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11.5 General Guidelines

11.5.1 App size and performance

  1. Users are reluctant to install and use apps which are large in size as mobiles have limited storage. The app should be small to encourage installs and retentions.
  2. Applications may be used in areas where network connectivity is erratic or slow therefore the app should be able to perform bare minimum functionality in absence of network connectivity. The users should be appropriately informed.The app should use network in an efficient and optimized manner. Platform specific guidelines should be followed for network management.
  3. Users may not be able charge the mobile frequently hence apps with heavy battery usage are uninstalled immediately. Battery draining features may be avoided.

11.5.2 Testing

Before uploading the app on the play store it should be ensured that the app looks good on variety of screen sizes and the app runs on all popular versions of the target platform.

11.5.3 App Icons and other images

In order to make the app’s Play store listing compelling, unique app icon, attention-grabbing images, video of app in action and crisp short description may be used . Check the following links.

Android:
https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/launch/store-listing. html

iOS:
https://developer.apple.com/app-store/insights/

11.5.4 App Promotion

To increase awareness about the app follow the best practice at

Android:
https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/index.html

iOS:
https://developer.apple.com/app-store/marketing/guidelines/

11.5.5 User Feedback

User Feedback is an important source for suggestions and improvements. Hence keep a constant watch on app feedback and reviews at the platform specific stores.

Android:
https://support.google.com/googleplay/#topic=3364260

iOS: iTunes Connect

11.5.6 Minimum Content for the mobile applications

As it difficult to maneuver larges menus and complicated elements on a mobile screen due to limited screen size; the amount of information bundled with the app should be limited. This will ensure easy navigation and will also keep the size of the mobile app small. However the following should be are adhered to.

  1. Splash screen should clearly indicate the name of app, logo and Ministry/ Department Name and address.
  2. Using Logo, App Name etc on each page should be avoided so that due importance can be given to the app content.
  3. Clear instructions on using the app MUST be provided.
  4. An “about ” section in the app’s main navigation menu giving details about the version/build of the app and various other information such as contact information, ownership details, copyright notice, terms of use, privacy statement etc should be provided.

11.5.7 Security

Security lapses during the development of the mobile app may result in large scale sensitive data theft besides being embarrassing for the organization. Hence due importance must be given to the security audit of the mobile app and the backend APIs. Also developers should always keep in mind that the mobile device is liable to be easily misplaced/lost and the user may also use open networks where data can be easily compromised.

  1. Wherever possible sensitive information must not stored be on the mobile.
  2. App should be checked against the mobile app security

    https://www.owasp.org/images/1/1b/Mobile_App_Security_Checklist_0.9.3.xlsx
  3. Mobile app and APIs MUST be security audited by Cert-in empanelled vendors.
  4. Follow platform specific Security best practices.

    Android

    https://developer.android.com/training/articles/security-tips.html

    IOS: https://developer.apple.com/security/
  5. Only HTTPS must be used to access APIs

11.5.8 App Expiry

Due to increased visibility and ease of use mobile apps are launched for time bound events such as elections, examinations etc. Hence purpose and relevant timelines should be clearly indicated for the app. On completion of pre-decided timeline the app should be removed from the play-store. In addition to this the app should also be able to generate notification on the installed device informing the user about the end of the life cycle.

11.5.9 Data Capture for key elements

The data capture for key elements of the App Such as Aadhar, Voter-ID, PAN, Vehicle numbers, employee-id, beneficiary-id etc. may be read as QR CODE (2D Barcode) in order to eliminate typo errors and to provide service instantly. Care should be taken to implement the guideline form UIDAI whenever Aadhar number and e-KYC details are used.