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What makes mobile apps slow (and how to speed them up)

17/01/2023

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It’s no secret that people are always on their phones. If they are not on a social networking app, they’re shopping, gaming, you name it. On average, mobile phone users check their devices 63 times every day. In addition, Americans use their cell phones for 5.4 hours every day on average. This is excellent news for anyone developing an app or thinking of doing so.

However, your app development endeavors are bound to be met with lots of competition. If you want to increase the chances of your app standing out and gaining popularity, you have to ensure that it is fast. Human beings are not inherently patient. With the advancement in technology, they expect maximum speed from all the apps on their phone. According to Apteligent, a mobile app performance specialist, 48% of users will remove or abandon an app if they have to wait longer than two seconds for it to launch.

If your app is slow and you need answers, keep reading this article. We will discuss the different issues that make mobile apps slow and how you can speed them up for user satisfaction.

1.    Running outdated software versions

App performance will gradually deteriorate if your application uses outdated frameworks and software or has yet to upgrade to newer versions in a while. This is because older software versions cannot take advantage of more unique features, including improved compiler optimizations and higher community engagement and support. When newer models of iPhones are released, you’ll notice more users complaining about their phones significantly slowing down.

Solution

Take a closer look at your technology stack and identify any software that still needs to receive an upgrade to the most recent version. As a rule, the latest versions feature greater compatibility and improved functionality. They provide far better performance and offer more stability. In addition, they are typically embedded with various enhancements that can immediately increase the speed and efficiency of your app, from improved tuning tweaks to security alerts and bug fixes.

2.    Connectivity issues

Source: Unsplash

As a developer, there’s little you can do about connectivity issues. It is up to the app user to switch to a better cellular network provider or find a more robust and stable Wi-Fi connection.

However, you can make some internal changes to your app to allow it to run more efficiently even when connected to a poor network.

There are two possible solutions:

Solution:

Using a Content Delivery Network

Whether you are using a web application or a mobile app, using a content delivery network can significantly enhance your app’s performance. A CDN utilizes multiple servers located all over the world to distribute content quickly and efficiently to visitors. This strategy is highly effective because a user receives content from the server that is physically nearest to them.

Load data as requested

A mobile app often handles enormous amounts of data daily. As a result, loading a large amount of data simultaneously will slow down the app because it is trying to process many requests simultaneously. It would be best to load the data as needed to remedy this. On the other hand, you can opt to divide it into smaller chunks. You’ll need separate assemblies to achieve this. Alternatively, you can load textual data first and image-based content later.

3.    Too much data

It goes without saying: If your app is overloaded with data, it will take longer to load. However, this does not mean you can delete the chunks of data and make your program lighter. For one, you might have to sacrifice valuable features that make your app unique.

Solution:

Data compression

Compressing data helps speed up loading without sacrificing the attractiveness or functionality of audio components, vivid images, and video content. Compression is a powerful tool that can dramatically accelerate the speed of your app. 

Data compression takes two forms:

 Lossless compression: As the name suggests, content like text and spreadsheets are compressed without losing any data. This method allows you to restore a file to its original size without any data loss.

Lossy compression: Although chunks of data are lost in this method, app users are unaware of it. It is excellent for the compression of images, audio, and video.

Note: For better performance, you can cache some photos in addition to compressing them so that you don’t have to load them repeatedly whenever a user requests them.

4.    Server issues

One of the most frequent causes of delayed apps is typically a server issue. When a user performs an action on the app, the server begins to perform multiple functions. For example, it executes application code, communicates with thousands of other users, retrieves data from its memory, and rotates between a variety of tasks. Because of the multitude of actions, your server is overwhelmed.

As a result, it could run out of memory or process requests slowly to prevent it from shutting down. As a result, it delays processing a few requests while others wait to be processed.

As complex as this sounds, several viable solutions can fix slow servers.

Solution:

  • Integrating a reserve proxy server

Taking some of the strain off your server could help it function more quickly and accommodate more requests. In addition, you can outsource some functions a server needs to perform by incorporating a reverse proxy server.

A reverse proxy server sits in front of the device and manages internal flow/traffic. It can do this easily because it is directly connected to the internet, giving it the power to interact with the server via a significantly quicker internal system.

As a result, the application server is able to perform other actions, load pages and send them to the reverse proxy server. The reverse server, in turn, waits for the user’s instructions and passes on the ready pages. A reverse proxy server enables your app to operate at benchmark speeds while maintaining optimum performance levels.

  • Use a load balancer

In some apps, multiple minor servers are used instead of a single large one. In this case, it is advised to incorporate a load balancer. It is a software tool that evenly distributes the load across the servers to maintain a low response time.

In addition, a load balancer supports SSL termination and static file caching. If you are still determining which load balancer would be best for your app, specialists recommend sticking with the option available on your cloud platform.

Wrapping up

It is in your best interest to maximize your app’s performance. For one, there are established quality standards you must meet. In addition, speed directly impacts user experience and whether they will stick with your app or dump it.

If you still need to figure out what’s slowing down your app, you can contact a mobile app development business and ask for a performance audit to double-check whether everything is in order.

We at Supreme Tech are available for a free consultation. We are an outsourcing IT company focusing on mobile and web apps for English-speaking clients. We build the products using the agile methodology based on the client’s demands and maintain them.

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