Mobile app-monitoring startup Crittercism today announced the beta availability of two new service components to its existing mobile application performance-management (APM) software. The solution, once limited to reporting on crashes, errors and the like, will soon report on a mobile app’s performance as it relates to network conditions and third-party cloud services.
“[The new part of the company’s APM solution is] the part that expands our transaction tracing to include a mobile app’s interactions with its network, with external cloud services, if it makes any HTTP requests or any other type of network requests—basically how it interacts with the outside world,” said Andrew Levy, Crittercism’s CEO and cofounder. “That part of our platform is going into beta. It’s full transaction tracing, everything from application launches, errors, crashes.”
The components are expected to be released to general availability at the end of April.
Why this solution, and why now? “There was really a big rush to build and to monetize on mobile,” said Levy. “Now that real businesses and revenue have emerged, they need the same type of infrastructure services that they would expect on their enterprise application stacks. That’s where we come in. It’s about giving engineering teams a handle on the user’s experience while they’re using their mobile app.”
The demand for this is only growing, Levy said. “You hear a lot about fragmentation. There are way too many hardware and software permutations that companies need to test on,” he said. “That’s why we don’t focus on testing. We have an end-user performance-management agent that the engineering teams integrate to really give them a real user view of what’s going on in their apps.”
When it comes to fragmentation, it’s not just about Android, Levy said. “It’s a little bit of a misnomer that on iOS there’s no fragmentation,” he said. “In the recent past, there have been at least three updates to iOS. And historically, we’ve seen about one update a month. And they are releasing a wider array of devices now. So, in terms of both hardware and software, there is a fragmentation story there.”
It’s really hard for development teams to understand what’s going on with their apps, said Levy. “Your app can be used anywhere in the world, by any number of carriers, by any number of devices and operating systems,” he said.
“We’ve had some very large companies [as customers] that launched in Asia. They’ve seen some huge network-latency issues there just because they haven’t accounted for things like how much bandwidth they’re using, etc. So, certainly, lots of issues that engineering teams can face, especially when they start launching overseas.”
Levy added that this is not just restricted to consumer-facing apps. “We are starting to work a lot with employee-facing apps, apps that are being used to accept business. I think you’ll continue to see that as more and more smartphones and tablets are used in that capacity—everything from point-of-sale devices to apps that technicians use to service your cable,” he said.
Today, Crittercism’s software just reports back information, but in the future, Levy hinted at third-party integrations that would enable the software to suggest solutions to problems or even fix them. “Right now, we can give a ton of crash data, down to the line of code that caused an issue,” he said.
“We also do things like provide what the average device configuration was that caused the issue. We provide enough data and insights to narrow down the issue so developers can easily recreate the problem internally. Now, there are some interesting products down the line that will, of course, take advantage of our data set, and I’ll leave it at that. But, certainly, you’re onto something there.”
The solution supports Android, HTML5, iOS and Windows Phone 8 apps. Levy said there is no plan to support BlackBerry apps yet. “We’re definitely looking at how the platform progresses. We indirectly support BlackBerry through some of BlackBerry’s Android support, but we really want to work very closely with whatever platform we roll out on,” he said.
The company also announced that it received US$12 million in a Series B round of funding from Google Ventures, Opus Capital and Shasta Ventures.