by Rajput Mehul

Top Reasons Why Your Mobile App is Slow and How to Fix it

At a time when technology is moving ahead at an express pace and people don’t have any patience, you’ve got to remain on the tips of your toes to ensure you retain your users.

It’s true that a majority of end users can’t wait to get a response from a mobile app. The ideal loading time for a mobile app is about two seconds. However, according to a study by Akamai research, for every additional second that the app consumes, the conversion rate declines by 7%.

To add to the misery, users tend to get frustrated and angry if they have to wait longer, never again to return back to the same app. Another report reveals that 48% of the customers uninstall or stop using an app if it is slow.

Therefore, the first imperative task on hand is to find the actual cause or reason why the app is slow. Once you have identified the main issue, you can then take the necessary actions to fix the problem and offer your users an enhanced experience.

The major issues that make your mobile app slow are:

  1. Your app is obsolete and not supportive
  2. Sluggishness of the server speed
  3. Encrypted connections are not optimized
  4. Chatty conversations
  5. Faulty library and software development kit
  6. App is overcrowded with data
  7. Network latency

In this article, we’ll cover each of these issues in detail. So let’s get started.

1. Your App is Obsolete and Not Supportive

If you are into the app development business, you must be well aware how important it is to update your app at regular intervals. Whether you are an Android or an iOS app developer, you have to make sure that the app is designed on the latest version of the Operating System.

For instance, currently in case of Android, it has to be Android Oreo or Nougat. For iOS, it needs to be iOS 11 or 10. So, if you are not optimizing your apps to run on those platforms, or if you are using an older framework, the app tends to become slow. Additionally, older platform versions do not receive the required support from the vendor, and after a specific date, the support stops altogether.

The solution to the problem is updating and optimizing the software and keeping in touch with the latest trends related to app development and design. Updating your app and testing it on the newer platforms also ensures that it is compatible with the newer operating system versions. It also enhances the performance of your app.

You always get updated information on security alerts and bug fixes, which accelerates the speed of the app.

2. Sluggishness of the Server Speed

You must have come across this message many times - the server is down or not connected. Well, this is one of the common reasons why some websites took a long time to load, and the same issue is getting repeated here with mobile apps. The server is slow or it has become overloaded.

There may be many reasons the backend infrastructure is slow:

  • The server may slow down due to the multi-tiered infrastructure on which most modern-day applications run.
  • You may have problems accessing files from the disk, running the application code, or communicating instantly with users over the chat, and so on.

The root cause to all these issues is the same: an overloaded or overworked server. At times, the issue may be related to the latency of another process that your app heavily relies upon for most of its tasks.

To fix the problem, you can adopt a couple of approaches.

  1. Identify the interactions between the various components of the application, which is known as the Application Dependency Mapping (ADM).
  2. Try to take some load off the server by providing an extra reverse proxy server. A reverse proxy provides many benefits and accelerates the web requests by providing compression, SSL termination, caching, and other benefits.

In fact, you can choose yet another alternative which is deploying a load balancer to help distribute the traffic evenly.

3. Encrypted Connections are not Optimized

SSL/TLS connections provide encryption for data in-transit and are crucial from the app development point of view. So don’t overlook them! But they too can create problems if left un-optimized.

Unoptimized encrypted connections result in decreased performance of the app. Some of the key reasons identified by experts are:

  1. A handshake is required each time you open a new connection, which affects the speed.
  2. Problems are faced during the encryption of data on the server and decryption on the client-side.

To address these issues, encrypted connections must be optimized. This can be done by incorporating HTTP/2 and SPDY which reduce the connection overhead with clients by requiring only a single handshake for each session.

You can also adopt other techniques to solve the problem, such as the use of OpenSSL, Session Tickets, session caching, and so on.

4. Chatty Conversations

The problem of chatty conversations with the application server occurs when the client makes several requests to conduct a transaction on behalf of individual operations within the application.

Now that virtualization has been introduced, this allows you to develop a virtual version of the device or resource, like a storage device, the server, the network, or even the operating system.

It may be that the server team has configured the automatically migrated server image to a host that is lightly loaded due to virtualization. It may move the server image to another location so that it gets many milliseconds further away from the servers or disk storage system.

If you want to fix this issue, you have to look into the number of requests between systems where it is linked up with the network. It’s also a good idea to check out delays between the requests.

5. Faulty Library and Software Development Kit

An app developer may be very particular about ensuring best in class performance. However, there may be problems with the libraries and Software Development Kit (SDK) provided by the vendor that are out of the control of the developer.

You need to review the code of third-party libraries to see whether it contains errors or bugs. If the libraries are not monitored carefully, the application tends to become tardy.

A few examples of issues with third-party libraries that come to mind are:

  • Allowing images to be loaded into the app by using the Picasso and Glide libraries
  • Simplifying the communication process between different parts of the application by using the Eventbus library
  • Retrofit, an Android-based library that helps arrange the API calls in a project

Ensure that you’re using secure, stable, and reliable libraries that have a large community.

6. App is Overcrowded with Data

Well, this is no rocket science and can be easily identified and resolved. The app becomes overloaded with data and the outcome is that the app slows down. If too many servers are loaded, it consumes a lot of time. However, it is not a good idea to curtail your data and compromise the handy features of your app.

The simplest and undeniably the best solution to the problem is compressing data. Whether you have images, videos, graphics or audio content, if you compress the data it will make your app loading faster and you don’t have to mess with any of its features or functionality.

But you have to choose the appropriate compression standards according to the file size and content. If we talk about some of the common methods to compress or reduce the size of data, there are two options available. The first is the lossless method and the second is lossy compression.

  1. Lossless compression: In this method, the developer can restore the file to its original size and there is no loss of data when the file is not compressed. This type of data compression technique is used when reducing the size of text and spreadsheet documents.
  2. Lossy compression: In the second approach, you’re actually removing the data from the app, which is usually not really noticable. This data compression method is used to compress the size of video, audio, and graphic files.

7. Network Latency

The speed of the network can hugely affect the speed of your mobile application. If the network is slow, the app performance will also be slow. If an application is making a query to a non-existent primary DNS server and gets no reply, it will try the second DNS server — but this slows down the application speed.

In order to fix the problem, you have to check the network speed all the time and see when the app slows down.

Conclusion

Mobile apps are a great source with which to reach out to your targeted audience. But if they’re not performing up to the mark or they become slow, it needs to be addressed quickly. There are different reasons why your app loses out in the speed factor, so you have to identify the exact problem and solve it as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can to utilize the servicees of an experienced and highly reliable App Development Company that has expert developers that understand the trick of accelerating application speed to do the job :)

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