Mobile App Patching in Production (Yes, It’s Possible)

Written by: Erez Rusovsky

2 min read

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I like to think of bugs in a mobile app like typos on a billboard. They’re embarrassing, they’ll be seen by thousands of people and they can severely damage any mobile venture. You want to get them fixed as soon as possible, but that’s not always easy. Well, if you’re a mobile app developer, I have some good news for you: It’s now possible to patch an app in production

all without breaking Apple’s rules and regulations. You billboard people are still out of luck, unfortunately. Imagine being able to implement a fix without having to wait up to two weeks for approval/certification. Better yet not only would this speed up your internal development process (by letting you move on to the next round of features), it would also help you stay ahead of your competitors and keep your users happy. There’s really no downside. If this is something that interests you (and I suspect it is), then here are a few important steps and considerations to keep in mind.

Continuous – yet Contained – Updates are the Key

Clearly, every developer wants to fix bugs in the shortest amount of time possible. While you have some control over how quickly they can discover root cause and rewrite the code, you can’t always control how that fix is delivered. Releasing an update through the app store – and hoping your users download and install it – isn’t the most efficient plan. If you want to fully manage the update process from end to end, you need to short circuit conventional process to enable continuous quality methodologies. This is where Rollout can step in and change the game. Rollout works under the hood of your mobile app, allowing you to search for (and fix) problematic live code. Without getting too deep into the gritty details, we use static code analysis plus runtime manipulation, which allows us to change how an existing selector is implemented. By altering how that selector is mapped to underlying functions, we essentially change how the code performs at runtime. In this way, we help you fix issues –in real time – without breaking App Store regulations. Pretty cool, right?

The Ultimate Tech Support “Team”

Bugs – and their resolution process – can now be fully contained within the app itself. By eliminating the delays tied to the mobile application slow release cycle, you’ll be able to continuously improve user experience – a development advantage with direct adoption, engagement and monetization benefits.

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