Written by Jason
Your app users are your brand’s best evangelists…and biggest critics. While a positive review nudges your rating up in the app store, a negative tweet spreads word of your glitches across the internet at 140 characters per second.
Errors and crashes aren’t always your fault, though. App stability depends on the whole mobile experience, including which platforms your app is being used in.
Which is why we produce the annual State of Mobile Report.
Over the past year, we’ve collected a lot of data as to which operating systems are seeing the most crashes – and what types of apps are most likely to be affected.
Understanding crash patterns gives you insight as to how to where trouble-spots lie, how to strengthen your app’s resistance, and where to devote your dev resources.
The Case of iOS 8
Apple is notoriously good at releasing and then stabilizing new platforms. When iOS 8 was released, it tracked at a 3.3% crash rate.
But 12 weeks in, that crash rate had plummeted to 2.2% – on par with iOS 6.
Which means your app users are having better and better experiences on iOS 8 – and are happier campers when it comes to your brand.
iPhone Stability Before, During, and After an iOS Release
Tracking iOS performance as a whole is best looked at over time and by device. In the following three graphs, we’ve traced iOS crash rates across the iPhone 4, 5, and 6 series from the time iOS 7 was already in play to the iOS 8 release and months that followed.
Let’s look at the left side of the graph first. Notice that the longer iOS 7 has been on the market, the lower crash rates dip across all iPhones. The lines are almost in an elegant tandem with one another.
Then, as iOS 8 is released, crashes rates jut upwards as though springing a new mountain onto the data landscape.
As an app owner, being aware of these trends can help you put out figurative fires. You’ll know where to look for issues, when to look for them, and know how to communicate with customers about why they’re seeing more crashes.
After about 12 weeks, as Apple worked out kinks in their release and devs get better at working with the new iOS, crash rates become consistent once again, with one exception – check out the right side of the graph.
This past year marks the 5-year anniversary of the iPhone 4, and Apple chose not to support iOS 8 on the device they’re hoping to phase out. Mobile focused companies are clearly following suit, developing far less (if at all) for older iPhone models and pushing their focus to the iPhone 5 and 6 series.
Crashes by Category
Depending on what type of app you produce – and whether it’s purchased through Google Play or the Apple App Store – you may be more susceptible to crashes.
Google Play shows higher rates of crashing across the board, with Entertainment and Business related apps the most crashable.
Quite interestingly, Apple’s App Store shows higher crash rates for a different se of apps: Photo & Video, and Games (with Entertainment being much lower on the crash spectrum).
There’s Plenty More to Mobile Than Crash Rates, Though
Yes, mobile trends change as fast as Android and Apple release updates. But there’s more to mobile than crash rates. There’s the mobile ecosystem, latency issues, geographical influence, and your app’s health to consider – all which contribute to whether your app is beloved or deleted.
Track mobile trends throughout the past year in our State of Mobile report, or check out daily-updated data details on devices, operating systems, and more.