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Why bother making updates?

04-21-2009, 02:46 AM
#1
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 546
Why bother making updates?

I was reading an article today on ReadWriteWeb:

"But even still, refreshes provided by updates may not be enough. Flurry is seeing a trend that, to be honest, was surprising: only 10% of users are updating their applications after download. That means new features pushed out via an update aren't being seen by a large group of the app's users. "

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives...y_way_ahea.php

I believe it. Looking at my iPod Touch right now, I have 25 updates available that I haven't downloaded. There are a few reasons I don't:

a) The update is for an application I don't use or rarely use
b) The update says it will erase data (high scores / progress)
c) The update is for 'bug fixes' and I haven't had any problems

There's probably a few more reasons too. Point is, if people aren't downloading updates, what's the point? The best reason I can think of (and I don't fully understand how this works) is that updates boost your application's visibility in search. I assume it causes your app to show up as 'new' in some lists, which drives sales from new customers.

I certainly appreciate free updates, but I'd say I upgrade less than 25% of the applications I have, including those I paid for.

Any thoughts / anecdotes?
04-21-2009, 03:06 AM
#2
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: App Tech Studios, USA
Posts: 1,363
Here are the reasons that I update:

1. It is fun
2. It gets it to the new list
3. people like it
4. when new people buy it, they are buying the version, so in a way, all of the new users get the update

04-21-2009, 03:07 AM
#3
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Birmingham, UK, dull corner of the world
Posts: 2,367
Well yes, from a developer point of view, the update will show up in the RSS feeds such as AppShopper etc, which will help sales- especially if the update is listed as something substantial.
There have been comments in the past on here, that certain devs have took the pee, and constantly released "bug fixes" updates just to stay in the RSS spotlight so to speak.
Me? I will update mine, but I will make sure the updates are worthwhile. That way people will look at the update and know it will be worth updating for. However, I can also see why updates come out that just show "improved performance" "reduced memory usage" etc, because we as devs want to make sure our app has the best chance to play properly on everyones device.
What's also good about updates is certain devs, such as myself and many others on this forum, listen to feedback and respond to that feedback by perhaps incorporating those ideas in the update.
04-21-2009, 07:40 AM
#4
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Hanover, NH
Posts: 17
I was just thinking about updates this last weekend, so I have some small things to share - I think the primary reason a developer would release updates is to create additional awareness of their product via the newest released list and the sites/rss feeds that list those updates. I do think getting on top of those lists drives more sales, and I'm actually working on a new update to my game this week for that reason.

From a user's perspective updates are risky - we can't rollback to a previous version and if something is wrong it will take another week before a fix is released. I think for people to want to update there is going to need to be new content and not just bug fixes. I have seen at least a few reviews of other apps where people complained about not enough updates - so I'm not sure if they bought something with the expectation that they were getting in at the ground level cheap and more would be coming to that game/app?

It would be interesting to know how many of those updating/not updating were free vs paid as there might be a different level of interest for those two groups. Ultimately when people download a game they are asking us to entertain them - and unless the update is going to do that they will pass.

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04-21-2009, 01:49 PM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenp View Post
From a user's perspective updates are risky - we can't rollback to a previous version
Actually you can...just keep a backup of your iTunes library. If the update is fubar, then delete it, copy over the old version, and resync.

--Eric

Realmaze3D on the App Store
Realmaze3Free: 3 free mazes (a taste of Realmaze3D)
04-21-2009, 06:09 PM
#6
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazypeon View Post
I believe it. Looking at my iPod Touch right now, I have 25 updates available that I haven't downloaded. There are a few reasons I don't:

a) The update is for an application I don't use or rarely use
b) The update says it will erase data (high scores / progress)
c) The update is for 'bug fixes' and I haven't had any problems
Wow. I'm totally the exact opposite. It honestly hadn't even occurred to me that anyone would NOT update their applications. Don't you get a perverse sense of satisfaction from making that red flag (the number of updates you have pending) go away? I keep my app store icon in the dock, so it would probably be even more annoying for me if it always had the red number next to it.

There is absolutely no reason for b) to ever happen. If an app says that in the update notes, it's just lazy programming as far as I'm concerned. I've actually never seen that, although I've heard rumor that early on there was actually a bug where NSUserDefaults would get reset on app update, so at least a few of the programmers who started in the app store from day one had this happen to their apps.

As for b), just because you haven't noticed a bug, doesn't mean it isn't totally crippling. You might play to the next level and suddenly find the game doesn't work! (or something.)

So, in my opinion, a) is the only valid reason in your list above. Again, my desire to keep everything updated overrides a lack of interest in apps I don't use that often. (Also, I run into the 148 app limit about once a week, so I'm usually deleting things I haven't used in a long time on a fairly regular basis.)

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04-21-2009, 06:10 PM
#7
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 63
I love updates, especially when the dev puts in more features. I think it's a great way to increase the life of an app and keep people interested in it. It also fosters good will among purchasers. I've bought some apps that aren't worth it, and haven't been updated with any improvements, and now I'll never buy another app from those devs. I've also bought some sub-standard apps that were improved significantly by updates, and now I'm willing to support those devs in the future.
04-21-2009, 06:45 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 426
An app that has a strong (not necessarily super frequent) update history shows that the developer is interested in their own app, and helps convince me.
04-21-2009, 07:19 PM
#9
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Rio Rancho NEW MEXICO Yes, its a state >:l
Posts: 2,895
so people wont play ur game for like 2 mins and regret the purchase and give it 1 star >:l

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04-21-2009, 07:22 PM
#10
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,208
There are some people who update just becuase they are annoyed of the red bubble at the corner of the app store. Isn't that a good enough reason?

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