Importance of Monitoring App Stability
In the dynamic world of app development, maintaining the stability of your app is of paramount importance. A stable app not only ensures a smooth user experience but also contributes to the overall success of the app in the competitive market.
Stability is a key factor that directly impacts user retention, engagement, and ultimately, the app’s reputation. Any instability or frequent crashes can lead to user frustration, resulting in negative reviews and a decrease in user base.
Role of Crash Reporting Tools in Maintaining App Reputation
Crash reporting tools play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the reputation of an app. These tools are like vigilant watchdogs, constantly monitoring the app’s performance and alerting developers about any crashes or errors. They provide critical data and analysis about the number of crashes, the devices most affected, and other relevant information.
This allows developers to identify and fix issues promptly, preventing potential damage to the app’s reputation. In essence, crash reporting tools help developers maintain a high-quality app that users can rely on.
The Challenge of Choosing the Right Crash Reporting Tool
Choosing the right crash reporting tool can be a daunting task. With a plethora of options available, each offering different features and capabilities, making an informed decision is not easy.
The choice of tool can significantly impact the efficiency of identifying and resolving crashes, and ultimately, the overall user experience of the app.
The Selection Process
Factors to Consider: Product Knowledge, KPIs, Restrictions, Budget
When selecting a crash reporting tool, there are several factors that developers need to consider. Understanding your product is the first step; knowing the specific needs and requirements of your app can guide you towards the right tool. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as crash frequency, user engagement, and retention rates can also influence the decision.
Other considerations include any restrictions that the app might have, such as compatibility with certain devices or operating systems, and of course, the budget allocated for the tool.
The Role of Reviews and Feedback from Other Developers
Reviews and feedback from other developers can be invaluable during the selection process. These can provide real-world insights into the performance and reliability of different tools, as well as their ease of use and integration.
Developers’ experiences can highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each tool, helping you make a more informed decision. Therefore, it’s beneficial to seek out and consider such feedback when choosing a crash reporting tool for your app.
Most Popular Crash Reporting SDKs
Introduction to Android SDKs Data Trends Report
In the ever-evolving landscape of mobile app development, staying updated with the latest trends is crucial. One such resource is the Android SDKs data trends report.
This comprehensive report provides insights into the trends and benchmarks from the mobile app industry, revealing valuable information about the variety and versatility of Software Development Kits (SDKs) and the choices app publishers make. It uncovers hidden gems about the most popular SDKs, their usage, and their impact on app performance and stability.
Overview of Crashlytics as the Most Popular Tool
Among the multitude of crash reporting tools available, Crashlytics stands out as the most popular choice in the mobile app ecosystem. Acquired by Twitter, Crashlytics has carved a niche for itself with its robust and efficient crash reporting capabilities.
According to the Android SDKs data trends report, Crashlytics is integrated into nearly 66.2% of all apps that use crash reporting tools, a testament to its widespread acceptance and reliability. This tool excels in providing real-time crash reporting, in-depth crash analysis, and exception tracking, among other features.
Crashlytics’ popularity can be attributed to its powerful yet lightweight nature, making it an ideal choice for developers aiming to maintain high app stability without compromising on performance. Its user-friendly design and easy setup process further contribute to its status as the go-to tool for crash reporting.
Review of Top Crash Reporting Tools
- Overview: Crashlytics, a tool acquired by Twitter, is a powerful yet lightweight crash reporting tool. It is one of the most popular tools available today, offered under Twitter’s Fabric umbrella-SDK.
- Pricing and Features: Crashlytics is free to use and offers real-time crash reporting, in-depth crash analysis, exception tracking, test life cycle monitoring, and beta app distribution. The integration with Crashlytics is now done by using Fabric SDK.
- Popular Apps Using Crashlytics: Some of the popular apps that use Crashlytics include Uber, Spotify, and Fruit Ninja.
- Developer Feedback: Developers appreciate its beautiful design and easy setup. However, they have noted that the level of staff communication and responses to emails is inconsistent.
- Overview: ACRA is an open-source crash reporting tool for Android apps. It organizes and posts your crashes in a Google doc.
- Pricing and Features: ACRA is free to use and offers easy setup, compatibility with all Android versions, and configurable user interaction.
- Popular Apps Using Acra: Apps like LinkedIn, Hotels.com, and Flickr use Acra.
- Developer Feedback: Developers find it easy to install and highly configurable. However, they have noted that it can sometimes be unstable and slow, and it consumes a large amount of disk space with no easy way to purge old records.
- Overview: New Relic focuses on performance, offering end-to-end performance monitoring for web and mobile apps. It is used by companies that look for richer data than just crash-related data.
- Pricing and Features: New Relic offers a free lite plan with data retained for only 24 hours, and various paid plans ranging from $75 to $999 per app. It provides performance breakdowns across each wireless network carrier, geographic locations, type of crash, devices, operating systems, operator networks, and more.
- Popular Apps Using New Relic: NY Times, ESPN, and SoundCloud use New Relic.
- Developer Feedback: Developers appreciate its ease of implementation and custom dashboard. However, they have noted its inability to get custom attributes on crash reports, difficult web UI navigation, lack of Android Studio plugin, and high cost.
