PicCollage’s Secret Weapon Against Bugs: Crittercism – John Fan at Cardinal Blue
PicCollage is a top mobile photo app for iOS and Android, with over 17 MILLION downloads.
We have come to depend on Crittercism for debugging our apps, and have incorporated Crittercism into our development workflow.
HOW WE USE CRITTERCISM:
We regularly open up Crittercism’s web dashboard to monitor trends and review logs. Also, our team receives helpful email alerts when unusual exceptions occur, giving us early warning about problems. Crittercism helps us identify and prioritize the major exceptions, and provides essential logs for debugging issues. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it When we launch a new version of our app, we refer to Crittercism to get a pulse on the performance. For each app version, we look very carefully at the Crash Trends charts in Crittercism, which show the percentage of app loads the result in a crash. This crash rate gives us a single key metric that we can focus on to improve the quality of our app.
CRITTERCISM IMPROVED OUR CRASH RATE FROM 60% TO .2% IN 2 MONTHS!
For example, our initial version of the Android version of PicCollage had a 60% crash rate due to memory management issues across diverse Android devices! With Crittercism, we quickly fixed the major issues and brought the crash rate down to 5%. Repeating this cycle over several months, we eventually brought the crash rate down to its current low level of 0.2%. Amazing! What did the user do just before the crash? Like Hansel and Gretel, it’s possible with Crittercism to drop Breadcrumbs to remember where you’ve been. In particular, this feature of the Crittercism SDK lets the mobile app make a note of user events.
WE LOVE CRITTERCISM BREADCRUMBS:
In PicCollage, we have Breadcrumbs set up for events such as “use camera”, “add text” and “share collage to Twitter”. When an exception occurs, these breadcrumbs are available at the Crittercism website, where we can trace through the user’s actions just before the crash. Breadcrumbs provide useful context for understanding exactly what happened.
What doesn’t crash the app makes it stronger When bad things happen, you want to know about it. If you catch some exceptions so that your app doesn’t crash, you would still want to keep a log of these incidents.
HANDLED EXCEPTIONS GIVE A MORE COMPLETE VIEW
With Crittercism’s Handled Exceptions feature, you are able to pass arbitrary error events to Crittercism’s servers, where you can review and analyze them along with the normal uncaught exceptions. We make ample use of Crittercism’s Handled Exceptions so that we are able to have a more complete view of the overall problems in PicCollage.