If you’re developing apps for Android, you know how complex designing for the ecosystem can be. While it’s great that there’s a versatile OS capable of taking on so many hardware builds because of what it does to meet a variety of needs in different ways, it also creates a lot of surprises for the developers working in the ecosystem. Google does a lot to support you there, but if you really want to get granular data you can use to track down bugs that are specific to certain combinations of OS versions and hardware, you need a more powerful tool. That’s where Android crash reporting suites come in. They give you the chance to collect, collate, and compare more detailed versions of your crash reports, so you can build a better product.
Finding the Right Crash Reporting Tool
There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to collecting data about mobile app bugs, but they are not all created equally. You need something that won’t slow down the app and sideline the user experience, but that also works as a labor saver for your team. At the same time, you need detailed reports that you can easily glean insights from, and that means having the ability to get real-time data that you can easily spot trends in. The user experience is really important in this equation, too, because additions to your software have the potential to pull extra system resources and slow things down. Unfortunately, in the mobile app marketplace, that often translates to fast, negative responses through the channels most users find convenient. To avoid bad reviews and negative word of mouth, your tools need to work cleanly, so you can keep your updates rolling out whenever you see users experiencing issues.
Permissions and Crash Reporting
One big concern that many developers and users share is unnecessary device access. To that end, many apps are now trying to minimize the phone features they need to access, to appeal to consumers who are more and more conscientious about their data. Even Google itself is considering new rules around disclosures for add-ons like crash reporting that glean data from devices. To that end, your best choice for reporting software will be one that minimizes its footprint in terms of device access permissions. The good news? A lot of the more effortless, low impact tools out there also boast a small resource footprint, so there’s a good chance that the most efficient reporting tools will also minimize the number of permissions they need to what’s really essential. After all, the more unnecessary data your system deals with, the more noise you get in the data.
Release Health Monitoring
Last but most definitely not least, you’ll want to find a tool that can track your crash reports by the version with some kind of release health monitoring. This makes it easier to see when your bug fixes have unpredictable ripple effects, and it’s also a huge help when you are supporting versions of the program that are built for different versions of Android. As more and more people find ways to get extra years out of their mobile devices, the number of Android versions in use is growing from year to year, and the simpler you can make your version tracking and trend spotting, the better.
If you’re looking at porting the Android apps you build into other ecosystems like iOS or Windows 10, crash reporting becomes even more important, because not every OS allows you to collect crash data of any kind without an external plug-in for the purpose, and also because even if they did, it would splinter your attention to use a group of native tools instead of one centralized tracker that shows you everything you need to know at a glance.