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App Quality Stats Guide Mobile Developers

In the modern mobile development arena, the actual coding is becoming the easy part, as developers are increasingly concerned with ancilary factors to achieve success, such as advertising, monetization, marketing and getting their wares to stand out from the crowd.

Yet another tool designed to help mobile app developers succeed in these areas comes from Applause App Quality Inc., which last week released its latest report on app quality, this one for the health and fitness industry, one of the hottest areas of mobile development.

While also serving consumers as a guide to app quality, the 2015 State of the U.S. Health & Fitness Apps Economy was conducted to help developers "understand how customers perceive your app quality and to rapidly improve the experience for your mobile users," Applause said of its latest report, which joins others done for the retail, travel, and media and entertainment industries.

The report found health and fitness apps to be rated highly overall, but had some harsh words for popular brands Weight Watchers Mobile and Fitbit, both available for iOS and Android in their respective app stores.

Those brands "need to do more for their app users than simply live up to average," the Applause report stated, noting they achieved average scores of 54 while the category average was 66.7. The Applause report uses a numerical scale that maps to Poor (0-39), Fair (40-59), Good (60-69), Excellent (70-89) and Winning (90-100).

Applause Health and Fitness Mobile App Quality Index
[Click on image for larger view.] Applause Health and Fitness Mobile App Quality Index
(source: Applause App Quality Inc.)

Developers looking to emulate health and fitness app success should rather look to the four apps that achieved elite ratings: MyFitnessPal, Lose It! by FitNow, MapMyRun by MapMyFitness and RunKeeper by FitnessKeeper.

"Each of these apps earned average app quality scores higher than 70 that stood the test of more than 50,000 user reviews," the report stated.

The report also includes data for the medical field, whose ratings are close to those of health and fitness apps.

Applause started with a universe of more than 8,800 mobile apps and ranked them according to various criteria, requiring a minimum number of user reviews and finally judging the eligible apps using its own Applause Analytics tool.

The report "helps companies determine where they stand in terms of quality vis-à-vis their competitors," Applause said. "IT, product and marketing leaders should use this report to understand how customers rate Android and iOS app quality, assess the competitive landscape and set goals for optimizing their app quality management practices in 2015 as they proceed along the path to a winning health and fitness or medical app, as defined by their customers."

Applause also offered development advice for vendors whose products landed on the lower end of the app quality scale. These vendors "need to fundamentally refocus their efforts on serving customers in their mobile moments, because if your app doesn't serve customer needs in their everyday interactions then prepare to sit back and watch as your competitors do," the company said. "From discovering breaking news, to listening to the top songs, to preserving moments with friends, to researching a book, to binge watching your favorite TV series, your apps have to work every time, for everyone, across every device, OS, network and location. Now is the perfect time to rethink your development and testing strategy in the age of the customer."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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