Tracking All the Oooops in Your Mobile App with Crittercism

April 15, 2013

With the mobile market growing every day, app performance monitoring is growing to become an increasingly important field. Mobile users become more and more demanding towards app quality and developers need proper tools to make sure their apps are fast and stable.

Since the very beginning, we’ve been using Flurry Analytics to measure audience reach, engagement, retention, conversions, revenue and other stats. Recently, we’ve also started using Crittercism, an app performance management solution which focus on providing crash reports and diagnostics.

A little bit of background: Crittercism was launched in 2011 and since then has grown to become a sophisticated error and app monitoring service. The company has recently closed $12M Round B investment from Google Ventures and other venture funds. Fueled with the interest towards this service, our CEO Pavel Bashmakov had a chance to meet with the Crittercism team in their cosy office in San Francisco where Crittercism engineers answered lots of our questions.

What’s really cool

We’ve used Crittercism’s service in a couple of our apps and are really pleased with the results. Here’s what we’ve liked in particular:

• First of all, integrating Crittercism’s SDK in an app is very fast and as easy as abc
• Crittercism provides the latest info about the crashes (within 1 or 2 minutes you have everything you need). It’s even more convenient that working with X-Code.
• You can use their libraries for free. You just register on the website, and you are in! There is also a set of more advanced features which you can purchase, but for the basic usage the free SDK is just fine.
• If you need to share crash reports info with your team, with a couple of clicks you can add all the members of your team to one group in Crittercism and they will receive the latest info on your product.
• What’s more, you receive all the latest updates via email. Crittercism is smart enough not to spam your inbox with lots of crash reports, and it diagnoses them and informs you properly about the main issues.
• Finally, we were very pleased with the Crittercism support. They proved to be very professional and sympathetic.

For years we’ve been using Flurry as the main stats collection tool in our apps. However, if you are looking for an instrument which would track and diagnose app crashes in particular, Crittercism is truly a great solution. It’s focused, simple and convenient to use. I definitely recommend to give it a try.
~ Sergey Kovalenko, Stanfy iOS Developer

Room for improvement

However, as any product Crittercism is not perfect. While using the service, we’ve noticed a couple of things:
• Crittercism is not that ‘friendly’ to other similar services integrated into the app with. For instance, when we have Crittercism and Flurry both integrated into the app, crashes are tracked only in one of them. Also, if you need to use the debugger, you need to turn off Crittercism.
• Even though Crittercism’s main focus is to track errors and crashes, it doesn’t track crashes related to memory or system signals.For example, it’s hard to understand where is the reason of stable SIG_KILL in your app, if you use only Crittercism.
• We’ve also noticed some problems in Crittercism’s diagnosis performance in the apps which include C++ code.

To sum up, Crittercism is developing really fast, as a service and as a company. They have big plans in expanding their team which would make their platform growth even faster. Good luck to Crittercism guys and we are really looking forward to the new features!