Millions of apps, billions of downloads, thousands of mobile devices, hundreds of app stores/app markets/app shops (or whatever you may want to call them )— Everyone is talking about only the numbers. Of course, quantity is important, but what about the quality?
Until now, the app stores’ focus has been on lowering the barriers to entry for developers, so that they can stock their stores with a large number of apps. Quantity has been one of the major differentiators (at least, they’d like to think) and focus for these app stores. The result: reports of security and privacy breaches; wasted dollars; apps that work on some devices, but not yours; apps buried under million other apps; all leading to customer dissatisfaction and frustration.
‘Some’ app stores have realized that they need to shift their focus to quality in order to retain their customers and differentiate themselves from hundreds of other app stores coming up every day. However, as they do so, they have a quite a few challenges facing them. In this series of blog, I will cover some of these challenges.
The first and the most fundamental challenge is defining and establishing a comprehensive app verification/certification program. Developing a certification program that not only attracts app developers, but also delivers quality and reliability to end users, could be a daunting task. While you want to lower the barriers to entry for developers and make the life simpler, you do not want them to be complacent about the quality of apps that they submit to your app store.
The first step towards developing a certification program is to evaluate your current testing and certification program (if you have one J) and ask yourself some simple questions: Do the apps that reach the end users meet the app store quality standards? Is my process optimized, am I leveraging automation? Do I have adequate device coverage? What is competition doing? Have we explored the certification solutions, tools and vendors out there? Answers to these questions will form the foundation for developing a robust and cost-effective certification program.
Following figure represents some of the challenges that I will be talking about in the subsequent blogs.
At Apexon, we have been working with several app stores to define and execute their certification programs. After understanding and evaluating various challenges that app stores face, we have developed an Advanced Certification Engine( IS-ACE), which will help app stores take advantage of out of the box frameworks and tools. You can email us at info [at] apexon.com or directly contact me at Durgesh.kaushik [at] apexon.com for information on ACE or our certification program.