What Developers and Consumers Want For Christmas: Bug Free Apps
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What Elements to Keep in Mind When Developing Bug Free Apps

Bug free apps give you users' attention: get the know how

app development published date 5th March, 2018 Alex Fishman

Bug Free App

You know the feeling. You open an app and it rudely dumps you to the home screen or worse, freezes and paralyzes your device, turning it into no more than a dumb brick in your hand.

Mobile bugs are a problem now more than ever: The average American spends more than five hours a day on their mobile device and 89% of the time they’re inside apps. As you know, if consumers meet with a poor user experience or app instability, they are unlikely to make a purchase or, heaven forbid, may abandon the app completely, never to return again.

An analysis of mobile app usage by eMarketer showed that as Americans’ in-app time goes up, the number of apps they’re using is slowly declining.

“In 2016, US smartphone users used an average of 21 apps per month on their smartphones,” according to the survey. “By the end of the forecasting period, that number is expected to drop to 20.1 apps.”

What does this mean? 

It means the pressure has never been stronger for mobile developers to keep their apps bug-free.

The rigorous testing and debugging required to keep an app in the coveted 20 most used apps bracket is enough for mobile developers to lose sleep. Without the proper tools, staring at a computer screen in night mode until the wee hours of the morning will only keep you wondering where to even begin testing.

Fortunately, there are a number of solutions that can save a sleigh-load of developers’ time when it comes to searching for and squashing bugs. As you evaluate which solution to use, consider the 5 keys below to effectively gather data on crashes and bugs. With the right bug reporting tool in place, you’ll be able to ensure a smooth in-app experience for consumers and help your developers get full sleep cycles this holiday season.  

5 keys to gather data and diagnose mobile app crashes and bugs

  1. Video screen capture of user activity – see things from the user’s eyes will allow you to view the exact steps that triggered the crash or the freeze. Actual footage is a heck of a lot easier to tell a story than a spreadsheet when explaining what happened to managers.
  2. Console logs – dive into the code to see exactly what went wrong. Console logs help you parse functions and variables on a line by line basis to make sure everything is working properly. 
  3. Network traffic visualization – monitor performance statistics from the incoming and outgoing HTTP and HTTPS requests. Chart visualization will help you quickly identify crippling load spikes.
  4. Crash call stack – retrieve the call stack to analyze the program execution sequence (the business logic of the application) and the state and values of the objects and variables alive at the time of the crash.
  5. Integrations – plug the assimilated crash data into your favorite software (Slack, Asana, BitBucket, Trello, et. al.) and shorten the bug fix lifecycle.

As you evaluate which tool to use, make sure you avoid these common pitfalls of bug reporting software:

  •  Slows UI and app performance down to a crawl. You don’t want something that creates more problems than it solves. Find something that is just one line of code and doesn’t increase the app size by over 300KB. Also, if the tool supports video recording make sure it’s not streaming the video, which would overwhelm the app’s data load. Video should be kept on local storage and take up no more than 4MB.
  • Isn’t secure. When collecting data from users in an app, it’s critical to not violate the user’s privacy. This can be especially tricky with live screen-capturing. The right bug reporting tool will obstruct any fields with sensitive information in the video recording. One way to check on this is to ensure the bug reporting tool passes all App Store certifications and uses only public APIs.
  • Wears down battery life. Try to find something that has a negligible impact on battery life. Your users will thank you.
     

As we enter 2018, users are even more sensitive to unstable and underperforming apps caused by bugs and dump crashes and it takes even more rigorous testing to launch a bug-free app. A bug reporting tool will help consumers have a smoother in-app experience and give developers more expedient resolutions and better QA processes that will help them get a solid eight hours of blissful shut-eye.

Let’s give everyone the gift of bug-free apps for Christmas. Cheers all around.

Alex Fishman

Alex Fishman

Alex Fishman is Co-Founder and CEO of Bugsee, the only bug reporting solution that continuously captures video of user interactions in live apps so that developers can see first-hand the actions that led to the bug or crash. Bugsee consistently ranks as the top bug reporting tool on Crashprobe.com and was named a Cool Vendor in Gartner's Cool Vendors in DevOps 2017 report.

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