Fabric is Joining Google

by Rich Paret, VP of Engineering & GM of Fabric

When we launched Fabric in 2014, our goal was to provide the best tools to help developers create amazing apps. Since then, Fabric has evolved from a suite of tools for mobile developers to a powerful platform that helps entire teams build better apps, understand their users, and grow their business. In just two years, Fabric has grown to reach 2.5 billion active mobile devices, and Fabric's Crashlytics and Answers kits were recently recognized as the #1 SDKs for app stability and analytics. We are incredibly proud of the products we have built and grateful to this community of more than 580K passionate mobile developers.

Today we enter the next chapter for Fabric and are pleased to announce that we’ve signed an agreement for Fabric to be acquired by Google and for our team to join Google’s Developer Products Group, working with the Firebase team.

When we met the team at Google we quickly realized that our missions are the same - helping mobile teams build better apps, understand their users, and grow their businesses. Fabric and Firebase operate mobile platforms with unique strengths in the market today. We’re excited to combine these platforms together to make the best mobile developer platform in the world for app teams. Fabric customers: there’s no action you need to take in order to keep using these products. You can preview the new terms of use that will apply when the transaction is closed.*

We love our customers and are excited to continue to offer world-class developer products to all of you in this next chapter. Thank you all for being a part of this adventure with us! You can read more about today’s announcement on Google’s blog.

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*When the acquisition is complete, Google will begin providing Fabric, Crashlytics, Answers, and associated beta products under terms that you can preview here. During a transition period, Digits will continue to be maintained by Twitter under its existing terms. If you have any questions or need support for Digits, please ping the Twitter Community forums as usual. If you use any of the Answer’s Enhanced Features Set, such as Audience Insights reporting, those features will continue to be available to you leveraging Twitter data under our Enhanced Features Agreement found here. If you do not wish to continue receiving any of these services, you can stop using them or terminate your agreement before the acquisition is completed, as described in your current agreement with Twitter.

Fabric lands top spots for app analytics, stability, and monetization

by Annum Munir, Product Marketing Manager

Fabric is #1 for app analytics, stability, and monetization

About a year ago, we were thrilled that Fabric’s stability solution, Crashlytics, was ranked the #1 most implemented performance SDK by SourceDNA. Shortly afterwards, SourceDNA also named our analytics offering, Answers, the #1 most implemented mobile analytics SDK on iOS! Since then, we’ve rolled out new features like out-of-memory (OOM) reporting to extend stability coverage, activity segments to give you insight into user retention, and unveiled a growth dashboard to provide a real-time snapshot of app growth.

As 2016 comes to a close, we’re excited to share that Fabric has once again earned top honors in stability, app analytics, and now: monetization.

A few days ago, an up-and-coming mobile intelligence startup, MightySignal, released a report highlighting the most-used SDKs across millions of mobile apps. We were delighted and humbled to be recognized in the following categories for the top 200 free iOS apps:

  • Fabric’s Crashlytics is the #1 stability SDK
  • Fabric’s Answers is the #1 analytics SDK
  • Fabric’s MoPub kit is the #2 monetization SDK

With Fabric, we symbolicate over 1000 crashes per second to help customers identify, prioritize, and resolve stability issues that have the biggest impact on their app quality. Thank you for continuing to trust us to improve your app experience!

Last year, Fabric’s Answers was distilling data from 150 billion app sessions every month to help you understand your users. Now, we’re processing over 310 billion sessions every month

As we’ve scaled, we’ve loved hearing from our customers about how insights from Fabric’s dashboard helps them engage and retain users.

Time is precious as an indie dev, and Fabric gives me high level user metrics with no extra work on my part. Now I know when retention is a problem in my apps.


Finally, MightySignal’s data also shows that Fabric’s monetization solution is the second most widely implemented monetization SDK - trusted by many of the top 200 apps to turn their app into a thriving business.

We launched Fabric in 2014 as a suite of tools to help developers build the best apps. We’re excited to have grown to become the most trusted platform for app stability, analytics, and monetization in the world. In 2017, we’re looking forward to building and expanding on this platform to supercharge app development teams.


On a final note, we wanted to thank our customers for your incredible support and feedback. Every day, your passion, innovation, and hard work inspire us. Our mission is to make it easy to build apps, understand users, and grow your business - and we can’t wait to work with you to make Fabric even better in the New Year!


Check out MightySignal’s full report of the top SDKs here.

Building an energy-efficient analytics SDK for iOS

By Stephen Panaro, Software Engineer

The primary goal of any analytics SDK is to gather accurate data. Answers goes a step further by putting an equal focus on timeliness. Correct analytics are one thing, but tracking them in real-time is a super power. Is your latest release stable and well-adopted? Is your 24-hour sale driving more purchases? We’ll give you the answer immediately so you can take appropriate action. To deliver this real-time insight, we have to pay special attention to how we design Answers for iOS, tvOS, and macOS.

