Filter crashes by activity segments: improve stability for your most valuable users

by Jason St. Pierre, Product Manager

Here’s the conundrum mobile app teams face: all apps crash, but it’s impossible to fix every single stability issue. In a world with limited time and resources, the million dollar question is – which crashes should you tackle first? Our mission is to help you identify and prioritize issues that have the biggest impact on your app quality.

Since launch, Crashlytics has given you visibility into the downstream effects crashes have on your business by highlighting their severity and prevalence. Today, we’re unveiling an additional lens to show you how stability varies among different user activity segments.

Want to know which crashes are preventing new users from turning into loyal, engaged ones? Want to resolve crashes that are blocking active users from completing key in-app actions? The combined power of Crashlytics and activity segments will show you which crashes are affecting your most valuable users.

Deliver a fantastic new user experience

New users have low tolerance for buggy apps – and a glitchy session can deter them from ever coming back. In fact, 1 out of 4 mobile apps are abandoned after just one use and one of the top reasons for abandonment is technical flaws. Crashlytics will help you make a great first impression by isolating stability issues impacting new users so you can fix them, fast. To see these issues, just select “New Users” on the User Activity tab on your dashboard:

Keep active users happy and engaged

You can also use this filter to improve stability for people that interact with your app on a daily basis. By clicking on “Active Users” or “Highly Active Users," you’ll be able to see which crashes are affecting your most engaged users. These people love your app and keep coming back to it, so reward them with a stellar, stable experience!

Make smarter stability decisions

Crashes by activity segments combines the power of crash reporting with user engagement to surface issues affecting your most valuable users. Now, you’ll be able to see if certain issues are especially prevalent in a specific segment and better prioritize your time.

To see it in action, just hop over to the Crashlytics dashboard and give it a try. We can’t wait to hear what you think!

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Supercharge Beta by Crashlytics with fastlane: automate app testing to save more time

By Hemal Shah, Product Manager

Supercharge beta by Crashlytics with fastlane

Feedback that comes early and often is the best way to improve your app experience. Your users are your greatest source of learning (what can I do better?) and inspiration (what should I build next?), which is why it’s such a shame that beta testing is a tedious, tiring, and hair-pulling process.

We built Beta by Crashlytics to fix this by making it easy and straightforward to distribute beta builds to your users. Simplified beta distribution is awesome, but imagine how much more time you’d save if you could also automate it in seconds. Now, all iOS apps using Beta by Crashlytics can harness the power of fastlane to automate beta deployment with a simple, guided setup process!

 

Less tedious work, more time to innovate

A successful beta release involves a lot of steps – you have to bump version numbers, compile the build, append the release notes, distribute it to your testers, alert your team that a build went out, and the list goes on and on. And if that wasn’t enough, sometimes only one person knows how to distribute a beta build, which means you’re tied to their schedule and there is a bottleneck for delivering value to your app users.

Beta by Crashlytics takes the pain out of this process and makes it intuitive and efficient. By installing fastlane, an award-winning mobile deployment toolset, you can automate the tedious tasks that slow down your app development. Say “goodbye” to manual work and spend more time innovating, while still getting a healthy stream of user feedback.

Beta distribution takes only seconds using fastlane:

Beta distribution with fastlane

 

Instant access to all the power and benefits of fastlane

As an added bonus, with fastlane, you’ll also unlock new tools to help you customize your build process and effortlessly release your app to the App Store. Plus, fastlane is fully extensible so you can create and consume actions that automate all aspects of your mobile development – whether it’s working with Git, posting to Slack, etc. – there are 170 built-in actions and 50 third-party plugins to choose from!

Here’s an example of fastlane’s extensibility: We noticed that developers are increasingly forced to use multiple beta distribution services to address different needs. With fastlane, you can use the same process to automate beta deployment to Beta by Crashlytics and stage your build on iTunes Connect. fastlane integrates with the services you already use and love, so everything will still work exactly as you designed it – it’ll just be light years faster and you’ll have more flexibility and control.


lane :beta do
 increment_build_number
 gym                  # Build your app
 testflight           # Upload to TestFlight
end

lane :appstore do
 snapshot             # Generate screenshots for the App Store
 gym                  # Build your app
 deliver              # Upload the screenshots and the binary to iTunes
 slack                # Let your team-mates know the new version is live
end

 

The fastest set-up process, ever

We know that one of the biggest hesitations to adopting a new tool, no matter how incredible it looks, is the fear of a terrible and time-consuming onboarding experience. Nobody wants to spend days connecting everything and making sure it’s set up properly. That’s why we worked hard to make it easy as pie to enhance Beta by Crashlytics with fastlane. This will be the smoothest onboarding process you’ve ever seen.

