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Best practices for organizations to discover bugs when Apple releases iOS 16

The rollout of iOS 16 will likely cause headaches for end users and, by default, developers — despite their best intentions.

Organizations of all sizes are likely to see a spike in product quality issues in their applications if the debut of iOS 16 in the coming days is anything like what happened when Apple released iOS 15 a year ago. In every industry unitQ examined — from business and productivity, to dating and social networking — complaints from mobile app users that the updates broke core features increased dramatically, according to a unitQ analysis of App Store reviews on more than 4,400 iOS apps.

Missing notifications in dating apps spiked 114% from the month before to the month after iOS 15 was released on September 20, 2021. For the same time period, upload issues in the photo-video industry jumped 132%; the mobile gaming sector saw a 300% increase in user complaints that their hero “died for no reason;” meanwhile, concerns from users of finance apps that their “data disappeared” jumped 150%. The list goes on.

In the chart below, the percentage increase is shown for major product quality issues that users complained about in Apple App Store reviews from the month before to the month after the release of iOS 15, by selected category:

*For this chart, unitQ surfaced product quality issues by ingesting Apple App Store reviews of more than 4,400 mobile applications. We then parsed those reviews with machine learning and proprietary unitQ algorithms to produce these results.

These destructive quality-of-life or customer-churning issues highlighted above occurred despite the release of public and developer betas ahead of the iOS 15 software update — and new betas are now being tested by developers and the public before the release of iOS 16.

All of which means the rollout of iOS 16 will likely cause headaches for end users and, by default, developers — despite their best intentions. But how long developers and their organizations allow product quality issues to linger in their apps is another story — a story whose ending depends on how and if organizations listen to what their end users are saying about them. 

Understand what your end users are saying

Organizations are throwing tremendous amounts of resources at building and maintaining their tech stacks. There are systems for auditing, for monitoring security and the performance of applications, and for microsystems and infrastructure as a whole.

CIOs and other company executives are providing these and a myriad of other tools to support their organizations’ continued success. However, there’s a goldmine of other data containing a wealth of actionable insights.

That data is the “Voice of the Customer.” This data is the single source of truth of product quality, complete with actionable insights with precise information about what users are saying about your product’s performance, features and capabilities. 

From reviews in the App Store or on Google Play, customer support tickets in Zendesk, incident response tickets in Jira, to social media and discussions on Discord, Reddit and Twitter — it’s possible to paint a clear picture of what features your customers enjoy, what they find hard to use or broken, and what bugs should be prioritized.

Detecting, investigating, prioritizing and fixing issues identified by users bolsters developer KPIs, enhances customer satisfaction and ratings in app stores, attracts new users and drives new revenue streams.

Parse user feedback data manually at your own risk

We all know that running a successful business relies on keeping customers happy. One way to keep them happy is to fix product quality issues that they identify. But many companies manually process customer reviews left on app stores, social media, Reddit, Twitter, Discord and you name it. The manual process to parse user feedback, sentiment, and product-related issues leaves the door open for much error, doesn’t account for languages, and takes way too long. 

And that’s a problem, especially when we all know that a brand new iPhone software version number update is going to cause havoc. To prevent a downturn in app store ratings, for example, why not discover these issues immediately, instead of in weeks or months?

How much of an effect do app store ratings have on your business? A lot more than you may think. In fact, half of users polled won’t do business with a company unless it has at least a four-star rating, and nearly three quarters of users won’t buy a product before they’ve read the reviews. 

When users’ experience with your app doesn’t meet their expectations, they tend to let you know right away, by filing more tickets for your support team and submitting lower app ratings and negative reviews — all of which damage your brand. When support tickets and negative reviews pile up and your app store ratings drop, your reputation suffers. New users are less likely to try your product, your existing users become less engaged, and churn results. 

In today’s crowded app landscape, quality is more than just something that’s nice to have. It’s a true market differentiator that can help you scale efficiently and beat your competition.

Embrace unitQ data intelligence  

unitQ Monitor provides organizations with the real-time insights and actionable intelligence necessary to identify and fix those product quality issues that are the top concerns for your users. 

unitQ captures user feedback in more than 70 languages from dozens of sources — including the Apple App Store, Discord, Google Play Store, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, among others. unitQ also integrates with productivity tools such as Slack, PagerDuty, Zendesk and Jira. 

With machine learning and AI, user feedback is bucketed into discernable product quality issues. unitQ customers like Spotify, Klarna, HelloFresh and Udemy harness this data to visualize how existing and new product features are impacting their users across regions, app versions, and operating systems — in real time. unitQ algorithms enable organizations to harness this real-time user feedback to take a measured, data-driven approach to their product quality efforts, fix issues faster, and leverage insights into roadmaps and product growth.

About the data for this study

For the purposes of this study, our charts are based on the ingestion of tens of thousands of iOS App Store reviews from more than 4,400 apps for the time period of one month before to one month after Apple’s release of iOS 15 on September 20, 2021. 

Overall, as illustrated in the chart below, social networking apps saw the biggest increase in users reporting product quality issues after Apple updated to iOS 15 last year. Following social media was the photo-video sector, gaming and so on.

The chart below shows the percentage increase in product quality issues from the month before to the month after the release of iOS 15, by selected industry:

While finance, travel and health and fitness apps did not see an overall increase in product quality issues identified by App Store reviews, they nevertheless succumbed to a steep increase in quality-of-life bugs, according to unitQ data and illustrated in the first chart found at the top of this report. 

Health and fitness apps, for example, saw a 462% increase in users complaining they couldn’t edit their body weight. Travel apps saw a 300% increase in users upset they couldn’t log in through their employer’s SSO. And there was a 67% increase in users worried they couldn’t make a “trade” in their finance apps after the update to iOS 15.

About unitQ

unitQ is an AI-enabled platform that listens to signals from an organization’s user base. unitQ is arming organizations with real-time actionable insights to improve product, reduce churn, boost star ratings and build great app experiences.

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

David Kravets is the unitQ Senior Content Marketing Manager