Studying the Perceived Quality Consistency of Cross-Platform Mobile Apps
In order to generate more revenue and reach more users, developers build cross- platform apps. To implement cross-platform apps, developers can either use multiple native development frameworks, or they can use hybrid development frameworks that generate cross-platform apps for each platform. Such hybrid apps are based on one single codebase. Hence, developers only need to implement and maintain one codebase and the hybrid development framework will then generate apps for each supported platform. Little is known about the consistency in the perceived quality of cross-platform apps. The majority of existing work on the consistency of cross-platform apps are from a developer’s perspective (e.g., the CPU utilization of cross-platform apps). Consistency in the perceived quality of cross-platform apps is reflected in star ratings and user reviews. Studies show that users rely heavily on star ratings and user reviews to determine the quality of apps. Good star ratings and user reviews of an app increase the number of downloads and eventually generate more revenue. The goal of this thesis is to understand the consistency in the perceived quality of cross-platform apps. In particular, we study the consistency in star ratings and user reviews of cross-platform native apps and cross-platform hybrid apps. We first study the consistency in star ratings and user reviews of cross-platform na- tive apps. We identify 19 native cross-platform apps from the set of the most popular apps in Android and iOS. We find that cross-platform native apps lack consistency in star ratings and user reviews. Users perceive the quality of the studied cross-platform native apps differently across platforms. For the same app, users complain differently across platforms. We then study the consistency in star ratings and user reviews of cross-platform hybrid apps. We identify 24 hybrid cross-platform apps from the set of most popular apps in Android and iOS. We find that cross-platform hybrid apps have better con- sistency in star ratings and user reviews. However, the improvement in consistency is small and developers should not rely on hybrid development frameworks to achieve consistency in star ratings and user reviews. We further analyze the releases of cross- platform hybrid apps. We find that releases consistency of cross-platform hybrid apps is still lacking. Hybrid development frameworks offer little help to developers who wish to keep a consistent release schedule across their supported platforms.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/15862
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