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.