Crittercism is a Support Infrastructure for Mobile Apps

When mobile applications crash, it is critical for developers to be aware of the problem so that they are able to get to work on a remedy. Providing feedback, however, can be difficult for users, causing developers to miss out on important information. Crittercism has developed a solution that provides a vehicle for feedback as well as a wealth of additional information to help developers keep their apps running smoothly.

“We developed an SDK that developers drop in their app, and either as a tab or a button you select it [and] up comes our support form where a list of bugs, questions or ideas appear,” explains Andrew Levy, Co-founder and CEO of Crittercism. “You can see what the most popular questions are or what the biggest issues are that developers are working on. We’ve really found that most of the bad reviews in app stores are just support requests, so we’re helping you talk with the developer, and they can actually respond.”

The Crittercism dashboard is full of information for developers. It lists real-time crashes, provides charts that detail the percentage of users for each device that are experiencing a particular problem, and shows users that are loading your app.

“It’s not just about letting users submit their frustrations in the app,” says Levy. “It’s also about gathering the right data, the right diagnostics to help the developer really figure out what the problem is with the app.”

In case the problem lies not in the app itself but in the network, Crittercism also tracks problems with your network usage, Wi-Fi and 3G. Developers can leave breadcrumbs and ping Crittercism servers whenever there’s an issue, allowing them to identify which specific service is causing the problem. Crittercism is also adding support for better handling of background threats that don’t necessarily cause the app to crash but still cause problems.

“We’ve been built for mobile from the ground up…[and] there’s really no one presenting the package that we have,” explains Levy. “Not only are we gathering crash data, but we’re also gathering data that users submit—bugs or questions. We don’t see those as two distinct things. We want to, as much as possible, be able to match crash data with what users are reporting out in the field, and that’s really important to help you figure out what’s going on and then finally tell the users, ‘Hey, we fixed this issue.’”

Join our lively Google+ discussion about Crittercism to find out how the application is being used by others!

Reprinted with permission from Building 43.


Washington Post New Social Reader

Wow. I love this new “social reader” from the Washington Post.

Don Graham, chairman of the Washington Post company (damn smart guy who has seen a TON in the publishing world) and I talk about this.

We talk about porn, too. “I wouldn’t use this app for that,” he says.

Really interesting insights into why these IDENTITY ENGINES are going to change everything.

And if you think that Google won’t do this I have a nice bridge to sell you in San Francisco (Google is working on a new reader like this code-named “Propeller.”)

You gotta be on Facebook to try this out! Join our Google+ discussion to share your thoughts on the direction traditional media companies should take to guide themselves into the future.


Singboard Brings Karaoke to the Internet

Ray Chan, Co-Founder and CEO of Singboard, and his partners arrived at 500 Startups with an idea for a photo-sharing app. After initial feedback for the app was luke warm, however, things changed drastically. Based on the fact that, according to Chan, karaoke bars in the U.S. paled in comparison to their native Hong Kong, the team regrouped, came up with a new idea and Singboard was born.

“Basically, Singboard is where YouTube meets karaoke,” says Chan. “It is a much more improved experience of online karaoke…We will get all the latest and most popular music videos from YouTube, and we will overlay the lyrics on top of the videos, and the lyrics will provide a karaoke-like feature, so that you can sing along with it and enjoy a really good singing experience.”

Singboard’s technology streams different content at the same time, allowing you to turn off the vocals on a video and play just the music. You can choose from among the top 100 music videos on YouTube, and, because the service is on your computer as opposed to on a machine in a bar, you can stop, rewind and replay songs as often as you like. You can even record your own version of a song and share it with friends on Facebook or Twitter.

Singboard will likely be offered to users based on the freemium model, where you can play a certain number of songs for free but will have to pay a monthly subscription fee for unlimited access. The app is currently in private beta, but Chan says they are pleased with the initial response.

“So far the feedback is really positive,” says Chan. “People just want to have more songs so that they can find their favorite songs to sing.”

Are you a Karaoke junkie? Join our Google+ discussion to share your best stories.