Performance Monitoring for Best-in-Breed Mobile Apps

My smartphone is now an indispensable part of me! I reckon any technology enthusiast or a business decision maker would say the same. We all know that the smartphone space has seen exponential growth in the last few years. Companies today are increasingly relying on the mobile medium; not only as a powerful way to engage customers, but also as a tool to address their day-to-day business needs. Why do you feel this paradigm shift happened? Well, I guess it’s a no-brainer for the matured mobile user! It’s just the realization that mobile apps can add significant value to the success of a business. Hence, everyone (from individuals to organizations) is striving to deliver more value by providing new and innovative mobile apps.

As mobile applications gain importance, application performance monitoring and its related tools are also passing through a phase of transformation. Today’s mobile teams are realizing that they can’t manage mobile apps with traditional web technologies. Mobile application performance monitoring tools are providing greater thrust towards application stability in the mobile app paradigm.

Application performance monitoring/crash analytics delivers a capability to provide insights about mobile apps to investigate concerns such as:

>    Is the OS update causing a problem?

>    Is the device or network causing problems?

>    Is the OS version and hardware causing issues?

>    App health and availability – Do they matter?

>    App improvement through performance boosting and code testing

This allows the application performance monitoring tools to enhance quality of mobile applications by providing detailed analysis on:

>    Crash Data

>    Crash Trends

>    Lines of code causing crash

>    MAU / DAU Tracking

>    Handled Exceptions

>    OS version & device using app

>    Error Monitoring – Diagnostics and Live Graphs

>    Network Monitoring –  Performance of outside cloud services and network conditions

Today’s application providers are integrating application performance monitoring tools to capture and analyze the application performance footprints more efficiently. Mobile application development that leverages application performance monitoring/crash analytics tools is now enabling the development of improved and stable apps. This impact is being realized by the increase in revenue through the apps.

The notable names, as per VisionMobile 2013, in the Application Performance Monitoring space include BugSense, Crittercism and TestFlight. All these companies have their own USPs, and provide their services across varied mobile platforms. The various mobile platforms supported by each of these vendors are listed below.

Though the mobile performance monitoring space is growing fast, the domain is still in its early stages of development. Many new ventures are coming up with their innovative solutions. Companies such as Google and Twitter are investing in these ventures to provide thrust to these much-needed application-monitoring solutions.

The first half of 2013 has seen a lot of venture funding and acquisitions; a few are listed below:

>    Crittercism received $12M from Google ventures, and more to help mobile developers monitor app, network performance – March-2013

>    Twitter scooped up its crash-reporting competitor Crashlytics in January 2013

>    Newcomers like Torbit and Bugsnag have been able to find traction almost from the get-go – 2013

>    Compuware launched free native mobile application performance monitoring service – April 2013

These recent developments in the mobile app space clearly indicate a major thrust in the field of mobile application performance monitoring tools. Though only a few companies have moved into the space to gain the first mover advantage, the area is certainly going to see lot of traction in the coming years. I would like to conclude by citing that the interest shown by both large as well as small companies, along with the increased funding, will certainly boost this fast-evolving  segment.

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