Confusion surrounds mobile application-performance management today due, in part, to the fact that the term is defined differently depending on whom you ask. But a successful mobile APM strategy should focus on user experience, and include monitoring and managing mobile applications across their entire life cycle, according to industry experts.

Panos Papadopoulos, CEO of app performance-monitoring tool provider BugSense, said that one of the challenges inherent in mobile APM is that there is no specific definition of mobile APM on which the industry agrees. “Performance can mean downloads and ratings for some people; for other people, it’s network speed,” he said.

“For us, mobile APM is more about the stability of the software. The most important thing for us in mobile is specific transactions, how long transactions take.”

Papadopoulos added that it is also important to measure the quality of applications because too many errors can negatively affect the user experience. “Errors have an impact on user retention,” he said.

Mobile APM is not just about app responsiveness or speed anymore, according to Kumar Rangarajan, CEO of mobile performance-analysis tool provider Little Eye Labs. He agreed that how the app impacts the user experience is paramount, adding that app performance should always match what your users expect.

“Performance is something that’s universal across all apps,” he said. “Speed is still very important, but mobile APM has to go beyond just monitoring speed.”

Rangarajan said a mobile APM solution should help developers track their app’s data, memory, CPU and battery consumption. A big challenge in mobile APM is managing how apps affect devices’ battery life, he said. “It can be frustrating for users to realize that their app is draining their battery,” he explained.

“Even though the battery is actually superior to earlier feature-form batteries, it still drains much faster now—all because there are apps running in the background, doing things they should not be doing.”

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