App Maintenance: Types & Cost of Mobile Application Maintenance

App Development
App Maintenance: Types & Cost of Mobile Application Maintenance
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: July 13, 2022

There are 6.3 billion smartphone users globally, and the number keeps growing. With the growing number of smartphone users, the need for highly-functional apps have increased, too.

An app needs a robust maintenance plan. It is essential to monitor the performance and ensure regular updates to keep the existing and potential users happy.

It is smart to highlight the final cost of the app maintenance right when you plan the app development itself. This will help with an accurate cost approximation, making it essential to carve out a budget for the maintenance costs.

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What is App Maintenance?

App maintenance is a vital and consistent task since apps might continue to show glitches and bugs as they are used. The proper updates, improvements, and fixes require continuous efforts, brainstorming, and innovation. App maintenance is a crucial phase in the app development cycle to control these challenges.

After publishing the app on the app store, you should track the Daily Active Users (DAU) to track the users who have installed the app and continue to engage with it.

Apart from DAUs, you should also check the Monthly Active Users (MAU) that also talk about the exact statistics but monthly.

Types of Mobile App Maintenance

Emergency Maintenance

As the name suggests, there could be an emergency that demands a fix.

This will require you to fix the problem right away.

Perfective Maintenance

With the trending features and functionalities, the users' preferences are bound to change.

The users’ feedback can help the app improve significantly while also requiring maintenance to keep up with the changing preferences.

Adaptive Maintenance

Adaptive maintenance requires you to keep track of changes in the system to keep the app updated.

You’ll have to make changes in a working environment such as operating system, hardware, or software that could affect the application’s operation.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance implies the elimination of errors before they occur. This focuses on reducing the complexity of the app and enhancing maintainability.

This can be done by code restructuring, optimization, and documentation updating.

App Maintenance Cost

The app maintenance cost may depend on various factors. Some of these factors are:

  • The complexity of the app
  • Technology used
  • The platform of the app

However, it is usually suggested that app maintenance can cost 15-20% of the total development cost.

The maintenance cost can include the cost of content generation, graphical creation, promotional activities, purchasing media elements, upgrading servers or hosting services, and more.

The recurring costs may include code modifications, upgrading platforms, new technology integrations, push notifications, payment gateways, and additional unpredictable events.

Determining the App Maintenance Cost

The app maintenance costs can be higher in the first year, almost 50% of the total development costs. The cost begins to drop after each passing year. If the app is feature-rich, it can bring additional expenses. Adding abundant features could also lead to increased loading time, app size, and potential crashes.

However, outlining the exact cost can be difficult as certain expenses could be unexpected too.

Here’s what you need to consider when determining the maintenance costs:


The server cost for mobile apps and the app hosting prices are critical and recurring expenses. You must determine the kind of server you will need for the app to finalize the costs.

You can plan out the server resources by mapping out the type of data. The data could be in the following formats - audio, video, text, or static.

Storing additional data will require more CPU, disk space, and memory to store more data, which can lead to increased costs. The costs also depend on the content generated, projected growth, and the number of current users.

The maintenance costs of a cloud-based environment can be helpful. The prices for such domains can be less, too, since they allow you to only pay for what you use. Organizations such as HostGator and Amazon Web Services also often offer special discounts.


Bugs, crashes, and glitches need to be monitored and analyzed. This is where tools like Google Analytics can help you make thoughtful decisions by allowing you to know which part of the app experiences more growth. This can help you keep track of traffic, sources, app usage time, user behavior, and factors.

Tools like these allow you to make decisions based on your users’ expectations and preferences.

Monitoring and analyzing these processes can help save time. However, it is necessary to choose the tools that fit your workload.

Customer Support

Your customers should be able to voice their concerns thoroughly and have a positive resolution experience.

Though customer support can lead to increased costs, it could pay off with positive reviews.


Regular updates can quickly fix bugs and offer a seamless user experience. The mobile application maintenance services for Android and iOS will also depend upon the security protocols, code complexities, team experience, size of the app, nature of changes, and multiple other factors.

While updating your app, ensure it is free of lags, quick to load, and responsive. Statistics show that 53% of your website visitors will leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. In case of any upcoming updates, you can inform the users beforehand.

Compatibility with Evolving Operating Systems

With the swiftly evolving devices, platforms, and operating systems, the apps will be rendered useless if they are not compatible. By finalizing your maintenance costs, you can increase the compatibility and lifespan of the app.

UI/UX Updates

An average user spends 88% of their mobile time on apps, which makes it essential for mobile app development companies to pay close attention to UI/UX elements.

Enhancing the user experience helps with better feedback and positive reviews and boost user retention and loyalty.

You can also check the suggestions by users on apps similar to yours. This can be another way to give you an insight into your audiences’ expectations.

Your competitors might add more features that users like and help them stand out. Developers can upgrade the graphics, display, usability, and other features when required to keep the users glued to the app and nurture a positive experience.

Why is Mobile Application Maintenance Important?

Mobile application maintenance is imperative to keep the app fresh and free from glitches. Its value further extends by upgrading the UI/UX per the user’s needs. Ensuring that the app is up-to-date helps to impact the user retention rate positively.

Here’s how mobile app maintenance can help you:

Keeps the App Free from Glitches

We live in an age when technologies and devices are updated in the blink of an eye. As technologies are refined, your apps must also match pace. Your apps being left behind could make your devices incompatible with the advancing times.

Continuous upgrades can help keep the app away from glitches and flickering issues. Regular maintenance can help you avoid these issues even before they occur.

Boosts ROI

Apart from the multiple benefits that an increased app download rate brings, an amplified ROI is a substantial one.

In the long run, app maintenance can help to decrease costs and acquire new users, thereby bringing in more finance.

By fixing bugs whenever required, the cost of fixing bugs will be spread, leading to a lesser burden that lands suddenly on the developers.

Reduces the Uninstallations by Upgrading the Features

Whenever you plan for maintenance, your focus should be on reducing installations by feeling the pulse of what the users think.

Apart from noting your users' preferences, making your app interesting, easy to use, and aesthetic in appearance is essential. This keeps users interested in your app.

Continue to monitor their preferences to keep the uninstallation rate lower.

The app stores also maintain strict guidelines that detect your listing if your app doesn’t match the requirements, resulting in a dip in rankings and eventually de-listing your app.

Ensures Security

Reliable apps need to ensure that they follow security protocols. This can be done by tending to loopholes in financial and personal information, securing payments, and updating them with the current security protocols.

Builds Goodwill for your Application

An advanced and error-free app can have a good reputation amongst the users and stakeholders.

Ensuring goodwill can lead to brand loyalty and satisfaction in return. This goodwill can benefit you if you introduce another app in the future.

Reduces Downtimes

Take steps to avoid possible downtimes, such as – regular updates, compatibility with the latest technologies, and protection against hacking attempts, to name a few. Reducing downtime can help avoid heavy losses and amplify satisfied users.

App Maintenance – Key Takeaways

Regardless of how perfect an app is, there will be a wave of feedback once your app is published. This feedback can be overwhelming to not only note but to implement in the app as well.

To avoid this, you can resort to minor app releases so that developers can gauge what the users expect. After assessing the customer feedback precisely, developers can add the most needed features, which can also cut down costs.

Releasing a light version first and monthly scheduling upgrades can help address fundamental problems in the initial stages. Developers can then move on to set a plan for the next upgrade. This helps avoid investing a substantial sum in the app with everything before the app is published.

The smallest tweaks can paint a picture that you care about the user’s requirements and experience and will continue to consider their needs in the future.

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