The ultimate guide to mobile app performance monitoring

guide to mobile app performance monitoring

Mobile app performance monitoring enables you to keep an eye on your app’s performance and optimize it for the best user experience.

With so many mobile apps on the market and so many of them claiming to do the same thing, users are more interested in the quality of an app as a way to decide which one to use. When choosing between five apps that perform the same function, users will likely avoid those that crash, are slow, and are not routinely updated with bug fixes and performance enhancements.

It is common (and necessary) for mobile app developers to resolve quality concerns with bug reporting and crash reporting tools to combat these issues. However, it has also become apparent that accident reporting is insufficient. Mobile app performance monitoring exists because your mobile strategy must be more proactive than merely reacting to bugs or failures.

I. What is Mobile Application Performance Monitoring (APM)?

As its foundation, mobile app performance monitoring is the tracking of key app performance indicators to maintain awareness of your app’s performance and potential quality issues. This can include both monitoring and management strategies. Statistics such as app launch and loading periods translate into very tangible experiences for app users. All aspects of your app’s functionality influence their perception of your brand and its caliber.

Mobile app performance monitoring tools specifically aid in monitoring the end-user experience. This includes metrics such as how quickly the app launches, how long it takes for requests to execute, screen and content rendering times, and other performance-related metrics. A good mobile app performance monitoring tool facilitates the detection of performance issues, allowing you to address them promptly.

II. Why Should We Use Mobile APM?

With millions of apps available in the various app stores, it requires significant technical effort to stand out among the finest. Users will never hesitate to respond to a negative experience with a one-star rating if they encounter an app that is unstable and frequently crashes. And due to recent modifications to how app store ratings are calculated, new updates containing bugs will result in an immediate decline in an app’s rating. The performance of an app has a direct influence on the satisfaction and experience of its users, which harms key business metrics such as downloads, usage, retention, and revenue.

It is essential to have a method for consumers to provide feedback. First, providing a direct channel for collecting private feedback will prevent users from publishing complaints on app stores. Second, you will frequently discover problems from these issue reports that do not appear elsewhere. Thirdly, a robust bug-reporting application, such as Instabug, will provide you with comprehensive data to aid in the rapid diagnosis and resolution of issues.

But waiting for users to inform you what’s wrong can be very expensive, especially given the imprecise nature of user feedback. In addition to your bug and problem reporting tool, you should have a mobile app performance monitoring tool. 

A mobile app performance monitoring tool will notify you of sluggish screen transitions, slow network calls, and UI hangs that negatively impact the experience of your end users. You can take a mobile app performance monitoring tool to discover and fix performance issues in your app before these issues result in negative evaluations and revenue loss.

III. Top 10 APM Mobile App Tools in 2023

1. MetricFire    

MetricFire is a mobile app performance monitoring tool for time-series metrics developed on open-source Graphite, Prometheus, and Grafana. MetricFire combines the finest of these open-source projects into a single, user-friendly SaaS.

MetricFire users can send time-series metrics from any source into the platform and create a monitoring solution that is perfectly suited to their technology. Additionally, there is an agent that pulls in all of the typical metrics and makes it simple to get begun.

MetricFire is most effective when monitoring backend services and platforms from the app’s perspective. This means that MetricFire typically pulls metrics directly from the app, including query speeds, latency, uptime, and overall CPU/RAM utilization.

However, MetricFire is capable of much more than infrastructure mobile app performance monitoring. MetricFire can monitor Redis Databases, Kubernetes, Docker, cAdvisor, and CloudWatch, in addition to custom metrics directly from your application. Then, MetricFire can consolidate everything into a singular Grafana window. 

Once your data is in Hosted Grafana, you can create dashboards, conduct data queries, and set up data-based alerts. 

You can easily configure MetricFire to collect information about your app usage, such as the number of concurrent users, the number of people at each level in a mobile game, the number of in-app purchases, and any other app-specific metrics. 

2. ScoutAPM    

ScoutAPM is a partner of MetricFire and provides a more conventional mobile app performance monitoring. Scout is an excellent instrument for gaining a comprehensive comprehension of your application’s performance, including: 

  • Which endpoint is responsible for memory enhancements?
  • Are requests to a sluggish endpoint propagating to the app?
  • Why is the endpoint only sluggish for a handful of users?
  • Has this performance pattern previously occurred?
  • What changes have occurred since the last deployment?

ScoutAPM is a small business that goes above and beyond for its clients. They are extremely adaptable and less expensive than conventional APM tools. 

ScoutAPM is compatible with Ruby, PHP, Python, Node.js, and Elixir. You can monitor software written in any of these languages by installing the corresponding gem/package. ScoutAPM will then import and display data automatically. 

