Apple's iOS is the more misbehaved mobile OS, according to Crittercism crash reports from November and December. Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, may change that–for the worse.
Android took a number of
shots at Apples iOS during the Super Bowl, courtesy of Samsung, and now comes
another hit: iOS applications crash more often than Android applications do,
according to data from Crittercism.
Crittercism, which provides
developers with real-time, actionable crash reports for mobile applications,
measured crashes between November and December, and in some instances found iOS
crashes to number more than twice those of Android applications.
Versions have a lot to do
with it, Crittercism CEO Andrew Levy told Forbes.
"The permutations go on forever. Thats a large reason for creating our
Apple's iOS 5.0.1 was the
most crash-inclined version of all, accounting for 28.64 percent of crashes
between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15. iOS 4.2.10 accounted for 12.64 percent, iOS 4.3.3
for 10.66 percent and iOS 4.3.5 for 8.9 percent.
Among Apple devices, the great
majority of crashes were logged on iPhones74.41 percentfollowed by the iPod
touch, at 14.87 percent, and the iPad, at 10.72.
The most crash-prone version
of Android was version 2.3.3, with a 3.86 percent share of the iOS/Android
crash pie. Looking at only Android crashes, version 2.3.3 accounted for just
shy of one-fourth of all Android crashes, followed by 2.3.4 with also nearly a quarter
of the Android-only pie.
Partly to blame are all the
incarnations of each different mobile operating system. (Developers need to
test their applications on each version.) Levy told Forbes that hardware
issues, such as GPS or the use of a camera, could also contribute, along with
how the device connects to 3G or WiFi or switches between the two.
Apps that use a lot of memory
may also be more crash-prone.
of Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4.0, is expected to offer a more level
playing field, as inevitable bugs will need to be worked out. Levy insisted to Forbes that, despite the data, iOS isn't
necessarily more crash-inclined than Android.
"I expect as Ice Cream
Sandwich just launched and the new Nexus S phone launched [during the study], well
expect the same situation to occur [with Android] as what happened [with iOS],
In January, Crittercism
began offering developers "breadcrumbs," which lets them "get a
playback of a user's actions before [the] app crashed."
"When a crash occurs,
the breadcrumbs from the user's current and previous sessions are sent to the Website,
so you clearly relate their actions to the crash," Crittercism said in a
Jan. 24 blog post. "With breadcrumb data, you also get information about
session length, since we automatically place a "session_start"
breadcrumb upon instantiation of the Critter."
Some users may call this
intrusive, while others may delight in having their frustrations quickly
Motorola Xoom WiFi and Nexus
S users have already received the Ice Cream Sandwich push, and soon the wait
for Nexus S 4G users will be over, as well, according to Android
Central. On Jan. 31 the site reported that some testing of the OS at
Sprint had been leaked.
"Sprint not only has
more network testing involved in their version, but the addition of Google
Voice integration and Google Wallet means their release cycle will be
longer," reported the site. It added, "We've seen extremely stable
builds of Android 4.0 for the NS4G for a while now, and you know the developers
already have their hands dirty (trust me, they are all over it) using tonight's
leaked files to make things even better."
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.