BlogWhat do you do when apple or google force you to make changes in your app

Have you ever experienced your app working one day but not the next? Or has your team said, we’re a bit behind schedule because we have to update something?

Your team could be mid-sprint and working on your next killer feature but report back to you and say we can’t work on anything at the moment until we get this thing sorted out, the app that broke overnight because of an update.

We’ve had this happen before, it can become difficult in keeping up with all the plugins, extensions, frameworks and operating systems.

Apple or Google can cause this also, they will release an update to Android or iOS with breaking changes or they’ve deprecated
something else that used to work, but no longer works.

And when this happens, you really can’t do anything besides go through the app find the problems and address them, one by one.

Now, this is something that’s out of your control and is forced upon you and can add extra time and cost to your development, but it’s something that you need to factor in during the development process. The alternative to this process is that you get your team to build everything from scratch except the operating system. This will then end up being 100X more expensive.

If you haven’t thought about this scenario yet and you’re just starting you are app development, you’re going to be within a year cycle of a major operating system update from IOS or, a year to 6-month cycle with Android. You will face this problem if you haven’t already. It’s best to be aware that these things happen and that it can add extra delays that you don’t account for or anticipate.

It’s extremely frustrating to be working on something and, for what seems like no apparent reason, then it stops working and won’t let you proceed. Let me tell you first hand as a developer I hate that. I can only imagine what it sound like for a client hearing that from their team without this understanding.

We’ve been working on the app in the office recently that’s gone through this problem. It’s been lightly maintained for the past 6 years and after the latest iOS update, something that was stable, working well and a core feature of the app stopped working. The code that it relied upon from the operating system became deprecated. This means that the people who make the code don’t like that code any more and have replaced it with something else.

Now this means we have to spend an unknown amount of hours to fix something that we had nothing to do with. But unless the client wants to shelve their app, they don’t, then they have to allow us to investigate the impact of that issue and start addressing the changes one-by-one until they are done.

This situation can affect any type of app or development. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new app, old app, mobile app, API, website, CMS, WordPress etc.

It can affect you at any time as all software uses external libraries and packages, it’s not cost-effective to build everything from scratch. That’s the tradeoff you get for quicker development and lower cost.

If you thought that developing an app was a write-it-once and leave it alone situation you would be mistaken. It never is and there should always be a maintenance plan factored into your development to cater for these issues. The longer you leave things outdated and using old packages, libraries and components the more trouble you will be in.
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