As every app developer surely knows, monitoring your app’s stability is a must. And there’s hardly anything more important than keeping your crash count down to a minimum. No developer wants to end up with a bad app reputation because he or she didn’t pay enough attention to what’s really going on with their app out in the world.

Fortunately, there is a variety of crash reporting tools at your disposal with which you can arm yourself. These tools help developers identify and respond to common crashes in a timely manner.

Think of reporting tools as alert guard dogs, always ready to let you know if something goes wrong so you can identify the culprit and contain it. They also offer critical data and analysis about the number of crashes, including which devices were affected most and so on.

But, which crash reporting tool should you implement in your app? And, how can it benefit you compared to other tools?

It’s not an easy decision. You need to choose smartly from the plethora of solutions out there. Nobody can do the selection process for you. Not even us. You are the one who knows your product best; Your KPIs, restrictions and budget limitation. But, we can try and ease the process a bit.

To help you make the best decision, we asked multiple app developers about their favorite go-to tools and put together a review of the top tools available.  We also tracked online reviews posted by developers, with remarks about advantages and disadvantages.

Needless to say, we are not engaged with any of these tools, nor do we prefer one over others. Still, we did include qualitative feedback from developers we know or comments that we’ve read through online groups and forums.

Who are the most popular crash reporting SDKs, based on our data?

We’ve recently released the world’s first Android SDKs data trends report, revealing trends and benchmarks from the mobile app industry. This report uncovers some hidden gems regarding the variety and versatility of SDKs and the choices app publishers make.

We’ve also uncovered the SDKs that are the strongest in their category, including the crash reporting category. We weren’t surprised to find that Crashlytics (which was acquired by Twitter) is by far the most popular tool for crash reporting in the mobile app ecosystem. Among all apps that use crash reporting tools – 23.5% of all apps that we have looked at – Crashlytics is integrated in nearly 66.2% of them. Others are left quite far behind. Click here to learn more.

Most Popular Crash Reporting Tools | SafeDK Trends Report

Crashlytics

Popular Crash Reporting Tools - Crashlytics

If you’re looking for a powerful, yet lightweight crash reporting tool, then Crashlytics is worth exploring. Twitter acquired Crashlytics in 2013 and as you can see from the chart above – it’s one of the most popular tools available today. Crashlytics is offered under Twitter’s Fabric umbrella-SDK.

Price: Free

Features:

  • Real-time crash reporting
  • In depth crash analysis
  • Exception tracking
  • Test life cycle monitoring
  • Beta app distribution
  • The integration with Crashlytics is now done by using Fabric SDK

Popularity level: High

Popular apps that are using Crashlytics (based on SafeDK App X-Ray):

Uber Spotify Fruit Ninja
SafeDK x-ray: Uber uses Crashlytics SafeDK x-ray: Spoitify uses Crashlytics SafeDK x-ray: Fruit Ninja uses Crashlytics

What developers are saying – Advantages:

  • Beautiful design
  • Easy Setup

What developers are saying – Needs to be improved:

  • Level of staff communication and responses to emails is inconsistent

 

Acra

Popular Crash Reporting Tools - Acra

If you’re looking for an open source crash reporting tool for your Android app, then ACRA is a valid choice. It’s not for everyone, though, it organizes and posts your crashes in a Google doc.
Price: Free

Features:

  • Easy Setup
  • Compatible with all Android versions
  • Configurable user interaction

Popularity level: Medium

Popular apps that are using Acra (based on SafeDK App X-Ray):

Linkedin Hotels.com Flickr
SafeDK x-ray: Linkedin uses Acra SafeDK x-ray: Hotels.com uses Acra SafeDK x-ray: Flickr uses Acra

What developers are saying – Advantages:

  • Easy to install
  • Highly Configurable
  • No need to host a server script
  • Reports are automatically created in Google sheets

What developers are saying – Needs to be improved:

  • Sometimes unstable and slow
  • Large disk space consumption, with no easy way to purge old records

 

New Relic

Popular Crash Reporting Tools - New Relic

New Relic focuses on performance, offering an end-to-end performance monitoring (analytics, A/B testing and crash reporting) for web and mobile apps. As a mAPM (Mobile Advanced Performance Analytics), New Relic is used by companies that look for richer data than just crash related data.

