There’s more to life than just crashes!

Mobile teams are singularly focused on crashes. Understandably so — they are the simplest to identify and diagnose. BUT crashes account for less than 1% of your issues! You still find errors and your users are still complaining.

With mobile apps, we are conditioned to think of all performance issues as ‘crashes’. That’s because a) there’s a tendency for users and business people alike to rush to the term ‘crash’ when it may not really apply, and b) there are limited tools on-par with their desktop counterparts for identifying and diagnosing mobile app performance issues.

So, even though the performance issue may deal with an inhibited experience (the app is taking so long time to load that it appears frozen), it’s treated like a crash. Ask yourself:
When you fix a crash, how often does it really impact the experience of any user?
How often is it in the background?
How often does it affect a small number of users who don’t contribute to the app or app community?
How often does a user just re-open the app anyway?

The truth is, most crashes are a fender-bender, but we treat them like 50 car pile-ups.

Instead of solving every issue, shouldn’t we be focused on solving the most important ones? If you are constantly distracted with minor performance issues that affect just a few low-value users, then you’re not spending time improving experience and heading off a serious error that could kill-off lots of high-value users.

The logic is the same whether you’re an engineer or a business person: focus on what matters and de-emphasize what doesn’t. This brings us right back to the need for mobile-first tools purpose-built to help engineers and their mobile teams quickly assess and resolve performance issues.

One of the unique things that Embrace does is let engineers stitch together user sessions. So, if the user experienced a crash, but then just immediately re-opened the app and all was fine, maybe it’s not worth solving that problem right now. We surface that data and visualize it so the engineer, product manager, or other member of the team can easily dig in and decide the appropriate course of action.

This ensures the most mission critical performance issues get the attention they deserve, relieves pain for engineers, and keeps users happy. And that’s what it’s all about.

We do what we do because we’re devs too

There are two categories of performance errors that engineers must worry about. The first are visceral issues: those that actually stop the experience altogether and abruptly. These include crashes, which are fairly easy to diagnose and stop, and things like memory issues, CPU pegging, and too many concurrent network calls, which are more difficult.

The second category deals with issues that inhibit the user and make them leave : a key moment taking too long, a spinner (of death) appearing, an error pop-up b/c of a broken purchase mechanism, a video not starting — things that impact an app’s ability to run fast or impede the user’s ability to interact with your app and perform the actions you intended. Outside of crashes, every one of these whether abrupt closes or frustrating experiences are tough to identify, diagnose and resolve quickly.

With desktop web, which is obviously a more mature ecosystem than mobile, engineers have a full complement of tools to manage every performance scenario from ‘The website crashed’ all the way to down to optimization (e.g. making a page load faster). So, when you do get a complaint for an experience-based performance issue that may or may not be code-based, like a page not loading quickly or a purchase mechanism failure, it’s fairly straightforward to identify, recreate and solve the problem. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with mobile.

The Embrace.io team cares deeply about this stuff because we’re developers too. We’ve felt your pain. That’s why we’re on a mission to eliminate the frustrations of building and running large-scale apps. No more duels with the Spinner of Death. No more time wasted trying to reproduce issues, or answer questions, that have nothing to do with your own code. We’re all about providing you the tools and data to move past the pain and get back to coding cool stuff. We’re rising to that challenge by creating a platform for mobile performance management as good, or even better, than what’s out there for desktop.

Why Embrace.io?

To put it simply, we love mobile.  Mobile is the center of our lives and will continue to be the center.  Three simple examples of why:

  • Apps: Over 80% of people prefer apps to mobile web experiences.  While web is here to stay, native is so much better for more utility, work, and social experiences.  We will have an app for everything and this won’t change;
  • IOT: How do you plan to control all those devices? Your phone is the definitive remote; and
  • VR: In 2 or 3 years, do you think you’ll be plugging that headset into a computer, or running it on its own? No, it’ll be plugged into your next gen phone.

While my team and I enjoyed building apps, we find it much more fun to work with a ton of developers.  Everyone loves giving advice and now it’s our full-time job. Not only that, but we back it with real data streaming from each mobile device.  

We know the specific user who had a spinner of death. We know when a marketing or advertising SDK is blowing up a segment of users. We know when a 3rd party network call for a purchase isn’t working . . .  we know a ton.  I wish I had this level of visibility when I built Dice With Buddies, instead of finding stuff out after the fact via complaints, lower retention curves, or banging on all the devices strewn across my desk.  

Nothing is more ‘fun’ than grabbing one of those phones, walking over to the lead mobile developer, and asking, “Why is the startup taking so damn long?!?”  Then they say, “Can you reproduce it?”, or “Can I plug your phone in?”, or “Wait a few days and I’ll see if I can dig into the log files or [MixPanel / Omniture / Flurry / <Insert ill-suited marketing analytics tool here>]”.  The answers to all three are far from ideal!

As a B2B company, our goal is to make customers love us.  While we’ve built an awesome platform and team to advise you, the mobile team and developer, we want you to ask us anything!  We’ve used every mobile tool on the market, we’ve mastered IAP and Ads, we know user acquisition, and LTV, and CPI calcs.   

We’re happy to be of service, make your lives easier, and your users happier! Just ask.