The App Developer's Guide to Crash Analytics

When it comes to maximizing mobile app profitability, all of the feature tweaks in the world can’t overcome fundamental software quality problems. No matter how much a developer spends on user acquisition, engagement, or monetization, none of it matters if the app keeps crashing on user devices.

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Crashes Can Put Mobile Developer ROI at Risk

When mobile apps don’t work as intended, they’re not only failing to drive revenue as expected, they’re also churning out users at record rates. What’s more, frequent crashes kill mobile developers’ growth prospects. One too many crashes is just the thing to push an aggravated user into dropping a nuclear bomb on user acquisition by leaving a one-star review in the app store.

Bottom line, poor response to crashes can put mobile developer ROI at risk. Fortunately, mobile crash analytics can provide developers with an insurance policy against this risk.

Just as organizations use analytics to segment users and squeeze better profitability out of functionality, they can use mobile crash analytics to bolster their crash response times and ultimately improve user experience.

Art and Science of Mobile Crash Response

Finding crashes and their root causes—and doing it at scale—is no simple task.

In order to know whether or not their apps have crash-causing bugs in them, developers first need a mechanism to trigger alerts when users experience a crash. But beyond just knowing whether or not an app has crashed, the developer also needs enough diagnostic data to figure out the root cause of the bug and to fix it.

It’s a little bit like reading tea leaves—the more information about a crash instance that developers can get their hands on, the better picture they can form about the technical or code conditions that led to a crash. There’s both a science and an art to this tea reading process.

The developers need to be systematic and scientific about the kind of data they plan to collect in advance to support their future response efforts. But at the same time, sifting through that data in the heat of an incident takes a fair bit of artistry and craft to elegantly solve the problem.

Now, crash response is hardly a new field for developers; however, many of the longstanding tools available in the desktop world don’t work in the mobile environment.

Mobile crash analytics are different because the mobile OS has really constrained what an app can natively report back to developers for both security and performance reasons.

A lot of the crash reporting mechanisms developers can build into desktop software are not possible within a mobile app. Mobile OS crash logs only provide a very limited set of information about crashes, and may not even report back every kind of crash caused by an app.

And that can make the art of tea reading a whole lot harder for mobile developers.

Download the Full Guide to Learn the Following:

  • What Apple and Google’s mobile OS crash logs do and do not report
  • What mobile developers need to effectively parse crash reporting
  • Key functionality to add to mobile crash reporting framework
  • Managing mobile crash volumes
  • Getting the most out of mobile crash analytics
  • Keeping customer top-of-mind

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Flurry device crash rate chart

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