems and devices.

When bugs arose, freelance development talent helped address them promptly.

There’s a reason most successful apps are updated at least 1-4 times per month: Bugs and patches are inevitable no matter how skilled the developer is who coded them. Even apps that have been through rigorous rounds of testing can have flaws.

A business that leaves a buggy app to its own devices will likely see it suffer from poor reviews and lost users. With a developer’s help, bugs in this company’s app could be patched on the fly, or entirely new versions released that addressed those flaws or vulnerabilities.

Periodic, ongoing maintenance was possible (and affordable) with flexible help.

Every app needs maintenance. Once the first version of an app is released, it’s not uncommon to notice a few areas to address in the next release cycle. These could be simple tweaks to the UI, security patches, or performance improvements based on analytics. Here is when having a developer on hand to review those metrics and edit your codebase is invaluable.

Mobile technology and capabilities are always evolving (everything from memory and processing power to battery life and screen sizes), so apps must also constantly adapt. A freelance developer can step in and periodically assess an app’s performance using analytics tools like Flurry and Mixpanel, which provide insight into report crashes and A/B testing.

These analytics-driven updates aren’t limited to just flaws and fixes. Engagement and retention rate metrics can also help guide businesses’ future strategies to boost the overall ROI of their apps.

A freelancer helped them stay competitive with new features.

Adding new features is another part of the cyclical, iterative development of mobile apps. With mobile app MVPs, starting small is a common approach—leaving more bells and whistles for later versions. For this business, engaging a freelance developer to work in their app’s codebases—with skills like Kotlin for Android and Swift for iOS—allowed them to add next-level features to upcoming versions.

Also, the mobile API ecosystem changes every day. A savvy mobile developer can help modify apps to connect with these new services, giving users more immersive experiences—and more reasons to stay loyal. Take for example a mobile app that helps customers find rebates on flights. It might already be a success, but launching an upgraded version with an integration that links to customer’s inbox and automatically searches for flight bookings is the next-level functionality that adds real value and convenience.

On-demand, freelance help keeps apps compatible with ever-changing mobile landscapes.

Updating an app is about more than patching bugs—apps must stay compatible with frequent releases of new operating systems and devices. It’s important to be proactive before an OS update, something a freelance developer can step in and do when needed.

Engaging a developer in anticipation of Google and Apple’s new releases helped this company ensure its apps were reconfigured to work properly across all versions and devices. This also allowed them to leverage new features and capabilities of OS updates. Ultimately, this helped them stay competitive by giving users the latest and greatest, whether that’s augmented reality or face recognition.

Treating a mobile app like a living, breathing project is key to ensuring its performance, quality, and ratings for the long haul. Businesses who treat engagements with mobile app developers as ongoing, too, can stay more competitive.

Author: Carey Wodehouse

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