When Google announced staged rollouts for Android apps at Google I/O 2013, iOS developers everywhere looked on with envious eyes. The ability to test updates and new features with only a small selection of users is something that every developer has wanted to do at some point in their development cycle.
Squash those bugs:
The most obvious benefit of this more cautious approach to updates is to ensure that there are no bugs or hidden crashes in an app. Regardless of the amount of QA and beta testing that most developers do, there is always something that slips through the cracks. Expanding your beta testing pool from the standard 200 devices to several thousand live devices gives you a fighting chance at identifying these issues before it becomes a huge problem.
Don't be New Coke:
The less obvious, but more powerful, benefit to staging rollouts is to see how users react to the changes being made. For example, say you have an awesome new editor’s choice photo section that you want to add to your app. Before it goes live, it’s important to know if this increases engagement for new users (as you’d hope) or if it alienates your existing users. This isn’t the type of thing you can find out from 200 beta testers.
Staged Rollouts for iOS apps, finally:
If only there was a way to not only stage these rollouts on iOS but also test and measure if these new features actually improve the user’s experience… maybe even A/B test those features!
At Taplytics, we always love making mobile team’s lives better, so we wanted to spotlight how the Taplytics SDK unlocks Staged Rollouts for any iOS app.
Easy Staged Rollouts:
With Taplyics, there are two ways to do staged rollouts for iOS apps. The first is using our visual editor, which means no coding! If your new feature is accessible by a button or similar interface element, just create an experiment where you hide that button or element. Select a goal that makes sense for your app, and then setup your variation distribution. Set your Baseline (which has the new feature) with only a small % of users to start with. The remaining users will get your variation without the new feature. Run the experiment and increase the distribution over time as you see the results.
Code-Based Staged Rollouts:
The second way to run staged rollouts with Taplytics is by using code-based experiments. This method is for mobile teams who want to try out different versions of a new feature at the same time. Code multiple versions of your feature and wrap each of them in a variation code block that our dashboard provides. You then run the experiment with a small % of your users and see which version works better.
If you are interested in learning more about Staged Rollouts for iOS, or if you need help getting started, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.