Last Updated: March 22, 2024
mobile app performance
Published On: June 22, 2023

15% of the global internet traffic is generated from mobile apps. Your mobile app probably has everything going right from user experience to an immersive navigating experience. However, it will not matter if your users don’t see the required information in less than 5 seconds due to its poor performance.

Mobile app performance is the first thing users notice. And you have less than 11 seconds to make users notice that. Hence, it is crucial before you even solve their problems. Building an app that users want to stick to requires flawless app performance. However, it isn’t easy performing regular performance audits.

If your app needs to address some ground realities that are lagging behind its performance, Moon Technolabs empowers you to take charge of your app’s speed, stability, and scalability.

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You might think that an app’s performance has a subset that acts as an indicator. But when we talk performance, it means the success rate through three essential things:

  • How fast does it launch?
  • How fast does it load?
  • How fast do its functions respond?

app performance

What Happens if an App Fails to Perform Fast?

Before we tell you the essential measures and indicators to improve mobile app performance, you also need to know what might happen if you don’t.

1. Users would not think twice about finding another better alternative.

40% of users would prefer a better alternative if they didn’t like an app’s performance. It also makes it the number one reason users would think twice before returning to it. In some cases, they would never come back.

They either would jump to another better alternative or completely abandon it, i.e. uninstall it. In fact, in the first month of downloading an app, almost one in every two apps gets uninstalled.

2. Users’ Expectations often surpass the anticipations.

A business in custom mobile app development services should always invest in understanding human behavior. Why? Because users always expect that each of their future app experiences is better than the previous ones. Slow page load speed can affect 70% of the consumers’ purchasing decisions.

They only tolerate less than instant performance because their initial experiences have always been slow, and they still come across many sluggish sites. You can lose almost 7% of conversions even if there’s a one-second delay in opening an app. As the market brings in new and faster apps, fluid performance is the only standard they would expect. 

3. Poor performance will result in low ratings and app downloads.

Product teams and creators must understand that an app’s performance depends on the front and the back end. Even if the customers download the app, they will uninstall it if it gives a suboptimal performance.

On the other hand, if the app loads successfully and crashes at peak time, users would likely give it low ratings. If an app takes too long to load, 70% of users will abandon it.

4. Decrease in click-through rates (CTRs) and Conversions.

User experience is at the core of the strategic success of your app. If users are not getting what they want from your app, you’re gaining potential customers and business. The goal of every app is conversions to stay afloat in the market. And performance issues are the number one area where most apps fail.

The bottom line is you have to prioritize mobile app performance to keep your users engaged. The only solution to this problem is increasing load time, which would help you directly boost conversions.

That’s quite a scary scenario. Hence, an app’s performance is the deal-breaker for making it successful in the market. More than abandoning an app, the bigger problem is that the users will go to a competitor and find a better solution.

Are you still finding it hard to digest how even a few seconds delay can affect a consumer’s view of you? Well, here’s one last statistic to put that last nail in the coffin: If your app gets delayed by a second to launch, it could result in 16% decreased customer satisfaction. How? Because the delay would also lessen the page views by almost 11%.

Now that you know what might happen if your app doesn’t perform well, let’s dig into how important it is to have a well-performing app.

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The Importance of Mobile App Performance

When we talk about mobile app performance, the dialogue is usually about the technical aspects. It means how well mobile app development can help a brand build its app to load fast and save from sudden crashes.

Hence, understanding your users and their behavior is of utmost importance. You wouldn’t want your app to suddenly stop working when a user is on a checkout page. It’s a highly frustrating experience because they would have to go through the whole process again.

For the same reason, they might uninstall it or would not make that purchase again.

For users, the fault would be in the app. However, for product teams, it might be a case that they haven’t anticipated earlier. User interaction is of prime importance, and that’s why it takes deep research on how they interact with the apps.

Experience matters above everything else for the users. While they might think that the features of an app affect the experience and performance, a satisfactory user experience also depends on the users’ device’s capabilities.

user device capabilities

The app’s performance depends on the responsiveness of the device’s network. App developers know network compatibility is essential for an app to work smoothly. Hence, they must ensure their custom app development services perform without any hitches across all networks.

A sudden crash might ruin their experience because apps should be developed based on the assumption that users have little patience to wait for an app to load. However, they can optimize their apps by following some tips:

  1. Investing in the correct back-end support services will help optimize the app for faster load time. If it performs sluggishly, it will affect the performance of the app.
  2. The number of URL redirects on the screen also affects the app’s performance. Hence, it’s essential to reduce them.
  3. The importance of keeping a native mobile app database can’t be emphasized more. It implies no danger to the user data even if a server goes down.
  4. Apart from that, having a backup server ensures that the launch and load speeds don’t get affected.

App crashes are never a welcome experience for users. The blog repeatedly mentions how frustrating the app crashing experience is for users. Hence, the developers and product teams should do everything to maintain mobile app performance.

How to Improve Mobile App Performance?