ScoutAPM is incapable of infrastructure monitoring and scaling custom time-series metrics. It is more of a mobile app performance monitoring than a comprehensive monitoring utility for infrastructure and business metrics.

3. AppDynamics

AppDynamics is a great mobile app performance monitoring tool with a lot of perks and features. Most people agree that it is the best mobile app performance monitoring tool out there. AppDynamics can help with app finding, digital experience, and custom time-series metrics. They add new features often and have a huge number of customers.

AppDynamics is becoming more and more popular, and many people count on it. Because of this, it has become a tool that focuses mostly on its large clients. As a small or medium-sized business, it can be hard to get the interest of AppDynamics.

The prices for AppDynamics are also based on what their bigger customers are willing to pay. So, their prices tend to go through the roof, way above what most businesses can afford.

4. Datadog 

Datadog mobile app performance monitoring enables you to analyze and isolate dependencies, eliminate bottlenecks, reduce latency, monitor errors, and improve code efficiency. 

Features:

  • On a unified platform, effortlessly correlate application performance to logs and underlying infrastructure metrics.
  • Tracing without Limits: Search and analyze all traces (no sampling) in real-time and retain only the relevant ones using tag-based principles.
  • Continuous Profiling: Analyze code-level performance across your entire stack with minimal latency, identify your most resource-intensive methods (CPU, memory, etc.) using tags, and correlate this information with pertinent requests and traces.
  • Real User Monitoring and Simulation: Measure and enhance the performance of your front-end application and the end-user experience in real-time or by simulating controlled browser and API tests, and connect the results to pertinent traces, logs, and infrastructure metrics.
  • ML-based Watchdog can automatically detect anomalies to surface issues and reduce alert fatigue.
  • Utilize the Service Map and other out-of-the-box interfaces and visualizations to reduce resolution time and accelerate the release of new features.
  • With over 450 pre-built integrations, Datadog aggregates metrics and events across your entire DevOps infrastructure in a seamless manner.

5. GameAnalytics

Currently, GameAnalytics is entirely free. This mobile app performance monitoring is predominantly employed to track user behavior in mobile games, such as:

  • User Acquisition
  • Player participation
  • Monetization, including first-time purchase influencers
  • Player advancement through the game’s content
  • In-game economies and virtual resources

GameAnalytics is a comprehensive monitoring utility for the in-game user experience. However, since this tool is free, scaling it will demand significant effort from the engineer. The engineering team will be responsible for building and managing the databases, data pipelines, and monitoring strategy. In cases where the tool does not function as anticipated, your in-house team will be responsible for all firefighting efforts.

6. UXCam

UXCam is the leading mobile app analytics instrument on the market. It provides the features product teams require for a thorough comprehension of user journeys and app usage.

Key features:

  • Lightweight SDK is available for iOS, Android, React Native, Flutter, Cordova, Xamarin, and Native Script.
  • It integrates easily with the analytical tools you employ
  • Easy installation with no instrumentation or identifiers required.
  • Session replays to comprehend the true causes of app failures and user frustrations.
  • Export logs for each UI stall with ease and replay affected sessions in video format.
  • Understanding complex user conversion behaviors with funnels.

7. Dynatrace

Dynatrace is a mobile app performance monitoring tool with monitoring for on-premise, cloud, hybrid, and SaaS applications. It provides frequent predictive alerts and self-learning to resolve issues proactively using AI-supported algorithms. Dynatrace is optimal for gaining greater technical insight into the inner workings and structural conditions of your applications.

Features:

  • Dynatrace supports both Java and.NET.
  • It improves the digital customer experience by recognizing the significance of application performance to business development.
  • It resolves issues proactively before affecting the end user.
  • This proactive approach has decreased the time required to resolve the issue and conserved the resources required to identify and resolve the issue.
  • Using artificial intelligence, the performance flaw is identified.

8. New Relic

New Relic is a cloud-based network monitoring and observability platform designed to help you keep your front-end mobile app experience seamless. This mobile app performance monitoring enables your product teams to collaborate more effectively with dev, security, operations, and business teams to solve software performance issues and deliver a flawless customer experience.

It provides the following performance-related metrics:

  • Time-to-Response, Throughput, Error Rates, etc.
  • The effectiveness of external services.
  • The most time-intensive transactions.
  • Tracking of Multiple Applications.
  • Transaction failure.
  • Analysis, history, and comparison of deployment.

New Relic supports Java,.NET, Python, Ruby, and PHP. In addition, it offers monitoring for mobile app performance, advanced browser performance, and infrastructure monitoring.

