A new service from Crittercism helps companies monitor app performance.
Katie Evans , Senior Editor
Most e-retailers use web analytics to monitor how their e-commerce sites are loading. Now a new service from vendor Crittercism is helping companies gain insights into how their mobile apps are performing and to identify the source of any problems that arise.
The service, called the Fathom Mobile Command Center, is a new feature in the Crittercism app performance management software development kit. It shows retailers and other app operators how an app is performing as a consumer uses it.
Companies can see, for example, when outside APIs, or application programming interfaces, such as Google Maps or the new Google app payment service Google Instant Buy are hindering or slowing app performance. App developers can track down specifically which APIs are leading to issues and analyze metrics such as app load time and response times. It also shows when a problem stems from particular servers or networks, from a particular mobile operating system or from specific wireless carriers such as Verizon or AT&T.
This information is particularly useful for quality assurance, or QA, teams vetting new apps, says Andrew Levy, co-founder and CEO of Crittercism. “In the testing or QA phase particularly, it provides detailed visibility into the bugs that cause crashes in customer applications,” Levy says. “The rapid detection of crashes enables QA teams to detect, triage and diagnose bugs.”
Crittercism also integrates with issue-tracking systems such as Jira, enabling companies to automatically create tickets for bugs to be fixed by technology teams. This, Crittercism says, eliminates errors and typos, and helps make communication between teams more efficient.
Hearst TV, a division of Hearst Corporation that operates many regional news networks, is one customer using Crittercism to monitor app performance.
“In May 2013, over 50% of Hearst TV pages were viewed on mobile devices," says Michael Rosellini, director of digital product development at Hearst TV. "We have published over 100 unique apps in the news and weather space across multiple platforms. We are continually innovating to create the best end user experience. We depend on Crittercism to help us manage the performance of our mobile apps, giving our developer team the time and bandwidth to focus on other initiatives, such as implementing new features.”
Crittercism clients include Disney, eBay, Home Depot, LinkedIn, Netflix, Nike and Turner Broadcasting. The cost for Crittercism ranges from free for basic monitoring to $250 per month for additional monitoring such as insight into the performance for outside APIs and customer service phone support. For larger companies, Crittercism offers an enterprise package that provides more access to performance trends over time and other custom features. Fees for the enterprise version vary based on each company’s needs.