We explained earlier the factors that lead to frequent app crashes. It’s imperative to address this because we don’t want your users to leave negative reviews on the app stores. There’s a massive correlation between app sizes and user ratings, too – smaller app sizes tend to receive higher ratings and better reviews.

Here are the most ideal metrics that you can set as benchmarks:

Mobile App Performance

Overall performance also takes a hit because larger apps take more time to load screens, perform actions, and delay user interactions. Plus, the top 25 apps on the Play Store take around 800 ms to 4.5 seconds to launch. Sometimes, even 4.5s also become a long wait for the users.

It’s a highly competitive market. And your only goal is to ensure your app keeps running without hiccups at the most critical times. Here are some ways to elevate your app time and minimize crashes:

  • Using unnecessary UI elements in the first launch can also increase the app load time. Consider using placeholders to extend them later.
  • App developers should ensure that the app is in sync with the real-time and latest data to provide top-notch usability.
  • Use app monitoring and performance improvement tools like Sematext, Datadog, eG Innovations, etc.
  • Lastly, you should never forget that your app can behave differently on warm and cold starts.

1. Smooth Time Frame Rendering

Gestures and animations are essential to increasing the user experience. Eventually, it leads to better performance. But there are some standards for rendering the time frames.

Sixty frames per second (FPS) is the ideal rendering score for achieving the best mobile app performance. Ensure the app doesn’t get slower than that, as it will end up in a sluggish run.

How to do that? Make it a practice to execute everything in the code under 16ms to hit the target of 60fps. The difference that 5ms can make will leave you surprised.

58-59fps is also not enough because the app already passed over the 16ms limit. Your users have to wait twice the time they should.

But users don’t like to wait, which could mean leaving a wrong first impression on them. However, there are development tools for mobile apps to tune the process by optimizing some indicators:

  • Measure and optimize visual consistency
  • Bring stability to rendered frame rates
  • Improve accuracy by arranging and prioritizing impact metrics
  • Finding the most suitable option for each device

2. Optimized Images Ensure Minimal App Load Time

Bigger images take longer to load and slow operations while displaying them. The image optimization process for boosting mobile app performance consists of three steps:

  • Compressing the images uses fewer bits while encoding the digital information. It leads to pulling down the file size without affecting its resolution and almost no loss in quality.
  • Resizing the images involves resolution changes. The size of the images is different for printing than the ones used for digital display. Hence, the mobile screens’ dimensions must be changed to save kilobytes and better load time.
  • Caching involves downloading images from the network to the device’s memory. Since it has been downloaded on the device, the next time, it does not need an external network. Hence, drawing from internal memory would impact the app load time positively.

3. Loading Data as per the Need

Loading data as needed at once is a sure-shot way of increasing the app load time and crashing it. Instead, consider splitting the data using assemblies to avoid processing large amounts. It enables quickly retrieving small chunks of data and helps you prioritize the app’s essential functions.

4. Creating Offline Mode Creates a Buffer

Launching an app offline in case of network loss helps create a buffer to store the information safely. If there is a sudden network disconnection, the app discards all the data resulting in frustration for the user.

Offline mode allows users to save data and return when the connection is restored. It means reliability, application security, and user ease of mind. 

5. Optimize Code for Building More Scalable Apps that Load on Time

Code optimization ensures the app takes little time to launch and load on the user’s screen. If the code is optimized, it can lead to faster load times hence decreasing the performance.

So, it’s crucial to follow best practices for mobile app development by compressing the code before making it live. The idea behind compressing and cleaning the code is to eliminate all the extra spacing and comments that might add to the load time.

6. Make Sure to Add a Loading Screen

Properly testing your app involves testing it across multiple devices. But you also need to understand that every device performs differently. Testing ensures your final product will launch as it was designed. Your app should be able to perform over different battery lives and technologies.

It is also a great practice to figure out minor issues that might hinder the mobile app’s performance and fix them before they get out of hand. One way of doing it is always to display the loading state.

It doesn’t add up to the app load time but brings a lot of difference in the user’s perception. If users stare at a blank screen before the app loads, they might quit it altogether, thinking it froze. A loading screen with animations and colors pushes them to wait for the app to load and increases their tolerance.

7. Find Latency Killers

Latency is the indicator that shows how much time it takes to process data transfer. A delay in network communications shows higher latency and vice versa.

It could be a serious concern as it causes app errors and crashes. Hence, finding those killers and decreasing the app load times is crucial.

Here are some tips you can use:

  • In case of poor network connection, limiting the third-party sources that increase latency is recommended.
  • Another tip is to decrease the requirement of the APIs that kill latency on smartphones.

8. Optimizing for Android and iOS

The first step for optimizing for Android is to load an image after the text-based content. Hence, handling network requirements is essential because the app will download or upload data on the Internet.

Network use utilizes either cellular data or the battery. Heavy usage of both network and Wi-Fi consumes a lot of bandwidth and hence battery usage.

