To update or not to update

As I wrote in my goals post, I’ve been focusing more of my spare time on iOS development.  After a long break at the end of 2010, I decided the way to get back into it was to give some love to my current apps, SudokuKids and SudokuKids+, in the way of updates.

I added new music, some sounds, and a number of other nice touches to them and it truly was a great way to get back into iOS development.  When I finished testing the updates I had planned, I decided to hold off for just a bit before pushing them out.

I had read The Business of iPhone App Development last year and wanted to go back and go over some sections I had bookmarked to help promote the apps.  As I was doing that, I went off to CodeMash and one of the tables had a book that I added to my reading list, iPhone and iPad Apps Marketing: Secrets to Selling your iPhone and iPad Apps.  I decided I should read this one as well before pushing the updates.  Then, I ran across a 3rd book, App Savvy, that I added to the pile and therefore added to the delay.  (Yes, I will probably share an update on the 3 books in a future blog post.)

Anyway, reading the books and making some notes, led to more things to do before the updates got pushed.  It seems I was suffering from a kind of self induced feature creep.  Maybe it could be called marketing creep or maybe it was polish creep.  I’ll let you decide. 

However, I think I lost out on something else and that is the reason I’m sharing this post.  I lost out on sharing my work with my users.  I could have easily pushed the initial update after I had completed testing it and then planned for a second update in February or March.  I believe apps that update often are thought better of by users and here I’ve been holding off.

The only con I can think of to updating often is the loss of reviews and ratings.  It is not a small thing when you have an app that doesn’t have a lot of them.  My thinking is now though that solid updates will promote more reviews and hopefully more sales.   I’m not sure if this is correct, but I doubt I can go wrong by pleasing my user base and updating more frequently and hoping that the reviews come out in force with future updates.