Price: FREE (lite) data retained for only 24 hours, $75- $149 (APM), $69 (New Relic Synthetics), $149 (New Relic Browser Pricing), $999/per app (New Relic Mobile)

Features:

  • Performance breakdowns across each wireless network carrier
  • Crashes and slowdowns are by geographic locations, type of crash, devices, operating systems, operator networks and more
  • Data includes sessions that crashed, number of users impacted, resolved and unresolved crashes and so on

Popularity level: Medium

Popular apps that are using New Relic (based on SafeDK App X-Ray):

NY Times ESPN SoundCloud
SafeDK x-ray: NY Times uses New Relic SafeDK x-ray: ESPN uses New Relic SafeDK x-ray: SoundCloud uses New Relic

What developers are saying – Advantages:

  • Has a reputation of being easy: easy to implement and easy to understand
  • Custom dashboard

What developers are saying – Needs to be improved:

  • Inability to get custom attributes on crash reports
  • The web UI is a bit difficult to navigate
  • No Android Studio plug in (used to correlate crashes)
  • Can get quite expensive

 

Apteligent (Formerly Crittercism)

Popular Crash Reporting Tools - Apteligent

This is a popular crash reporting tool that offers both service monitoring and error monitoring solutions. Rumor has it they are heading towards analytics capabilities (with user engagement metrics) and not just focus on crash reporting.

Price: Free (light), $150 (JumpStart), Enterprise

Features:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Geolocation
  • Trends
  • Monitors both fatal and non-fatal errors
  • Cloud Service API monitoring
  • Hybrid application support
  • Real-time crash monitoring

Popularity level: Medium

Popular apps that are using Apteligent (based on SafeDK App X-Ray):

Snapchat Netflix CNN
SafeDK x-ray: Snapchat uses Apteligent SafeDK x-ray: Netflix uses Apteligent SafeDK x-ray: CNN uses Apteligent

What developers are saying – Advantages:

  • Easy to integrate
  • Efficient crash grouping algorithm
  • Provides detailed information about the crashes
  • Bug reporting is seamless

What developers are saying – Needs to be improved:

  • The user interface is sometimes slow
  • App management is confusing
  • Paid plans are considered quite expensive

 

Instabug

Popular Crash Reporting Tools - Instabug

Instabug is an automatic crash reporting tool that is known for its debugging capabilities. Its strength is with providing valuable metadata that assists with debugging a crash (including the scenario of the user in the app). Also, it has the cool ‘shaking’ feature:  when testers want to report a bug or send feedback, they just have to shake their smartphones. This’ll activate the screenshot feature and will ask for a short issue description.

Price: $0 – $349 per month
Features:

  • One dashboard for crashes and bugs
  • Ability to group all related crashes together and permitting easy analysis regarding their occurrences
  • Automated symbols upload script

Popularity level: Medium

Popular apps that are using Instabug (based on SafeDK App X-Ray):

Asana Jamba Juice Dubsmash
SafeDK x-ray: Asana uses Instabug SafeDK x-ray: Jumba Juice uses Instabug SafeDK x-ray: Dubsmash uses Instabug

What developers are saying – Advantages:

  • Easy to use
  • Powerful tool for beta testing and reporting

What developers are saying – Needs to be improved:

  • Limited flexibility on reports customization
  • No support available through social media channels (FB)

 

HockeyApp

Popular Crash Reporting Tools - HockeyApp

Hockeyapp is a Microsoft product that helps you distribute beta versions on Windows phones, Android, and iOS, get feedback from the testers, collect live crash reports, analyze the test coverage and recruit new testers.

Price: An initial free plan for 2 apps, and then between $10 to $500 per month

Features:

  • Wide variety of search tools to help you find the root of an app crash
  • Full manual control
  • Symbolize the crash reports for easy crash analysis
  • Easy integration with 3rd party bug tracking systems and development workflows systems

Popularity level: Medium

Popular apps that are using HockeyApp (based on SafeDK App X-Ray):

Snapchat Skype Angry Birds
SafeDK x-ray: Asana uses HockeyApp SafeDK x-ray: Skype uses HockeyApp SafeDK x-ray: Angry Birds uses HockeyApp

What developers are saying – Advantages:

  • Easy to use and distribute
  • Quick to upload new versions, while maintaining access to the old versions
  • Reporting bugs is seamless

What developers are saying – Needs to be improved:

  • The setup for the client is still not optimized
  • User management is intuitive at times
  • Quite expensive

 

Firebase Crash Reporting

Popular Crash Reporting Tools - Firebase Crash Reporting

At Google I/O 2016, Google announced new features in Firebase, including Firebase Test Lab and Crash Reporting, making Firebase an ‘All inclusive’ platform for app developers.