9. Headspin

HeadSpin provides in-depth knowledge of the efficacy of your app. Product teams can maintain a thorough comprehension of the underlying issues affecting UX as revealed by user data gathered from device sessions.

Notable features of HeadSpin include automation in test and production environments, which helps accelerate app development. Included in the collected UX and performance issues data are screen recordings, CPU utilization, and more to quickly resolve performance and functional issues.

Features:

  • Real devices are utilized for numerous end-to-end testing and monitoring.
  • Error detection and root cause analysis (RCA) are performed automatically.
  • Hosted on infrastructure deployed in more than 90 locations worldwide to facilitate end-to-end testing.

10. Splunk

Splunk is a cutting-edge mobile app performance monitoring platform that assists teams in developing, debugging, and delivering seamless mobile applications. It provides complete fidelity trace analysis for context and comprehensive comprehension of complex cloud and microservice environments. Splunk intends to assist product teams in designing compliant, secure, and dependable mobile applications.

Features: 

  • Standardization of Open Telemetry for greater flexibility and control in introducing new processes and technologies.
  • AlwaysOn on Profiling for service bottleneck visibility at the code level.
  • High cardinality and AI-assisted problem detection and resolution.

IV. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mobile App Monitoring Tool 

factors to consider when choosing a mobile app performance monitoring tool

1. Launch time & resume time

It is essential to measure both commencement and resume times. A startup typically takes longer than resuming a background app. Both launch times affect the user experience, so it is essential to record both.

2. UI response time

Determine the UI response time as perceived by users. Mobile app performance monitoring has traditionally measured network request times. The issue is that the network is only one of many factors that affect response timings. The user is concerned with the completion of the action, not the network’s response.

Also, measure response times by device or operating system. Thus, the product manager can:

  • Concentrate on one platform only.
  • Identify and address performance issues.
  • Appropriately assign QA and development resources.

3. Crashes and their business impact

It’s crucial to monitor failures as they drive users away. However, some mobile app performance monitoring solutions capture irrelevant “exception stack trace” and “error type” metrics. Instead, you must understand the following:

  • The user actions that led to the malfunction.
  • The total number of distinct users impacted by this incident.
  • How various categories of accidents affect your business.

This mobile app performance monitoring method permits mobile product managers to prioritize the severity of failures.

4. Errors

Monitor user actions that result in errors, such as an HTTP error from a particular URL. Specifically, you must include the following:

  • All users who encountered an error.
  • The user action that caused the error
  • The proportion of actions that produced at least one error
  • The version of the program

Additionally, track the average daily number of app launch errors.

5. Battery consumption

Users are extremely concerned with battery life. Everyone has experienced the frustration of noticing that a mobile app is rapidly depleting the battery without knowing which app is responsible. Be sure to measure the battery consumption of your mobile app performance monitoring alongside other crucial resources, such as the impact on the data plan and memory consumption.

There are numerous well-known causes of battery depletion. If your app is at fault, ensure that it adheres to best practices. If necessary, reconsider the behavior of your program. Is it necessary for your app to look for updates every second/minute/hour? Take whatever steps are necessary to keep power consumption at an absolute minimum so that you can maintain maximum user satisfaction.

6. Cellular data consumption

You’re not alone if it irritates you when a mobile app devours your mobile plan’s data allowance. A recent study by Dimensional Research found that 20% of respondents ceased using an app due to excessive data consumption.

It is crucial to identify which user actions devour the most data. In particular, you must measure:

  • The number of bytes of data consumed per minute.
  • The proportion of data utilized by a particular user action.
  • The total quantity of data transmitted per cellular hit.
  • The usage is based on the app version.
  • The number of visitors in total.

Importantly, you must break down cellular consumption by service to determine how much data is consumed by third-party services, such as LinkedIn or Stock.com, as well as your mobile app performance monitoring.

V. APM Mobile App vs Observability: Key differences between them 

APM and Observability are techniques that enterprises can ultimately use to access the health of software applications as well as provide a good user experience. Nevertheless, these mobile app performance tools work in a completely different way. 

More than application performance monitoring (APM) is needed to debug modern systems with complicated architecture. On the other hand, observability combines data from every layer of an IT stack into a single location where advanced business analytics and insights may be applied. Observability is a subset of APM. Observability leverages a number of additional techniques, such as distributed tracing, to provide a thorough insight of application behavior, whereas APM only provides an aggregate view of metrics.

VI. Sum up

As the leading mobile app development company in Vietnam, Adamo Software is providing lucrative software applications from mobile apps, web app development, to website development in many fields from travel and hospitality software development, healthcare, media and entertainment, food and beverage software development to fintech. If you are looking for a mobile app development company, Adamo is here to help you. 

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