Low power as a feature

We could have built Answers to make a network request for every app event as it happens. This would have been the most timely SDK, but it would have also drained battery life. Or, we could have designed Answers to collect large batches of events and sacrifice all timeliness for great battery life. Instead, we took a balanced approach in between these two extremes. It has served Answers well, but we wanted to revisit our implementation to see how much better we could make it.

With Answers 1.3 for Apple platforms, we introduced several new power optimizations throughout the SDK. We prioritized application performance and user battery life while keeping latency as low as we could. In some cases, these optimizations produced significant power gains. This allowed us to have a large impact on battery life with a negligible aggregate impact on Answers’ latency. In the next section, we’ll walk through some of the improvements we made to enable these gains.

Limit networking

First, we turned our focus to Answers’ networking. Networking can have a substantial power impact, which made it a great place to look for optimizations. A simple way to reduce its impact is by limiting the number of requests you make. Answers has always done this by sending data in batches. For our latest release, we try even harder to ensure that app events that occur close in time to each other are sent in the same batch. This is most beneficial for heavy users of Answers Events, especially when events are logged in bursts. We also tuned our retry policy to help prevent us from making requests that are unlikely to succeed.

Background uploads

It’s impossible to talk about power-efficient networking without mentioning NSURLSession’s background uploading capability. We’ve used this capability for several years in crash reporting and seen really good power and reliability wins, so we wanted to bring those to Answers. Unfortunately, we found some issues with the background uploading API in iOS 10. Because of that, it is currently only suitable for extremely low volume networking. We hope to enable it in a future release when these issues have been addressed.

Low power mode

Next, we took advantage of NSProcessInfo’s lowPowerModeEnabled property, which notifies apps when a device enters low power mode. Introduced in iOS 9, this is a very strong indication that the user wants battery life to be maximized. When devices are in low power mode, Answers retries network requests less frequently. On macOS, we take similar action when thermal conditions are elevated. This is an easy way to further reduce our power impact, and is particularly effective when networking conditions are poor. We also have plans to expand our adoption of low power mode to other parts of the SDK.

Quality of service

In addition to the low power mode API, we also adopted two easy to use APIs to better inform the OS of the priority of Answers’ work. First, we made sure to set the qualityOfService property of our NSOperationQueues. This was a one-line change and makes sure that Answers always defers to your app’s needs. We also made extensive use of NSProcessInfo’s activity APIs to help the OS understand what we’re doing and how our work should be prioritized. As an added benefit, this makes it more obvious what Answers’ threads are doing if you happen to catch them in a debugger.

Optimized timers

Finally, we wanted to improve our usage of timers. Answers has always relied on timers because we have to make sure we periodically relay any events back to our system. In this release, we updated our timers to fire less frequently. We also now choose a timer’s tolerance value based on its duration to help the OS schedule work more efficiently. On macOS, we’ve adopted NSBackgroundActivityScheduler. This is similar to a timer but takes into account even more system conditions when scheduling work. We discovered this API while reading Apple’s Energy Efficiency guidelines, which has many other useful tips.

Same Answers, more battery

When we started to plan for Answers 1.3, we knew improving energy efficiency and satisfying Answers’ design goals would be challenging. Being accurate and being real-time are inherently power-hungry, but they’re essential to Answers so we were determined to find a solution.

We stepped back, took a holistic look at Answers and identified our best opportunities for improvement. Fortunately, there was a large overlap between the problems we wanted to solve and the problems that Apple supplies a solution for as a part of iOS. This was fantastic on two fronts: it let us write less code and in many cases, it unlocked optimizations that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

We’re thrilled with how this approach turned out and are even more excited to share these changes with you in the latest Answers release. We hope that this makes it easier for you to build the best apps with the lowest impact on your users’ battery.

If you’re interested in further reducing your app’s impact on battery life, we encourage you to incorporate these best practices into your development workflow. Most are simple to learn and implement and the more apps that adopt them, the greater impact they will have. Plus, no one wants their app to be at the top of the battery section as the worst offender in Settings!

Fabric October Update

By Brian Lynn, Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Halloween is a great time to munch on candy, carve pumpkins, and partake in other fall festivities. Over here at Fabric, we shipped some treats in October to keep you ghoulishly happy. Recap below!

