Faster crash analysis for mobile apps

Dynatrace extends its Real User Monitoring capabilities to enhance mobile-app user experience with easier and faster crash analytics.

Mobile app crashes are among the most impactful events that users can experience on their mobile devices. They have a powerful negative effect on customer experience. Avoiding mobile app crashes isn’t always possible because certain conditions can’t easily be anticipated. Bugs happen—so you need to be prepared to deal with crashes that pose risks to your business.

To be ready to deal with crashes, you need a monitoring solution that alerts you to critical events, provides you with an overview of crash events, and enables you to quickly resolve issues that contribute to crashes.

There are two phases to getting mobile crashes under control:

  • Finding the relevant crashes
  • Figuring out how to fix those crashes

Dynatrace has made both of these efforts much easier.

Working effectively with speed and accuracy

You want to focus on crashes that matter. It’s better to invest time and effort into developing new features than into fixing issues that will only marginally improve your users’ experience. Our update to Dynatrace mobile crash monitoring supports your effectiveness in analyzing mobile crashes with speed and accuracy.

Instantaneous crash analysis

We’ve revamped how Dynatrace stores the details of crashes. This makes crash analysis pages so responsive that they’re nearly instantaneous—no waiting involved. And we’re talking about accessing the details of so many crashes, that even our most demanding customers like international banking institutes, global car manufacturers, multi-national retail chains or world-spanning recreational networks can cover the timeframes that matter to their businesses.

You might think that this enhancement is valuable simply because it saves you valuable seconds which would otherwise be lost to waiting for crash details to load, but there’s more. The improved response time of the UI has changed the game, because it allows you stay in context. The elements don’t reload; instead they change, allowing you to stay focused and follow the changes, which, in turn, enables you to narrow down the root cause of a crash group in a constant flow.

Make decisions based on impact to users

The impact of a crash on your users is more important than how often a crash occurs. Dynatrace now immediately shows you the size of the user group that is impacted by the incident in the Affected users column. In addition, you can go to the list of user sessions involved in the crash to continue your investigation into impact and root cause directly from the crash group.

Crashes in Elastic--crash analysis by user group

See all the details

As an app developer, you need solid information to make sound judgements. That’s why we also improved the information density of the crash analysis pages. You’ll now find breakdowns for all relevant properties right on top of the crash-group page so that you can see patterns at a glance.

Elastic Crash group--breakdowns for all relevant properties on the crash-group page

This allows you to quickly see if there’s a specific hardware configuration or software version in your customer group that is affected or if the problem affects all your users. This enables you to assess crash impact, and it’s the first step towards finding the root cause.

Right below the overall breakdowns, you can step through the individual crash occurrences. Via tabs you can access the stack trace, which in many cases contains the most relevant information for fixing the problem, detailed device information, and the related user session.

See what your users see

The user-session view is very powerful. Crash stack traces are vital to finding the right place in your code to look for the cause of a crash—typically this is nothing more than the state of the app at the time of the crash and the user actions that occurred right before the crash.

In the Dynatrace web UI, there are two ways to investigate this:

  • In the user session analysis, which lists all user actions and session properties in tabular format and allows you to drill into web requests and PurePath traces.
  • With Session Replay, which gives you a view of what the user was doing and seeing right before the crash occurred. See the example below.

Session Replay for mobile

Find out more about Session Replay for iOS in Dania Grave de Peralta’s blog post Understand and replay iOS app crashes with Session Replay and look out for Session Replay for Android later this year.

What’s next

Dynatrace continues to work hard to make error and performance monitoring of mobile apps faster and more intuitive. Expect to see new UI pages and elements that will allow you to link errors more easily with user actions and sessions. Also, get ready for Session Replay for Android, which is currently in Preview with a small group of customers, to extend root cause analysis quickly via PurePath visualization of all your users.

To benefit from the latest improvements, always remember to keep OneAgent for Mobile up to date.

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