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Key Mobile App Performance Metrics to Consider

When discussing metrics to measure mobile app performance, people usually consider only a well-written codebase and robust app architecture. And while other important metrics help you measure performance, you should also know when to optimize them. Premature optimization can ruin the process.

These are non-technical and only need a little understanding of the technology used for mobile app development. However, their significance would change depending on the functionality of the app. So, let’s talk about the critical key performance metrics you should consider for tracking app performance:

1. Downloads, Uninstalls, and Ratings

An app’s success in the market depends on downloads, uninstalls, and user ratings on all app stores. The downloads indicate how many users have installed it. In turn, it’s also a reflection of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

It indicates user acquisition and the fact that they have accepted your app idea. The higher number of downloads increases the potential for more user engagement.

Similarly, the number of uninstalls shows an app’s popularity has decreased. If the downloads are decreasing and uninstalls are increasing, users aren’t finding any value in your app. They must be more interested in trying out your app, as they have lost interest and appeal.

As said above, downloads increase the revenue potential of your app. But how does your business get to know its revenue potential among users?

For that, ratings provide insights into your market positioning against competitors. Hence, tracking all these three indicators tells you about user retention and engagement. Based on the data, you can find areas of improvement either in user experience, adding or removing features, or changes in marketing efforts.

2. Reach vs Impressions

Reach and impressions are the two important metrics to gauge the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Reach indicates how many customers your app reached.

Impressions are the indication of the times your content is displayed. Reach helps measure the recognition of your brand and how aware the users are of your brand. A higher reach increases your brand’s exposure and displays that your marketing impacts a broader audience.

Both metrics help evaluate your brand’s success and are highly relevant to optimizing your app’s performance for app stores. Apart from increasing your app’s visibility, they also indirectly impact the potential of user engagement.

Comparison of reach and impressions provide valuable insights into your app’s market positioning. Eventually, you can identify areas of improvement and create better strategies for building a custom mobile application.

3. Crash or Error Reports

App crashes are usually because of the inability to test all the circumstances comprehensively. Devices and operating systems impact the performance of an app.

An operating system may be unable to handle specific app actions. At other times, the firmware of an app also becomes incompatible with an app.

Since app crashes form a significant part of user experience, it’s a metric that helps you find the reason behind crashing. Hence, app crash metrics must be monitored carefully to help eliminate any future issues.

4. Device Performance and App Size

Whether it’s a native or a cross-platform app, testing and optimizing a device’s performance is essential. Here are some things to consider when monitoring the device’s performance:

  • Startup time of the app
  • Comprehensible UI and UX across all devices
  • Balanced battery consumption
  • Smooth background running
  • Integration with other device services (GPS, Bluetooth, Camera, etc.)

On the other hand, the size of an app also matters and is the most crucial metric to track. Take any app on your mobile, except any gaming app – it would be less than 300 MB.

An app needs to be lightweight to ensure easy accessibility. Optimizing app sizes is directly proportional to the number of user downloads. Studies show that smaller app sizes result in more downloads and page views.

5. Average Session Length and Churn Rate

User engagement is essential for session time and churn rates. These metrics show how well the users have engaged with it. Here are the key points to measure:

  1. Most common exit screens: exit screens are the exit intent pop-ups appearing on the screen when a user is about to leave a website, e.g. discounts, subscriptions, etc. Specific user behaviors, like moving the cursor or navigating away, trigger these actions. The purpose is to encourage users not to leave the site and take the desired action.
  2. Screens visited per session: each user session involves visiting different screens. If a user visits the home page, and the service page, and then checks out – they are counted as three screens per visit. A higher number of screens visited indicates deeper engagement in exploring multiple screens per session.

How Moon Technolabs Dial up Your Mobile App Performance?

Today’s app development market is a highly crowded place. Every day, it becomes crucial to formulate better mobile app optimization strategies for increasing app revenue.

Developing lighter apps paves the road to delivering a solid user experience, retaining users, and attracting potential customers. Optimizing your mobile apps for better performance has become more crucial than ever, but it is also much more complicated than it sounds.

However, there’s always a silver lining that only an experienced app development team can see. Moon Technolabs has a versatile app development team of experts who develop high-performing mobile apps. Hire dedicated developers and amplify your user experience by investing in custom mobile app development services.

FAQs

Mobile app performance is the speed with which an app loads on a device’s screen if it crashes at the peak times. It also depends on the smoothness with which an app’s functions perform.

App performance is important because it indicates how well the app is functioning and the responsiveness of it to the user. A poor-performing app can degrade a brand’s reputation and create a lower opinion. It’s recommended that the app should load under 5 seconds.

There are many ways in which you can improve your app performance. You can start from optimizing your code,and images. Further, time frame rendering, and adding a loading screen also help to avoid users waiting for long.

An app’s performance is measured based on a few major KPIs like downloads, uninstalls, ratings, app size, crash reports, session times, page views, reach and impressions, and device’s performance.
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Jayanti Katariya

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

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