unitQ analysis: The state of mobile application product quality 2021-2022

Apr 29, 2022
By Lance Miles and David Kravets
unitQ analysis: The state of mobile application product quality 2021-2022

Harnessing unitQ proprietary algorithms and artificial intelligence, unitQ analyzed the reviews for more than a year’s worth of data on roughly 4,400 of the world’s top mobile applications listed on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Just like we do for our unitQ customers, we parsed this data to generate actionable insights into what users of those applications were saying about their applications. unitQ customers like Spotify, HelloFresh and Klarna harness this real-time feedback to take a measured, data-driven approach to their product quality efforts, fix issues faster, and leverage insights into roadmaps and product growth. 

Overall, this equates to an average unitQ Score of 75. Read how a unitQ Score is calculated. For the first quarter of 2022, the average score dropped 8% to a unitQ Score of 69. We discuss the significance of this drop farther down in this report.

Defining unitQ Score

unitQ Score is an organization’s product quality metric based on user feedback data gathered automatically in more than 70 languages from the most popular customer channels — including app stores and social media, and may also incorporate internal support and chatbot applications. unitQ Score is a performance indicator that represents the current state of an organization’s product health. Detecting, investigating, prioritizing and fixing issues identified by users increases unitQ Score, bolsters developer KPIs, enhances customer satisfaction and ratings in app stores, attracts new users and drives new revenue streams. 

unitQ Score is the modern, and more accurate way of analyzing customer satisfaction over NPS scoring. Higher unitQ Scores equal better products, and more satisfied customers. 

Interpreting a unitQ Score

95-100 Epic: Best in class product quality.  85-95 Good: Strong product quality, room for improvement.  70-85 Fair: Satisfactory product quality, lots of room for improvement. 0-70 Poor: Weak product quality, urgent improvement required.

In this report, you’ll find what we’ve learned about the state of product quality across different industries and quality trends from the most downloaded mobile apps from 2021 to present.

Top 25 mobile apps with highest product quality ranked by unitQ Score for 2021

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*Rankings are based on apps with more than 500,000 reviews on the iOS and/or Android platforms in 2021.

unitQ Scores Based on Top Industries for 2021

For our analysis, we calculated the average unitQ Score of 75 based on what users were saying in the reviews sections on the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store.

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Quality Issues From the Most Downloaded Apps of 2021

We ingested 121.52 million customer reviews over the period. Using the power of unitQ artificial intelligence, we detected more than 17.23 million “product quality issues.” These issues include app crashes, freezes, is slow, won’t install or launch, and you name it. This is discussed in more detail farther down this report. 

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Percent of Product Quality Issues Across All User Feedback for 2021

The data shows that 13% of all user feedback contained product quality issues. Learn more about the lifecycle of product quality issues, which are user complaints about their friction with a product.

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Average unitQ Score: Android Versus iOS for 2021

Of all the user feedback, the average unitQ Score for iOS was 61 based on reviews in the App Store. For Android, user feedback equated to an average unitQ Score of 78 based on reviews in the Google Play Store.

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Product Quality Breakdown by Android Versus iOS for 2021

There were 3.18 million product quality issues on iOS and 14.04 million on Android. Because Android is a larger platform, roughly 82% of the product quality issues were detected on that platform.

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Top Product Quality Issues unitQ Discovered for 2021

Product quality issues equate to bad user experiences. Detecting, investigating, prioritizing and fixing issues identified by users increases unitQ Score, bolsters developer KPIs, enhances customer satisfaction and ratings in app stores, attracts new users and drives new revenue streams. 

Top Quality Issues

Volume

1. Slow Performance

744,376

2. App Force Closing

579,328

3. Can’t Download or Install

369,209

4. Fails to Launch

361,835

5. Can’t Access App

263,741

6. App Freezing

256,505

7. Can’t Update

230,354

8. Crashes After Update

151,922

9. Can’t Play

141,482

10. Bad Experience

137,007

11. Cant Pass Level

134,703

12. Too Many Ads

118,885

13. Payment Required

86,163

14. Technical Difficulties Error

77,106

Top 5 Quality Issues by Industry for 2021

Many product quality issues are the same across a wide swath of industries. App crashes and latency and failure to load are complaints from users of virtually every application. However, some industries have unique product quality issues. For example, users of online dating apps complain that they have been wrongly blocked or suspended from the application. A complaint unique to music applications is that a song won’t play or the wrong song plays. When it comes to game applications, players voice concerns that they are not able to reach higher levels. Read on to understand the product quality issues of the top 10 industries we are monitoring.

Finance Quality Issues

  • App Fails to Launch

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • Can’t Transfer Funds

  • Cash Withdrawal Denied

  • Payment Failed or Rejected

Gaming Quality Issues

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • App Freezing

  • Can’t Pass Level

  • Stopped Working After Update

  • Too Many Ads

Music Quality Issues

  • Cutting Off or Music Stops Playing

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • Playlist Can’t Play or Load

  • Plays Another Song or Playlist

  • Search Not Working or No Results

Online Dating Quality Issues

  • Account Blocked or Suspended

  • Account Can’t Access

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • Can’t Download or Install

  • Slow Performance

Education Quality Issues

  • Account Can’t Access

  • Answers Missing

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • Can’t Download or Install 

  • Slow Performance

Social Networking Quality Issues

  • App Can’t Download or Install

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • Camera Not Working

  • Can’t Make Voice Call

  • Notification Not Delivered

Shopping & Retail Quality Issues

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • Delivery Date Keeps Changing

  • Delivery Not On Time

  • Sent to Wrong Address or Not Received

  • Slow Performance

Video Quality Issues

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • App Freezing

  • Can’t Download or Install

  • Not Playing On TV

  • Too Many Ads

Health & Fitness Quality Issues 

  • App Fails to Launch

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • App Freezing

  • Can’t Connect to Device

  • Steps Number Incorrect or Not Counted

Travel Quality Issues

  • App Fails to Launch

  • App Force Closing or Crashing

  • Can’t Download or Install

  • Trip Canceled for No Reason

  • Customer Support Unsatisfactory Behavior

Product Quality 2022 Findings

The unitQ Score average for the Q1 of 2022, as we noted earlier, was 69. This is compared to a 2021 average unitQ Score of 75. The difference between the two scores is due to a slight uptick in users complaining of product quality on a wide range of issues, including app crashes or freezes, too many ads, is slow, and fails to launch or install across iOS and Android devices. 

Note: Because our 2022 analysis only includes three months of data, we are not overly concerned at this moment that app quality across the board is on a path of decline. That said, when we perform our Q2 analysis, we will have a clearer picture of the path of app quality.

Conclusions

Organizations are throwing tremendous amounts of resources at building and maintaining their tech stacks. They maintain systems for auditing, for monitoring the security and the performance of applications, microsystems and infrastructure as a whole. However, there’s a goldmine of other data that organizations are not likely parsing in a holistic manner.

That data is the voice of the customer. It’s the best resource for identifying quality issues, bugs, and errors.

This data is the single source of truth of product quality. It’s live streaming every day in massive quantities — but it’s probably not streaming through an organization’s tech stack — unless they’re a unitQ customer.

unitQ is an AI-enabled platform that listens to signals from an organization’s user base. We’re arming organizations with real-time actionable insights to build a better customer experience both immediately and into the future to improve product, reduce churn, boost star ratings and build great experiences.

To learn more about our research findings or about unitQ, request a unitQ demo today.

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