It’s frustrating when a mobile app has an error or suddenly crashes. However, bug fixes are almost inevitable during the lifetime of your app. As the owner of an app, your responsibility lies in rigorous testing to actively eradicate bugs and paying attention to app maintenance and updates to continually improve your app.
To help you understand mobile app bugs and issues, we’ve covered some common bugs below and explained why apps have so many bug fixes.
What Are Bugs?
To fix an app bug, you have to first know what it is to be able to find the problem and resolve it. Fortunately, bugs can be found pretty quickly, once you know what to keep an eye out for.
An app bug is any error or problem in the app or system it runs on. These errors create sudden and incorrect results in the app. They can also cause the app to act strangely or crash. Luckily, they can be fixed as long as you find them.
Why do Apps Have So Many Bug Fixes?
There are several reasons why your app may have so many bugs. Each bug that you encounter may be caused by a different problem, even if it’s similar to a previous bug you’ve had fixed.
If you know some of the reasons why your app may be prone to bugs, then you can know where to pay more attention the next time around. Knowing the reasons behind many bugs can guide you in the right direction and help you discover the issue in the shortest amount of time possible.
Miscommunication or no communication is one of the most common reasons for app bugs. During the development process, your team needs to communicate efficiently. Despite your best efforts to make this happen, there is almost always a mix up between one department and another.
When there is poor communication between stakeholders, app developers, or the test team, there is often a problem with the requirements for your app. These unclear or misinterpreted requirements can be the reason for so many bugs within your app.
With this in mind, it’s vital that all your departments and teams are communicating clearly the exact requirements.
2. Poor Memory Management
Memory management is a difficult thing for app developers to manage, especially when it comes to enterprise-scale apps. Without proper memory management systems in place, your app will start to develop performance issues as the memory storage fills up. If this is not taken care of, your app could terminate.
Your app shouldn’t have a huge memory footprint. Only load large memory objects when necessary and try to reduce the need for memory. If every action uses part of the app’s memory, the storage will fill up quickly and cause your app (and possibly the device) to crash.
3. Complex Software
If you use complex software but have minimal developing experience, it shouldn’t be any surprise that there are bugs in your app. In order to use complex software, you need the necessary expertise and knowledge.
Even if you do have an experienced development team working with your software, it’s still easy to miss bugs. The more complex your software is, the easier it is for app bugs to go unnoticed. The development team is focused on correctly navigating the software and may not notice one or two things out of line.
If your app is built with complex software, it’s likely that it’ll be more prone to bugs.
4. Inadequate Testing
Never be tempted to skip the testing phase of app development. Many bugs can be caught before your app is launched if you test it sufficiently. However, if you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for disaster.
Testing should be a continuous activity. Even after your app is completed and launched, you should make a point of testing it and improving the quality. Use different platforms and environments to test your app adequately.
When you test your app, you discover unusual behavior and can fix problems before they arise. Your users may never experience the problem if you catch it soon enough and that’s the whole goal with testing.
5. Programming Errors
Even the most experienced programmers will make mistakes. Programming errors are almost inevitable, even when you work with an experienced team. This is even more true when your team is less experienced.
A lack of unit testing, basic coding practices, and debugging are some of the most common programming errors you might encounter. These are all introduced to your app during the development stage and can be caught during testing, but might not always. Fortunately, these mistakes are often simple and quick to fix.
6. Poor Errors and Exception Handling
App development is complicated and at some point during the process, you’re bound to encounter errors and exceptions. Even with the most rigorous testing, some will slip by without being noticed.
When this is the case, only proper errors and exception handling can help prevent your app from crashing.
Luckily, both iOS and Android have great frameworks for catching exceptions. When errors and exceptions are taken care of properly, your app won’t terminate.
Don’t take care of errors and exceptions only when they arise, though. With the right testing, you can stop them from occurring at all in the future and save yourself lots of work.
7. Changing Requirements
While it’s possible to change the requirements of your app during development, it can lead to more problems if it isn’t done precisely. Even minor changes can conflict with each other and lead to several problems.
With this in mind, it’s highly recommended that you don’t change the requirements during or after development.
For some businesses, it may be necessary to change the requirements of your app. If this is the case, make sure your app developers understand the risks associated.
Your testing department will need to create a unique testing method for discovering potential conflicts and keep an eye out for bugs as they occur.
8. Excessive Code
It may seem counterintuitive, but writing an excessive amount of code can lead to problems with your app. More is not always better in app development. Excessive code hides bugs and can create errors further down the development line.
Keep your code simple and minimal. If your app doesn’t need a line of code to function, don’t write it. Your code should be functional and without duplication.
Common Bugs in Mobile Apps
Your app may experience a number of bugs, but they may not always be the same. Depending on the type of bug your app has, it will fall into one of three categories:
Application Specific Bugs: These bugs are connected to the business logic of your app. Unfortunately, they’re rather difficult to detect. In order to fight these bugs, you’ll need extensive app knowledge.
Stage Explicit Bugs: Depending on what platform you launch your app on, you’ll encounter unique bugs. These bugs vary depending on the operating system you use and how the app will function.
Specific Bugs: These bugs are related to the specific functions and elements of your app’s architecture. They’re the most common and are easy to overlook.
Some app bugs are more common and recognizable than others. Below, you’ll find a short list of the most common bugs that mobile apps face.
1. Multiple Clicks
While buttons may seem like an excellent idea, they can cause bugs if you don’t consider the possibility of people clicking them more than once. All of your app buttons should be prepared for multiple or rapid clicks and be able to handle such a situation without problems. This is especially so in apps where users may click on a “Pay” option.
2. Button Crashes
Some buttons may lead to immediate crashes. If buttons are hidden inside the app and not tested regularly, clicking on them may result in the app crashing entirely.
3. Orientation Reset
If your app allows users to switch between portrait and landscape orientation, then it should not reset everything when users make the switch. When the orientation is switched, all forms and checkboxes should remain filled in.
It can be difficult to make push notifications work, but they’re a great addition to your app if you can successfully program them. When push notifications fail, they won’t do their job to communicate with the app user. It’s possible that the notification is being blocked by the operating system, but you should always check.
5. Can’t Handle Interruptions
Your app should be able to handle interruptions, especially when used on a mobile phone. If users receive a call or text, they need to be able to answer and respond without the app crashing or resetting.
Testing can help you improve your app so that it can handle interruptions and improve user experience.
What To Do For a Bug-Free App?
Bugs are not easy to take care of. In order to make app maintenance as smooth and easy as possible, here are some things to do in order to have a bug-free app.
1. Code Reviews
Even if you think your code is perfect or revised enough, you should go back occasionally and look it over. Regular code revision can save you a lot of future hassle and even ensure the quality of your code.
Having a different person or team review the code each time can increase the efficiency as a new pair of eyes is sometimes all that’s needed to catch a bug.
2. Automated Testing
This is a great way to perform regular testing while also using your time wisely. Automated testing can run multiple scenarios at once and bring more accuracy to your system.
3. Pick Analysis Tools Well
Many app analysis tools are available, but not all of them respect users’ privacy. When you choose your analysis tool, choose something that will pass all app store requirements and uses public APIs.
It’s not uncommon for your app to have many bug fixes. If you’re lucky, many of them will be quick and easy fixes. Some of them, though, will be slightly more difficult. By implementing the best development practices and hiring an experienced app developer, you’ll lower your risk of bug fixes and ensure your users have the best experience possible.