Automate app testing to save more time

Beta testing is an important part of building an app users love - which is why it’s such a shame that the beta process is tedious and tiring. Although you can already use Beta by Crashlytics to simplify that process, imagine how much more time you’d save if you could also automate it in seconds! That’s why in October, we made it easy to supercharge Beta by Crashlytics with fastlane. Now, you can spend less time testing/releasing your app and more time building features that users love. See the integration in action here.

Track your onboarding performance in real-time

Your login funnel is one of your app’s most important conversion paths. New users want a simple onboarding flow so they can start using your app right away. That’s why on top of the fastlane integration, we also launched Digits' login funnels: a new real-time view into how many users begin the onboarding process, how many finish it, and where people fall out. This new level of granularity will show you the biggest drop-off points in your funnel so you can take action to fix them:

See the original announcement here!

Easily organize and find your in-app events

As users sign up or log in to your app, Answers Events lets you track their in-app actions and understand how they’re engaging with your app. In October, we made it even easier to organize and find these events/key performance indicators (KPIs) on your events dashboard. Now, you can scroll through your entire events list (instead of just the top 10) and sort it by name, frequency or category. Check it out on your latest dashboard.

Improve stability for your most valuable users

New users tend to abandon apps that are buggy, and returning users need your app to continue to be stable. That’s why in October, we also released crashes by activity segments — a new filter that shows you which stability issues are affecting new and active users. Want to know which crashes are causing new users to leave or which issues are blocking active users from completing key in-app actions? Hop over to your Crashlytics dashboard to find out:

Learn more from the original announcement.

Grow your revenue with engaging rewarded video ads

For those of you generating revenue with ads, we launched rewarded video ads on the MoPub Marketplace — a new way to monetize your app. Rewarded video ads allows you to offer users a meaningful reward (like in-game currency) in exchange for watching a video ad. This is a win-win because you can now encourage user engagement and earn revenue at the same time. More on this from the original announcement.

 

We hope you and your team find these features helpful. Here’s to another great month!

Fabric September Update

by Brian Lynn, Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Now that fall is here and school’s back in session, we’re studying up on how to make life easier for you and your app development team. This month, we released three new features to help you understand your users and strengthen your app quality:

Your key performance indicators — now available on the go

Many of you are already tracking Answers Events and your key performance indicators (KPIs) via your Fabric dashboard. Now, with the latest version of our Fabric iOS app, you can easily track those KPIs and monitor user actions even when you’re away from your desk. By combining these additional insights with your adoption and stability metrics (e.g., DAU, MAU), you’ll know exactly where to focus your app improvement efforts.

Get the latest update:

(Android coming soon!
Follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss it)



See the most critical issues across builds or by device/OS

To help you fix crashes even faster, we added a new build selector as well as device and OS filters to your Crashlytics dashboard. Now, you can easily find and prioritize issues that are affecting multiple builds and increase stability across the spectrum.

On top of the new build selector, you can even filter crashes by device or OS. Want to focus in on crashes happening on iPhone 7 or Android 7, or compare crashes on iOS 10 vs. iOS 9? These new filters make it easy to search, compare and address your app's stability.

See these in action on your Crashlytics dashboard!

New fastlane docs: automate your app releases

Earlier this month, we launched docs.fastlane.tools, our new docs website for fastlane. This new site will walk you through fastlane’s set-up process and show you how to streamline tedious work when releasing your app, like taking screenshots, beta distribution, code signing, and more. Check it out!

Sidenote: we’re also happy to share that fastlane has now surpassed 500 contributors on GitHub. We continue to be humbled by your support, and we can’t wait to keep moving fastlane forward!

Here’s our internal changelog:

Fabric

  • iOS

    • Update upload-symbols for macOS Sierra compatibility

    • Warn on projects built for ≤ iOS 6 and ≤ macOS 10.7 that Fabric compatibility with those version is deprecated

  • Android

    • Update the Fabric dependency to update Crashlytics Core

Crashlytics

  • Android

    • Improved support for Android M & N

    • Facilitated improved NDK support on Android M & N

    • Updated Crashlytics Core dependency

    • Fixed issue which prevented sending crash reports in the rare case battery level info is not available

Answers

  • Android

    • Fixed a bug that caused Answers to undercount the number of Daily New Users Daily New Users count may be temporarily higher when you first launch a version of your app with this SDK

    • Updated Answers dependency

Digits

  • Android

    • Fixed error inflating StateButton when requesting email

    • Introduced new logger events to obtain errors while submitting phone number or confirmation code

Twitter Kit

  • Android

    • Bump dependencies

    • Added translations

    • Removed pseudo locales from translations

    • Updated proguard rules for Okhttp3 and Retrofit2

    • Removed pseudo locales from translations

    • Moved TwitterCollection from internal package to models

    • Minor bug fixes

    • Removed pseudo locales from translations

MoPub