unitQ analysis: The state of mobile application product quality 2021-2022

Harnessing unitQ proprietary algorithms and artificial intelligence, unitQ analyzed the reviews for more than a year’s worth of data on roughly 4,400 of the world’s top mobile applications listed on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Just like we do for our unitQ customers, we parsed this data to generate actionable insights into what users of those applications were saying about their applications. unitQ customers like Spotify, HelloFresh and Klarna harness this real-time feedback to take a measured, data-driven approach to their product quality efforts, fix issues faster, and leverage insights into roadmaps and product growth. 

Judging by what users are saying about the mobile applications that we analyzed, the state of product quality for 2021 is “fair” with lots of room for improvement. Overall, this equates to an average unitQ Score of 75. Read how a unitQ Score is calculated. For the first quarter of 2022, the average score dropped 8% to a unitQ Score of 69. We discuss the significance of this drop farther down in this report.

Defining unitQ Score

unitQ Score is an organization’s product quality metric based on user feedback data gathered automatically in more than 70 languages from the most popular customer channels — including app stores and social media, and may also incorporate internal support and chatbot applications. unitQ Score is a performance indicator that represents the current state of an organization’s product health. Detecting, investigating, prioritizing and fixing issues identified by users increases unitQ Score, bolsters developer KPIs, enhances customer satisfaction and ratings in app stores, attracts new users and drives new revenue streams. 

unitQ Score is the modern, and more accurate way of analyzing customer satisfaction over NPS scoring. Higher unitQ Scores equal better products, and more satisfied customers. 

Interpreting a unitQ Score

95-100 Epic: Best in class product quality. 
85-95 Good: Strong product quality, room for improvement. 
70-85 Fair: Satisfactory product quality, lots of room for improvement.
0-70 Poor: Weak product quality, urgent improvement required.

In this report, you’ll find what we’ve learned about the state of product quality across different industries and quality trends from the most downloaded mobile apps from 2021 to present.

Top 25 mobile apps with highest product quality ranked by unitQ Score for 2021

*Rankings are based on apps with more than 500,000 reviews on the iOS and/or Android platforms in 2021.

unitQ Scores Based on Top Industries for 2021

For our analysis, we calculated the average unitQ Score of 75 based on what users were saying in the reviews sections on the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store.

Quality Issues From the Most Downloaded Apps of 2021

We ingested 121.52 million customer reviews over the period. Using the power of unitQ artificial intelligence, we detected more than 17.23 million “product quality issues.” These issues include app crashes, freezes, is slow, won’t install or launch, and you name it. This is discussed in more detail farther down this report. 

Percent of Product Quality Issues Across All User Feedback for 2021

The data shows that 13% of all user feedback contained product quality issues. Learn more about the lifecycle of product quality issues, which are user complaints about their friction with a product.

Average unitQ Score: Android Versus iOS for 2021

Of all the user feedback, the average unitQ Score for iOS was 61 based on reviews in the App Store. For Android, user feedback equated to an average unitQ Score of 78 based on reviews in the Google Play Store.

Product Quality Breakdown by Android Versus iOS for 2021

There were 3.18 million product quality issues on iOS and 14.04 million on Android. Because Android is a larger platform, roughly 82% of the product quality issues were detected on that platform.

Top Product Quality Issues unitQ Discovered for 2021

Product quality issues equate to bad user experiences. Detecting, investigating, prioritizing and fixing issues identified by users increases unitQ Score, bolsters developer KPIs, enhances customer satisfaction and ratings in app stores, attracts new users and drives new revenue streams. 

Top Quality IssuesVolume
1. Slow Performance744,376
2. App Force Closing579,328
3. Can’t Download or Install369,209
4. Fails to Launch361,835
5. Can’t Access App263,741
6. App Freezing256,505
7. Can’t Update230,354
8. Crashes After Update151,922
9. Can’t Play141,482
10. Bad Experience137,007
11. Cant Pass Level134,703
12. Too Many Ads118,885
13. Payment Required86,163
14. Technical Difficulties Error77,106

Top 5 Quality Issues by Industry for 2021

Many product quality issues are the same across a wide swath of industries. App crashes and latency and failure to load are complaints from users of virtually every application. However, some industries have unique product quality issues. For example, users of online dating apps complain that they have been wrongly blocked or suspended from the application. A complaint unique to music applications is that a song won’t play or the wrong song plays. When it comes to game applications, players voice concerns that they are not able to reach higher levels. Read on to understand the product quality issues of the top 10 industries we are monitoring.

