A Majority of Mobile Apps Ship With Between 1 and 10 Bugs

A recent Evans Data survey shows that mobile developers are releasing app with up to 10 bugs in them, only to be fixed in an update.

mobile app dev

Almost three-quarters of mobile apps ship with between one and ten bugs, according to a recently released survey of more than 500 software developers actively developing for mobile devices.

A recent Evans Data survey showed that one-third of these developers said that between three and five bugs are found on average after the apps ship, and only five percent say that they typically have zero bugs. Moreover, 20 percent said they average between eleven and fifty bugs, calling into question the efficacy of their testing and QA.

"Bugs have been a fact of life for as long as we’ve had software," said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data, in a statement. "To have just a small handful of bugs is really quite an achievement, but the real advancement is in the constant updating of apps to fix bugs or add additional features. This virtually continuous release of software has changed the dynamic of how developers create and maintain their software."

The survey also showed that 70 percent of iOS developers typically test their apps on up to five devices, while two-thirds of Android developers test their apps on between two and four versions of Android.

Meanwhile, updates, which often contain bug fixes, are most likely to be pushed out or released on a weekly basis (32 percent) or monthly (22.7 percent). According to the survey, 80 percent of mobile developers say they push out updates at least monthly.

The current 2015 Mobile Development Survey is the 30th edition of the series, which was started in 2001 and is published twice yearly. It examines surveys software developers actively developing for mobile devices and focuses on issues of concern to mobile software development. These include: mobile development and design, development for iOS, development for Android, development for Windows Phone, Internet of Things, wearables, connected car, enterprise mobile development, game development, monetizing applications, and more.

Evans Data provides regularly updated IT industry market intelligence based on in-depth surveys of the global developer population. Evans' syndicated research includes surveys focused on developers in a wide variety of subjects.

For instance, in July, Evans Data introduced results of a survey that indicated that although the tech economy is currently booming, the number of software startups has declined over the last five years or so.

According to that study, the rate at which new companies have started up in the last five years is significantly lower in North America than it was in the past according to Evans Data's Developer Population and Demographics study.

Evans Data based its study on population models and the results of its semi-annual Global Development Survey, which showed that in North America there are 328,000 developers working at companies less than two years old. There are 369,000 developers working at companies that are two to five years old, and 1,416,000 at companies that were started five to 10 years ago. The total of those working at companies that were started since 2009 are 49 percent fewer than those at companies started in the five years before 2009.

"We’re obviously still seeing the effects of the great recession that started in 2008," Garvin said in a statement. "It's much less visible due to the excitement and growth around Silicon Valley, and the release of new technologies that capture everyone’s imagination, but the reality is in the numbers. The recovery has been very weak in real terms and this shows in the large decrease in new software companies during the last five years."