Deploy and test mobile features—from the server side.

Take a different path to feature flags, A/B testing and multivariate testing for mobile apps, utilizing the power of controlled release to deliver the latest and greatest to your customers without app store delays.

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Why Split?

Split lets anyone roll out features to a target group of customers across the full web stack: from deep in the backend to client-facing Javascript. Features can be rolled out to a small subset of users to gather feedback or measure performance, then rolled out to everyone or rolled back when bugs appear—with a click of a button. This methodology is called ‘controlled rollout’.

Learn more about Split’s controlled rollout platform.

"Split's controlled release capability provides us a non-disruptive and dynamic way to ship features for testing and deployment. More importantly, it provides the data we need to quickly iterate on our product features in an informed manner." Qingqing Ouyang, SVP Engineering

Bringing controlled rollout to mobile.

But what if you have a hybrid web-mobile or mobile-only stack? Controlled release is even more important. To illustrate this, consider what happens when a critical bug appears in a newly-released mobile feature: due to App Store approval delay, a fix can’t be delivered to customers in minutes; the minimum turnaround time is days. As customers keep experiencing app crashes, their trust erodes.

Controlled release can help you deliver a profoundly better customer experience, even on mobile, but it should meet the following criteria:

  • In a hybrid web-mobile world, a customer should be able to access a new feature whether using the web or mobile app. A lack of consistency in customer experience can lead to customer frustration.
  • Mobile apps are highly optimized for the resource constrained environment of a mobile device. Therefore, a controlled release solution should have no significant impact on the size or performance of your mobile app.

Controlling feature tests from the server side.

While Split provides per-language libraries (.Net, Java, Javascript, Node, PHP, Python, Ruby) on the web, for mobile we do not provide native Android or iOS libraries. Instead, we recommend that our customers wrap one of our server-side libraries in a small service - hosted on their infrastructure - that their mobile apps can query at startup for which features are to be turned on and which are to be turned off. Let’s call it the call home approach.

This approach has a number of advantages for our customers:

Uniform experience: across devices, versions and viewports.

First, it ensures a uniformity of experience between mobile and web. Since the web app can also query the same service, our customers can be confident that their customers will either see a feature on or off, regardless of how they access the product - via mobile or web. Thus, calling home is portable.

Update your platform without touching the app.

Second, Split is a core piece of our customers’ infrastructure that is always improving. By hosting Split on the server-side, our customers can confidently upgrade their server-side Split library, without having to worry about older, possibly conflicting, versions of Split being used in older mobile apps. Thus, calling home avoids versioning headaches.

No impact to file size.

Lastly, by hosting the library on server side, our customers need never worry about increasing the footprint of their mobile app by adding Split’s library. Thus, calling home is safe.

Join the teams going beyond feature flags with Split.