Finance Quality Issues

  • App Fails to Launch
  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • Can’t Transfer Funds
  • Cash Withdrawal Denied
  • Payment Failed or Rejected

Gaming Quality Issues

  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • App Freezing
  • Can’t Pass Level
  • Stopped Working After Update
  • Too Many Ads

Music Quality Issues

  • Cutting Off or Music Stops Playing
  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • Playlist Can’t Play or Load
  • Plays Another Song or Playlist
  • Search Not Working or No Results

Online Dating Quality Issues

  • Account Blocked or Suspended
  • Account Can’t Access
  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • Can’t Download or Install
  • Slow Performance

Education Quality Issues

  • Account Can’t Access
  • Answers Missing
  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • Can’t Download or Install 
  • Slow Performance

Social Networking Quality Issues

  • App Can’t Download or Install
  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • Camera Not Working
  • Can’t Make Voice Call
  • Notification Not Delivered

Shopping & Retail Quality Issues

  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • Delivery Date Keeps Changing
  • Delivery Not On Time
  • Sent to Wrong Address or Not Received
  • Slow Performance

Video Quality Issues

  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • App Freezing
  • Can’t Download or Install
  • Not Playing On TV
  • Too Many Ads

Health & Fitness Quality Issues 

  • App Fails to Launch
  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • App Freezing
  • Can’t Connect to Device
  • Steps Number Incorrect or Not Counted

Travel Quality Issues

  • App Fails to Launch
  • App Force Closing or Crashing
  • Can’t Download or Install
  • Trip Canceled for No Reason
  • Customer Support Unsatisfactory Behavior

Product Quality 2022 Findings

The unitQ Score average for the Q1 of 2022, as we noted earlier, was 69. This is compared to a 2021 average unitQ Score of 75. The difference between the two scores is due to a slight uptick in users complaining of product quality on a wide range of issues, including app crashes or freezes, too many ads, is slow, and fails to launch or install across iOS and Android devices. 

Note: Because our 2022 analysis only includes three months of data, we are not overly concerned at this moment that app quality across the board is on a path of decline. That said, when we perform our Q2 analysis, we will have a clearer picture of the path of app quality.


Organizations are throwing tremendous amounts of resources at building and maintaining their tech stacks. They maintain systems for auditing, for monitoring the security and the performance of applications, microsystems and infrastructure as a whole. However, there’s a goldmine of other data that organizations are not likely parsing in a holistic manner.

That data is the voice of the customer. It’s the best resource for identifying quality issues, bugs, and errors.

This data is the single source of truth of product quality. It’s live streaming every day in massive quantities — but it’s probably not streaming through an organization’s tech stack — unless they’re a unitQ customer.

unitQ is an AI-enabled platform that listens to signals from an organization’s user base. We’re arming organizations with real-time actionable insights to build a better customer experience both immediately and into the future to improve product, reduce churn, boost star ratings and build great experiences.

To learn more about our research findings or about unitQ, request a unitQ demo today.


Lance Miles is a unitQ data engineer

David Kravets is the senior content marketing manager for unitQ


Product Update: Alerts for All Feedback

To enhance your team’s ability to be proactive and stay aware of emerging user issues or trends, unitQ Monitor allows you to set up Alerts on All Feedback. Creating new Alerts will help your teams get notified as soon as users are providing their feedback through various sources. We’re also able to integrate with Slack and PagerDuty so all your teams can stay informed on what’s trending and what needs to be fixed in real-time.

Alerts for Quality Monitors are automatically created by unitQ platform but you can customize these Alerts and create new ones based on All Feedback or Saved Searches at any time. They can really come in handy for different scenarios where you’ll want to be as proactive as possible in potential cases like: 

  • New product release and issues arise
  • Certain features no longer work
  • New bugs arise
  • Old bugs reoccur
  • Updated functionalities are not working 

Customize Alerts for Different Scenarios

Imagine your feedback volume is exploding, but you can’t pinpoint what’s exactly wrong based on how your users articulate their experience. Your alerts based on specific trends may not be the best to rely on for this scenario. Some users may say “the app is freezing”, while others may say “they can’t use a specific feature.” You may not realize that there is actually a rolling outage or that something may have been affected by the last release.

By creating an Alert that aggregates All Feedback with negative sentiment across all channels, your team will be immediately alerted when there’s a spike in negative user experience. As soon as you get alerted, you can take proactive steps to uncover potential negative trends or issues and in turn communicate with your users more effectively.

Set Alert Conditions Based on Volume

We allow you to set alerts either based on Volume or Percentage change. For example, a Threshold alert will allow you to know if the volume of feedback hits a certain number in the last day or even the last hour. With a Change alert, you can watch for the average changed over time. Think of outages- if the average for the hour goes up 150%, you may want to start looking at what’s going on. You can choose where alerts go, to make sure the right teams are notified immediately over Slack or PagerDuty.

Create Alerts for Any Trend

You can create an Alert for specific trends by creating Alerts for a Saved Search. You can also create an alert either using a threshold or percentage change. For example, if you just released a new feature and would like to monitor positive or negative sentiment, then create a specific search using the Query Generator, the correct logic, and set the appropriate alerts. You can even use our Alerts Filters to dig a little deeper. You can send Android issues to the correct developer team, and iOS issues to the other.

To Get Started

For existing unitQ Monitor customers, you now have access to this new feature. Visit our help center to view the support article. If you’re not a customer yet, try unitQ Monitor free for 30 days and see how this feature can support your teams.