Want to see for yourself? All you need to do is open up the Fabric Mac app and click on the “fastlane” tab in the top menu. Then, click the “Automate your beta” link and we’ll use existing information about your app to auto-generate your single instruction file (called a Fastfile). From there, just build your app and you’re good to go.

You can even use the same Fastfile to automate taking screenshots and deploying to app stores. And once fastlane is setup, everyone on your team can use it out of the box (no extra knowledge transfer needed!) and it seamlessly works with your CI server.

fastlane + beta onboarding process

 

A better beta experience awaits

User feedback can reveal app issues and opportunities that even the most astute development team may miss – it is the key to meaningful iteration. We care about your success, which is why we invested time and resources to drastically improve the beta testing process. With the combined power of Beta by Crashlytics and fastlane, you can get all the feedback you need in a fraction of the time and effort. And it only takes a few seconds to save precious hours. Upgrade to fastlane today and let us know what you’re building with all of your extra time!

For more information about doing beta deployment through fastlane, check out our quick setup guide.

Introducing OOM reporting: a new dimension to app quality

by Sean Curran, Software Engineer

Stability issues can derail the success of even the best apps – glitchy software repels people. We know that app quality is one of your top priorities and crashes are your worst nightmare, which is why Crashlytics will always alert you when issues arise. We’ll even help you pinpoint their root cause so you can fix issues fast – we’ve got your back!

Today, we’re extending our crash coverage to include out-of-memory (OOM) reporting on iOS. Now, you can see stability from a whole new angle by understanding the impact OOM events have on your app experience.

What’s an OOM event and when does it occur?

Unexpected app terminations degrade your app experience and interrupt your user’s session. One type of app termination you’re probably familiar with is crashes, but there’s another unexpected termination that warrants your attention called an OOM event.

An OOM event is an app termination that occurs when a mobile device runs out of memory. All apps need memory to work, but there is only a finite amount available on each device. When an app needs more memory and there isn’t any available, the operating system terminates the app session. To your users, this looks like any other crash, however in reality, this is an OOM event.

Our approach to solving a hard problem: intelligent heuristics

OOM events are difficult to report because iOS doesn’t provide any direct mechanism to detect them and they can be caused by factors beyond your app environment and control, such as your app’s memory usage. But because of how important it is to understand your rate of OOM events, we took on this challenge and added OOM reporting to Crashlytics for iOS devices.

Here’s how it works: When you enable the Crashlytics and Answers Kits available on Fabric, we get a stream of live data about your app’s performance. Then, we apply a server-side process of elimination to this data stream to detect OOM events in your app. This detection is based on an intelligent heuristic, inspired by the work of two talented engineers. In other words, we analyze your app’s event stream to come up with an explanation of why it terminated and if we can’t match it up it to a known reason for termination, we count it as an OOM event. And, since no changes to the Answers SDK were required, you will automatically get OOM reporting without needing to do any work (as long as you have both Crashlytics and Answers installed).

This is an example of how your app analytics and stability kits can work together to unlock powerful new insight – something neither kit could do alone.

At Pinterest, we're shipping iOS app updates every two weeks to millions of people. Using the new OOM insights, we've been able to track our memory optimizations and have confidence in the stability of each release.

- Scott Goodson, Head of Core Experience


New line of sight into the impact of OOM events on app quality

Our new OOM reporting dashboard will help you understand if OOM events are a problem for your app. Now, you’ll be able to see the overall percentage of app sessions that were unaffected by OOM events across your builds. You can even drill down and see the percentage of OOM-free sessions for individual builds. This will help you answer important questions like, “Is my app being terminated more on one build than another?” and “Is my app seeing more or less OOM-free sessions over the last week?”

We’ll also give you a sortable, daily device breakdown so you can compare the raw OOM counts and the percent of OOM-free sessions across different iOS devices. Once you know which iOS device experiences the most OOM events, you can better triage and spend your time investigating problems on your most used devices. After you roll out a fix, you can monitor the number of OOM events on that device to see if your solution helped reduce them. You may even learn that there are some low-end devices that you simply can’t support.

This additional information paints a clearer picture of your app stability across devices and provides clues for troubleshooting.

Finally, we’ll show you the total number (i.e., the raw counts) of OOM events across all of your builds versus your top three builds. Use this graph to understand the prevalence and magnitude of OOM events.

Don’t let OOM events crash your app party 🎉

Our mission is to ensure that there are no more sad, unstable apps. By adding OOM reporting into Crashlytics, we’re giving you even more insight into the quality of your app. Don’t be blindsided by OOM issues that disrupt your users’ app experiences (and maybe even cause them to flee!). Monitor your OOM-free sessions, promptly identify when OOM events become a problem, and get valuable direction on where to start your troubleshooting by going to the OOMs page from your Crashlytics dashboard. Check it out and let us know what you think!

