Best iOS Crash Reporting Tools

It takes a real man to accept that he is not perfect. Developers for the most part are the men so they are also not perfect, and sometimes you might have ahem a bug in your app. They try their best to build your apps with no bugs in them, but pretty often bug reveals itself later after release having already slipped through the cracks. Sometimes such bugs lead to crashes, which no user likes to bump into. Not by chance this kind of an error was named after this particular insect because you got pretty much the same feeling of annoyance as if you are being bitten by some long-legged jumping-ass bloodsucking predatory bug assassin.

While these backwardly-curved insects live chiefly in the tropics or whatever habitat where they are provided with camouflage and protection so that it could crawl into the wall and attack you from their hiding place, these bugs occur in computer programs and systems. They interfere with the functionality of the system existing in the source code or design or frameworks they cause the system to produce unexpected setbacks and trigger an unintended behavior and eventually crash.

Don’t worry though, for there are many excellent iOS crash reporting tools to help you smoke them bloody bugs out! They reveal crashes and log-in details so you can review them later, and even send you an email report of when crashes happen and their frequency. Reports summarizing bugs that produce crash or invalid output in a system are usually called bug reports, defect reports, fault reports, problem reports, trouble reports, change requests and so forth.

Mobile app crash reporting tools have grown flexible and more developer-friendly with the lapse of time. They became easier to integrate and offer usability, new features and user experience. From a user perspective, a crash extends way beyond a simple annoyance. When your application suddenly just stops working because of a fault without any feedback, this often results in missing data and irritated users. Using a crash reporter tool enables you to collect all the information on record that you need from your app in order to fix these petty troubles.

A crash reporting tool software incorporates a combination of two elements forming a coherent whole: a reporting library and a server-side collector. The task of the reporting library is to introduce detailed information about a crash. The responsibility of the server-side component is to collect the crash data analysis and statistics and present it correctly in an appropriate way.

There are crash reporting tool recipes for whichever possible occasion it be. All kinds of tools options comprised in this rundown analysis we either use frequently or on a particular occasion. That is why, we did not pick a medal winner with the options presented for the evaluation. The goal was to reward the strengths and show the weaknesses of each tool. That will then allow you to conclude which crash reporting framework makes sense to handle potential app crashing issues.

Crashlytics (Free, crashlytics.com)

Crashlytics, a famous library that was found to be widely applicable for iOS apps crash reporting. Recently acquired by Twitter, Crashlytics keeps an eye on any and all crashing activities in your iOS app and instantly reports them to the server along with the close look at troubling picture of each crash. Crashlytics is highly efficient in this respect, as it can locate the exact line of code that is leading the app to a crash, it enables the memory stack trace to be in view, so you can recreate the crash operating the same environment.

The most striking thing about Crashlytics is how proactive it is. Unlike most other tools, it takes into consideration such thing as crash frequencies and defines an “impact level.” It will notify you of any change when a specific crash happens and analyze all the ensuing consequences of a failure. When the same crash is reported over and over again, Crashlytics keeps track of that data and be like “Hey, you haven’t worked out an outstanding issue yet and it’s starting to become something worthy of being noted.” It literally bring out the crashes that need to be handled before other things.

Crashlytics instantly sends messages to all associates for every single crash, for each user, ensuring that procedures are laid down and no app crashing occurrence goes unspotted. The tool is easy to use single-handed with well designed dashboard of the app, along with all the details of application crashes occured in your system together with the location of the crash, the date and time.

Crashlytics not only reports crashes and displays errors, it also provides an interface to allow and simplify access to them for the user. For instance, if a certain type of crash has been resolved in newer release of your app, you can mark it as fixed and remove from dashboard. Crashlytics will then skip that sort of crash on previous versions of your app.

Crashlytics gives a detailed information about the device on which your app is working, which helps you to know the exact running environment to restore the issue. This information includes:

  1. RAM
  2. OS version
  3. Orientation
  4. Battery status
  5. Whether the device is jail broken or not
  6. Disk space

Crashlytics supports integration with Third-Party Application Maintenance like Campfire, JIRA, Hipchat, Pivotal Tracker, Redmine and Pager Duty. The only downside of Crashlytics is that it doesn’t support mobile application distribution capabilities.

Instabug ($0-$129/month, instabug.com)

Instabug incorporates a lot of useful information for diagnostic troubleshooting of a crashed process and fixing an issue. Instabug has more well-designed metadata that contains a set of debugging support routines, capturing console logs and including specific steps users have taken in the app, without the need for developers to add more code or breadcrumbs trails. By just shaking the device, Instabug takes a screenshot that can be commented by a user. That screenshot gets submitted along with other comprehensive details about bug, all of which is automatically attached to the feedback You can report the captured data to other tracking tools; JIRA, Bitbucket, Assembla, Github; Zendesk, Kayako, Autotask etc.

HockeyApp ($10-$500/month, hockeyapp.net)

HockeyApp is the leader in terms of maintaining the blend of speed and accuracy of crash logs, and it brings activities together in one place from bug and crash reports to analytics and feedback. It does require more setup that doesn’t apply to other alternatives though. It also requires a manual manual configuration for submitting crash reports. By implementing an open source SDK for Android, iOS, Mac OS X, or Windows your apps can forward crash reports straight to HockeyApp, without an additional code assigned.

Parse (Free, parse.com)

Parse makes a new makes a new track through wild country of crash reporting tools. It doesn’t lay up the most detailed console and crash logs and alerts. The most exciting and desirable thing about Parse though, is its growth and room for maneuver which arises from the novelity of the approach and its unfamiliarity. Launched in 2014, it’s already added new dashboard widgets for analytics, cloud modules for alignment with third-party integration services and libraries, and a library of low-level code code library called Parse Bolts. The process is expected to expand rapidly and diversify into new features. It’s worth to watch out for, especially if they wheel out crash reporting as a separate feature release.

Xcode 6.3 (Free, developer.apple.com)

Developers are still catching up with Apple’s new crash reporting tool as it was launched with Xcode 6.3 not very long ago. From what has been done before, this tool has the capacity to be really cool and trendy. The solution comes in two strengths its integration and symbolication features configurations. The problem with exploiting it is that users need to interact and share more of their data with Apple. In this connection, there will be a much smaller than normal sampling of all crashes orchestrated and extracted from your app.

TestFlight (Free, developer.apple.com)

TestFlight was initiated as a tool to maintain the distribution of beta releases of iOS apps, it now also supports crash reporting. Since logging and crash reporting is relatively straightforward feature in TestFlight, more features and extra performance capabilities is for future upgrades in functionality. To get started with this program is similar to other crash reporting tools: create an account, build an application, download and implement the SDK, and setup an application key after all. On the server-side, you have to upload the version, build your app, install the .ipa file and deliver the new build to your testers. You can log when a user is at a point beyond which he will not go in your app, which is useful when treating the underlying cause of a problem that the application exhibits.

So we are finishing the bug hunting season with a number of available options to choose from. Relating to the first growth couple of years ago it is a desirable complement for iOS and Android developers. We anticipate these options to continue their development into the forms that will eventually result in an improvement and increase of our analysis and significant implementation changes. There is no one general purpose master key in the world of crash reporting. Crashlytics is a tough nut to crack though it will involve hard work. It’s free, with a set of features and a very simple, usable and functional back-end. What is more, the reporting process is fully automated, as you obtain logs on the server with the aid of instruments and no need to go far to upload dSYM files for each launch. On the other hand, all branches of the services reviewed above still apply as alternatives, depending on the variety of different and important features or elements of usability that you’re looking for.

Originally published at skorpiouniverse.wordpress.com on August 1, 2016.