Apteligent (Formerly Crittercism)
- Overview: Apteligent is a popular crash reporting tool that offers both service monitoring and error monitoring solutions.
- Pricing and Features: Apteligent offers a free light plan, a $150 JumpStart plan, and an Enterprise plan. It provides features like breadcrumbs, geolocation, trends, monitoring of both fatal and non-fatal errors, cloud service API monitoring, hybrid application support, and real-time crash monitoring.
- Popular Apps Using Apteligent: Snapchat, Netflix, and CNN use Apteligent.
- Developer Feedback: Developers find it easy to integrate and appreciate its efficient crash grouping algorithm. However, they have noted that the user interface is sometimes slow, app management is confusing, and paid plans are considered quite expensive.
- Overview: Instabug is an automatic crash reporting tool known for its debugging capabilities. It provides valuable metadata that assists with debugging a crash.
- Pricing and Features: Instabug offers plans ranging from $0 to $349 per month. It provides one dashboard for crashes and bugs, ability to group all related crashes together, and an automated symbols upload script.
- Popular Apps Using Instabug: Asana, Jamba Juice, and Dubsmash use Instabug.
- Developer Feedback: Developers find it easy to use and powerful for beta testing and reporting.F. HockeyApp
- Overview: HockeyApp is a Microsoft product that assists in distributing beta versions on Windows phones, Android, and iOS, collects live crash reports, analyzes test coverage, and recruits new testers.
- Pricing and Features: HockeyApp offers an initial free plan for 2 apps, and then charges between $10 to $500 per month. It provides a wide variety of search tools to help find the root of an app crash, full manual control, easy crash analysis, and easy integration with 3rd party bug tracking systems and development workflows systems.
- Popular Apps Using HockeyApp: Snapchat, Skype, and Angry Birds use HockeyApp.
- Developer Feedback: Developers appreciate its ease of use and distribution, quick upload of new versions, and seamless bug reporting. However, they have noted that the setup for the client is not optimized, user management is sometimes intuitive, and it can be quite expensive.
Firebase Crash Reporting
- Overview: Firebase Crash Reporting, announced at Google I/O 2016, is part of Google’s ‘All inclusive’ platform for app developers. It is still in beta and may undergo changes in the future.
- Pricing and Features: Firebase Crash Reporting offers a free light (SPARK) plan, a $25 Flame plan, and a Pay as you go (BLAZE) plan. It prioritizes crashes by frequency and impact, collects crashes that occur while the device is offline, and allows the developer to group an audience out of users that experienced crashes.
- Popular Apps Using Firebase Crash Reporting: Kill Shot Bravo, Love Collage, and HappyFresh use Firebase Crash Reporting.
- Developer Feedback: Developers appreciate its easy setup, grouping of users that experience crashes, and automatic collection of native crashes. However, they have noted that Google Play services must be implemented for Firebase to work, there is no way of changing resolved crash status to “resolved”, there are no crash notifications, new crashes appear slowly in the system, and you can’t search within the crashes.
Importance of A/B Testing for Crash Reporting SDKs
The Need to Try Multiple Tools
In the realm of crash reporting, one size does not fit all. Different tools offer different features, and what works best for one app may not be the optimal choice for another. Therefore, it’s essential to try out multiple tools to determine which one best suits your app’s specific needs. A/B testing allows you to compare the performance of different tools directly, providing valuable insights that can guide your final decision.
The Use of SDK Real Time Control for Testing
SDK Real Time Control is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance the A/B testing process. By allowing you to switch between different tools instantly in a production environment, SDK Real Time Control enables you to evaluate the performance of each tool under real-world conditions. This can help you identify the best tool more quickly and accurately, saving you valuable time and resources.
Each of the crash reporting tools reviewed in this article has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. While Crashlytics stands out for its popularity and robust features, tools like Acra and New Relic offer unique advantages such as open-source accessibility and comprehensive performance monitoring, respectively. On the other hand, tools like Firebase Crash Reporting are still in beta and may undergo changes in the future.
The experiences of other developers can provide invaluable insights when choosing a crash reporting tool. Therefore, if you have experience with any of the tools mentioned in this article, or with similar ones, we encourage you to share your feedback. Your experiences can help other developers make more informed decisions and ultimately create better apps.
The world of crash reporting is constantly evolving, with new tools and technologies emerging all the time. If you know of any other crash reporting SDKs that offer unique values, great pricing, or other noteworthy features, we invite you to share them with us. Your suggestions can help us keep this review up-to-date and comprehensive.
Additional Tools Encountered After Publication
- Overview: Ubertesters is not just a crash reporting tool, but a full bug reporting tool. In addition to crash reports, it provides full bug reports, edited screenshots, and full video recording of test sessions. It also offers managed and secured build distribution for both iOS and Android.
- Pricing and Features: Ubertesters offers a free plan for up to 5 members, with paid plans starting at $19/month for 6-10 members. It provides features like OTA build distribution, crash reports, bug submission tool, video recording tool, session tracking, real-time team and build management, test cases support, and integration with bug tracking systems.
- Popular Apps Using Ubertesters: Some of the apps that use Ubertesters include Thalamus, Hopster, and SNAPHUNT.