Why should mobile app developers profile their apps before they release them for public use?

Photo by Rob Hampson on Unsplash

As developers, we can create thousands of mobile applications to serve users a different set of services. Sometimes the application may be a game app, a business app or an educational app which can fulfill needs of people in different ways. Most of the mobile phone users tend to use 3rd party applications instead of the inbuilt applications which come with the phone. That is because different manufacturers(developers) built the solutions with different ideas which come in different angles and with fast-changing technologies. Users expect different limits of satisfaction with applications so they use different apps available in the current market.

Although app development is awesome, It is a bit harder to design and cater the app to all mobile platforms in 100% accuracy and efficiency. Normally developers develop the app on one specific device and then start to test in other devices to check the compatibility of the app. The big mistake most of the developers do is they pay less attention to check app performance with different attributes like memory consumption, RAM Usage, CPU Usage etc. An app is considered to have poor performance if it responds slowly, shows choppy animations, freezes, crashes, or consumes a lot of power. To avoid these performance problems the app needs to be profiled well. Eventually, these profiling tests make your app stable on all the platforms.

There are lots of tools which developers can use to profile apps. I have mentioned some of them to use in Android application development in the following paragraphs. By using these tools developers can save a lot of time to find and fix bugs that make the app slower or cause an unexpected closure.

01) Android profiler which comes with Android Studio tools.
Form this tool developer can measure app performance by monitoring their app’s network activity, CPU, and memory in real time.

02) Memory Profiler which comes with Android Studio tools.
It allows users to view and analyze Java heap and memory allocations by capturing heap dump, garbage collection and memory allocations of the app. Through this tool, users can identify memory leaks and memory churn which can make the app crash or freeze.

03) CPU Profiler which comes with Android Studio tools.
This tool allows the developers to analyze and inspect CPU activities and thread activities of the app in real time. Eventually, the developer can optimize the codebase according to the result of this tool.

04) Network Profiler which comes with Android Studio tools.
This tool helps developers to inspect Network Traffic relates to the app. From that, the developers can optimize the code base by examining how and when your app transfer data in real time.

05) Inspect GPU rendering speed and overdraw with using on-device developer option in Android devices. It allows you to visualize the UI rendering issues which might happen in your app.(https://developer.android.com/studio/profile/inspect-gpu-rendering)

06) Tracer which comes with Android Device Monitor (https://developer.android.com/studio/profile/gltracer)
This tool allows developers to understand how Android is executing graphics commands by analyzing your app’s OpenGL for Embedded Systems code. This tool is deprecated, so from Android Studio 3.1, you should instead use the Graphics API Debugger.

07) Hierarchy viewer which comes with Android Device Monitor 
This tool allows users to measure the layout speed for each view in your layout hierarchy. From that developers can get an understanding of the performance bottlenecks caused by the structure of app’s hierarchy. Hierarchy Viewer is deprecated and from Android Studio 3.1 or later, you should instead use Layout Inspector to inspect your app’s view hierarchy at runtime.

08) BatteryStat which comes from the Android framework
It collects battery data of your device.

BatteryHistorian is a tool which can convert the battery data collected by BatteryStat into an HTML visualization which can view from the browser. From BattryHistorian developer can select his/her application and can get a visualization about the battery usage of the specific app.

09) systrace which come with Android Device Monitor — (https://developer.android.com/studio/command-line/systrace)
Developers need to use this from the command line. This tool allows developers to analyze processors in the app with time information by inspecting native system processes and address UI junks caused by dropped frames.

10) dumpsys (https://developer.android.com/studio/command-line/dumpsys)
It is a tool which runs on Android devices and provides information about system services.

11) Android Vitals dashboard (https://developer.android.com/topic/performance/vitals/)
This tool helps developers on important phases of app development in terms of security, battery usage, stability and render time.

12) Google’s Play Console Dashboard (https://www.androidcentral.com/googles-play-console-dashboards-help-developers-pinpoint-problems-apps)
This tool allows detecting battery consumptions, sudden shutdowns or a slow performance. It calculates ANR (Application Not Responding) rate, speed changes, frame freezing or excessive device activations by push notifications and other events. Not only that but also it gives details about how many users are seeing each feature of the app, according to the version they have. This makes it easier to detect any problems for the user, enabling you to work to solve specific inconveniences that affect them.

13) Google Play Protect
This tool help to detect configurations that could break security rules.

Not only that but also there are third-party organizations who provide services to measure the app performance.For example,