Empirical Software Engineering

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 3088–3116 | Cite as

A study of the relation of mobile device attributes with the user-perceived quality of Android apps

  • Ehsan Noei
  • Mark D. Syer
  • Ying Zou
  • Ahmed E. Hassan
  • Iman Keivanloo
Article

Abstract

The number of mobile applications (apps) and mobile devices has increased considerably over the past few years. Online app markets, such as the Google Play Store, use a star-rating mechanism to quantify the user-perceived quality of mobile apps. Users may rate apps on a five point (star) scale where a five star-rating is the highest rating. Having considered the importance of a high star-rating to the success of an app, recent studies continue to explore the relationship between the app attributes, such as User Interface (UI) complexity, and the user-perceived quality. However, the user-perceived quality reflects the users’ experience using an app on a particular mobile device. Hence, the user-perceived quality of an app is not solely determined by app attributes. In this paper, we study the relation of both device attributes and app attributes with the user-perceived quality of Android apps from the Google Play Store. We study 20 device attributes, such as the CPU and the display size, and 13 app attributes, such as code size and UI complexity. Our study is based on data from 30 types of Android mobile devices and 280 Android apps. We use linear mixed effect models to identify the device attributes and app attributes with the strongest relationship with the user-perceived quality. We find that the code size has the strongest relationship with the user-perceived quality. However, some device attributes, such as the CPU, have stronger relationships with the user-perceived quality than some app attributes, such as the number of UI inputs and outputs of an app. Our work helps both device manufacturers and app developers. Manufacturers can focus on the attributes that have significant relationships with the user-perceived quality. Moreover, app developers should be careful about the devices for which they make their apps available because the device attributes have a strong relationship with the ratings that users give to apps.

Keywords

Mobile applications Software attributes Device attributes User-perceived quality 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ehsan Noei
    • 1
  • Mark D. Syer
    • 2
  • Ying Zou
    • 1
  • Ahmed E. Hassan
    • 2
  • Iman Keivanloo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.School of ComputingQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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