Keep in mind that Firebase crash reporting is still in beta, and therefore might be undergoing changes in the next couple of months.

Price: FREE (light – SPARK plan), $25 (Flame plan), Pay as you go (BLAZE plan)

Features:

  • Prioritizes crashes by frequency and impact
  • Data includes device characteristics and circumstances, a stack trace, and more
  • Collects crashes that occur while the device is offline
  • The analytics feature allows the developer to group an audience out of users that experienced crashes and use Firebase platform to send push notifications and configuration changes.

Popularity level: Not yet determined

Popular apps that are using Firebase Crash Reporting (based on SafeDK App X-Ray):

Kill Shot Bravo Love Collage HappyFresh
SafeDK x-ray: Kill Shot Bravo uses Firebase SafeDK x-ray: Love Collage uses Firebase SafeDK x-ray: HappyFresh uses Firebase

What developers are saying – Advantages:

  • Easy set up
  • Allows you to group an audience with users that experience crashes
  • Native crashes are collected automatically

What developers are saying – Needs to be improved:

  • Google Play services must be implemented, otherwise the Firebase will not work
  • No way of changing resolved crash status to “resolved”
  • There are no crash notifications
  • New crashes appear slowly in the system (it might take them 15 min or so to appear)
  • You can’t search within the crashes

 

Don’t forget to A/B test your crash reporting SDKs in real time

How will you know which tool makes the optimal choice? The only way is to try more than one. Using our SDK Real Time Control, you can start with a few tools and instantly (on production environment) turn off those who are second best, keeping only your optimal tool active.

Last Words…

Each of the crash reporting tools presented here, like most digital and physical products, have their own benefits and weak spots. It’s not one size fits all. There are many more SDKs which I haven’t reviewed in this article. You can find the full list and reviews in the SafeDK Marketplace. Of course, if you have experience with one of the SDKs mentioned above, or a similar one, take the opportunity to share your feedback, so other developers can benefit from your experience.

Know any other Crash reporting SDKs worth adding in here, presenting unique values, great pricing or alike? Write us at contact@safedk.com and we would consider adding them as well.

Tools we encountered after we published this article

Ubertesters

Popular Crash Reporting Tools - Ubertesters

Ubertesters is not only crash reporting tool, but a full bug reporting tool. Thus, in addition to the crash reports, you also get full bug reports, with edited screenshots and full video recording of the test sessions.

As for the crash reporting, it offers managed and secured build distribution for both iOS and Android and once a crash happens you get an automatic log, full stack trace, and the video recording of the tester’;s actions prior to the crash. This includes the tester’s steps and the network conditions, as well as full device info.

Price: FREE (Up to 5 members), $19/month (6-10 members), $59/month (11-20 members) and so on.

Features:

  • OTA build distribution – no emails confusion with dozens of various build versions.
  • Crash reports – the issue with the stack trace attached will be created automatically in the system, in addition all the device info is available in the system as well.
  • Bug submission tool – allows your team to save a lot of time on bug reports and at the same time make them comprehensive and complete in minimal testing time.
  • Video recording tool – the entire test sessions is fully recorded, thus, giving you real-life recording of what steps the tester actually did prior to the bug/crash.
  • Session tracking – have the full control over the team members and check who tested the app, what they tested, how much time was spent and what is the outcome of the process.
  • Real-time team and build management – notify users about the new build in a few clicks and easily manage the access to the revision of all the team members.
  • Test cases support – use test cases and track their results easily.
  • Integration with bug tracking systems – Mantis, RedMine, JIRA, etc. – push all the issues to your bug tracker in a few clicks to go ahead working on the reported results.

Popularity level: Not yet determined

Popular apps that are using Ubertesters (based on SafeDK App X-Ray):

Thalamus Hopster SNAPHUNT
SafeDK x-ray: Thalamus uses Ubertesters SafeDK x-ray: Hopster uses Ubertesters SafeDK x-ray: SNAPHUNT uses Ubertesters