In a competitive app market, users have no patience with app crashes. In fact, crashes are the leading cause of app uninstalls. Why stick with an app that has problems when there are thousands of better alternatives?
Let’s begin by identifying some common symptoms of app errors and crashes:
- black screen
- empty screen
- slow response to user input
- unexpected restarting
When your app crashes, you want to know about it. And even more importantly, there are some crucial questions that need to be answered:
- Why did the app suddenly close?
- Where did the error occur in the code?
- What is the path that users took when the crash occurred?
- Can the error be reproduced by following these same actions?
- What device and OS was the app running on?
- How many users were affected by this same type of crash?
Error and crash reporting tools provide answers to these questions.
What Are Error and Crash Reporting Tools?
Error and crash reporting tools help identify and diagnose the root cause of a crash so you can find the right solution for it. The problems can be simple or complex.
Error and crash reporting tools:
- gather crash data on devices that are running your app
- generate crash reports that describe what went wrong and identify the possible cause of crashes
- identify the environment or device where the crash occurred
Think of crash reports as evidence that points to the exact place where the app crash happened. They show patterns that help you identify or trace the path taken by the user when the app crashed so you can reproduce the crash and resolve the problems.
The causes of a crash can be in the foreground or background.
Some typical causes of crashes in iOS include:
- Swift runtime error
- missing frameworks
- memory access issues
Some common causes of crashes on Android apps include:
- null values or empty strings
- invalid arguments to an API
- complex multithreaded interactions
As you have no doubt experienced in your development career, some of these causes can be very subtle and hard to uncover.
Benefits of Error and Crash Reporting Tools
An error and crash reporting tool helps you test and identify problems before your app is released. And it helps you monitor the reliability of your app in the wild, in real time.
- keep high ratings for your apps on the App Store or Play Store
- increased user retention rates
- increased user engagement
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best error and crash reporting tools:
The Best Error and Crash Reporting Tools
This tool from Raygun digs deeper into the root causes of errors and crashes and gives you reports that pinpoint where, when, and how the crash happened — including the exact line of code. Some of the data they provide will include:
- full stack trace
- operating system
- and more
You can even narrow crash data down to the individual user level.
Raygun Error Monitoring and Crash Reporting software monitors deployments in real time so you can find errors before your customers do. By integrating Raygun with GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab you can follow errors from Raygun directly to your source-code repository.
Raygun integrates with Slack, Jira, Asana, and Zendesk, allowing you to create an efficient workflow for detecting errors, receiving error and crash alerts, assigning these to team members, and resolving them fast.
Crashlytics is an integral part of the Google Firebase platforms. It monitors and reports errors and crashes in real time for iOS and Android applications.
It gives you detailed and insightful reports so you can zero in on the root cause of crashes and allow you to create events leading to the crash. You can configure it to give you errors and alerts in real time so you can prioritize and solve problems in a proactive way instead of reacting.
You can make Crashlytics part of your team workflow by integrating it with communication and project management tools like Slack, Jira, and more.
Bugsnag is an open-source, real-time error monitoring and reporting tool for mobile, web, and back-end applications. It supports over 50 platforms including React, Vue, Angular, Ember, and more.
It gives you detailed reports that show the exact line of code that crashed and prioritizes errors that need to be fixed urgently. You can connect it directly to source code repositories to help fix problems faster.
The error reports are customizable. They show the exact environment where the error occurred like mobile, browser, or back-end. They also capture events and actions that allow you to reproduce the crash.
In addition to creating your own customized error alerts, you can integrate Bugsnag with your workflow tools like Slack, GitHub, Jira, Asana, and Bugzilla.
It provides detailed reports that help you keep on top of crashes and even narrow them down to the individual level. The reports are grouped in a way that allows you to investigate and discover the root cause of crashes by filtering all the relevant data Countly provides.
For fast and swift debugging, you can add custom metadata to your crash reports.
Finally, to give you a full picture of crashes, Countly integrates smoothly with other tools. These include Simbolication and Jira.
The app market is very competitive. It is important to start on the right foot with applications that are healthy and error-free.
In order to make sure that the user experience is always positive, you will need error and crash reporting tools that help you spot problems so you can fix them quickly.
The tools we have described in this post will help you discover and fix problems quickly in order to avoid losing users or destroying the reputation of your app.