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App Performance

General

Why Does Your App Keep Crashing?

Crashes completely end a session and a study shows that 80% of users will uninstall your app after only three or less problematic sessions. We've rounded up the top reasons for mobile app crashes.

Users nowadays don't have much patience with the huge flood of applications available to them. Even if users were forgiving, app crashes interrupt business and result in revenue loss.

Top Reasons for App Crashes

Resource management

It's normal for developers to want to build the best-looking apps with hyper-fast performance. Sometimes the pursuit of that means severe resource mismanagement.

One example is using up too much memory as a direct result of running too many threads. Another common mistake is developers assuming all of the device’s memory is devoted just to their app. In reality, most of it is already used up by other apps. Ultimately, when the device running your app is using up all of its memory and your app needs more, a crash will occur.

The same goes for CPU usage. Managing how processing-intensive your app is in order to avoid consuming too much CPU power is key to keeping your app from crashing.

Network issues

A perk of the job can sometimes be a curse in disguise. When developing your mobile app, you’re probably enjoying doing so with the comfort of high-speed internet and WiFi. In real-world scenarios however, most users will not have such stable connectivity while using your app. A lot of users will be reliant on mobile network data. That means that your users will likely experience constant connection speed changes as well as frequent drops in connection. If your app is dependent on a large portion of network resources, then connection drops and slow internet will cause a lot of disturbances in your app. These network issues need to be handled in development in order to avoid crashes and stalls.

Error handling

Not every error should spell doom for your mobile app. Unexpected behavior and errors are bound to happen, and sometimes they can be anticipated. Users will behave in unexpected ways, and no matter how stable your app is, they can cause it to hang or crash. Unforeseen issues with your app can be caused by unexpected user behavior. Users might enter an invalid parameter in a field or stop a file transfer abruptly. So it's important to always keep in mind that unexpected circumstances can occur and you should handle errors and issues accordingly.

Device differences

Not all devices are created equal -- not just across operating systems, but even between different generations of the same device. Device specs improve at an exponential pace, and a device from two years ago might not be able to handle the resources required by your app today. Testing on a wide range and age of devices and OEMs will go a long way to making sure your app doesn't experience unforeseen issues.

Software development life cycle

Mobile apps aren't like the programs of yesteryear where, once the product was released, that was that. Today's agile, iterative processes let developers constantly update their apps with fixes to improve performance or updates that add new features. Developers are in a constant cycle of shipping things and this cycle comes with a lot of challenges. A single app is touched by multiple external libraries and APIs as well as capabilities that serve different internal business needs. With so many inputs, the chances of issues and crashes occurring increase. Testing every separate component isn’t enough. You need to test the entire app as a whole to make sure all components are functioning as expected together.

Testing testing

Without a doubt, the biggest and most important reason your mobile app might crash has to do with the quality of testing. You need to subject your mobile app to testing constantly and correctly. It isn't enough to just test your app, it needs to be tested in different environments. This includes trying out different devices, different orientations, resolutions, and networks. The more you try to break your app internally and solve issues that appear, the less likely they are to happen out in the wild. You can avoid all of these top reasons for app crashes with proper planning and testing.

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