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Introducing enhanced dSYM tools: stay on top of stability

by Jason St. Pierre, Product Manager

Missing crashes is frustrating, but not knowing the cause is even worse. App users have low tolerance for buggy apps, which is why stable apps retain more engaged users.

When we launched Crashlytics four years ago, we set out to solve the problem of mobile crash reporting through an easy to use, automated experience. We invested in tools that automated the dSYMs upload process for iOS apps, so you never had to worry about missing a crash.

As the mobile ecosystem evolves, there are complex situations (i.e., Bitcode support or the use of dynamic libraries) that can prevent us from locating the right dSYM to symbolicate your crashes. That's why today, we're excited to unveil our new command line dSYM uploader. Now, you'll never miss a crash report and you'll also have more transparency and the highest quality crash data — even in the most complex situations!

Real-time alerts when crashes can’t be processed

It isn’t always obvious when you’re impacted by a symbolication issue. Now, any crash that is missing a dSYM will immediately prompt a banner alert in your Crashlytics dashboard. We’ll even show you the aggregate number of unsymbolicated crashes and the UUIDs of the missing dSYMs, meaning you’ll never waste time guessing which ones to upload.

More control over dSYM uploads

dSYMs are essential for crash reporting because they allow us to group crashes into larger issues, isolate the root cause of the error, and provide context around its severity. We continue to invest in flexible, yet powerful tools, that help you automate this process since we know how critical the retrieval and submission of dSYMs is to your stability insight.

That’s why we built upload-symbols, a command line tool, written in Swift, that ships within the Fabric Mac app and our Fabric CocoaPod. It’s incredibly scripting-friendly - give it a try yourself!

Automate with fastlane and skip iTunes connect

When you submit iOS apps to the App Store with Bitcode enabled, your app gets recompiled on Apple’s servers. This means Crashlytics doesn’t have access to the debug information it needs to symbolicate your crashes. Luckily, you do, via a dSYM download facility in Xcode.

Instead of manually downloading these files from Xcode and submitting them to Crashlytics, you can use fastlane to automate this tedious process after every release.

Learn more about how to save time by setting up fastlane automation.

Generous crash reprocessing window for peace of mind

Don’t have time to upload missing dSYMs right away? No problem. We know you’re busy so we’ll hold onto unprocessed crash reports for seven days. Once we receive the missing dSYMs, we’ll process the unsymbolicated crashes. Rest assured, you won’t lose any of the information you need to solve the most critical issues.

Highest crash reporting quality

We built our dSYM uploader to stay ahead of the curve. Even though managing debug symbols is getting more complicated, we’ve got you covered with our new Crashlytics updates.

In addition to increased transparency on the number of unsymbolicated crashes and missing dSYMs, we’re now giving you more control over uploading them. And with the power of fastlane, we’ve made the dSYM management as smooth and hassle-free as possible for developers that take advantage of Bitcode. Best of all, our seven-day crash reprocessing window means you don’t need to drop what you’re doing to find a missing dSYM - you have time to retrieve them without risking crash data loss.

Try our new dSYM uploader to get even more insight into your crashes and become the master of your app’s stability. If you have more ideas for how we can make dSYM processing even better, we’re all ears!

Introducing Velocity Alerts

by Jason St. Pierre, Product Manager

Since the birth of Crashlytics, our passion has always been to help you fix the most prevalent issues quickly and painlessly. Just last month, we released badges to help you hone in on crashes that stand out against the rest.

Today, we’re thrilled to introduce Velocity Alerts: intelligent, proactive alerting on the most critical issues happening in your app. Now, you truly know when you need to take action right away.

Powered by the #1 mobile analytics solution

While our system already distills and prioritizes your crashes based on their impact, there was more we could do to make your life even easier. By combining your app’s crash data with usage analytics from Answers, our new Velocity Alerts enable you to triage unexpected, high-impact issues with minimal effort.

Now, once you’ve enabled Answers as part of Crashlytics, our system will proactively check to see if there is a statistically significant number of sessions that have ended due to a crash related to one issue on a particular build. If so, we'll let you know if that issue is a hot patch candidate and needs your attention immediately right on your dashboard. You’ll also get an email alert in your inbox as well as a push notification if you’re using the Fabric mobile app(Android support coming soon). With Crashlytics, you’ll never miss a critical bug!

While at it, we’ve also redesigned all of our notification emails so important information are even more clear and actionable.

We couldn’t be happier to release this so you can sit back, relax and just focus on building the best app. If you’re already using Crashlytics with Answers, Velocity Alerts are automatically enabled for you. If not, get started with Answers!

Get Velocity Alerts