iOS developers’ job just got more difficult with iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus

Apple announced their latest phones during their September 12 event at the Steve Jobs theatre. The biggest news was the release of iPhone X and its use of FaceID technology. As expected, consumers, analysts, and Apple fans alike are quite excited.

From a developer perspective, however, these updates mean increased complexity for the iOS native and hybrid apps. The new OS (iOS 11) and the new iPhones now support:

  • Additional Form Factor: While iPhone 8 and 8 plus will continue to have the same form factor as iPhone 7 and 7 plus (4.7 inches and 5.4 inches), the iPhone X will now be 5.8 inches. This means developers will need to care for three form factors now – and possibly more if you are still supporting iPhone 5 and below.
  • New Pixel Densities: iPhones 8, 8+ and X will have different pixel densities which means that the amount of content displayed on each phone will vary. As a result, developers must build and monitor applications to these multiple specifications.
  • New Authentication Mechanisms, including FaceID, TouchID: These new authentication methods may impact the user flow in your application, especially the login and payment experience. To accomodate, you may need to build and display new assets and screens to help users understand how to use the new device-based authentication.

In this complex new world where you are serving customers ranging from iPhone 5 to iPhone X, with varied form factors, processing power, authentication mechanisms and OS versions, it’s critical to have the right tools that will give you real-time visibility into app performance and user flows.

In fact, you should know exactly what users are seeing and experiencing when they use your app – especially when there are UI issues. This will help you understand user behavior on these new devices and enable you to quickly identify the root of the UI issues.

Here are a few data points you should have at your fingertips:

  1. Understand user interaction and touchpoints: Developers need visibility into user interactions and touchpoints with all screens – whether it’s the homepage or checkout screen – including button clicks, text field input, and table cell selection.

  1. Debug issues through screen visualization: Debugging a bug becomes exceptionally  simple when you know exactly what user screens looked like during the point of issue. More often than not, the issue turns out to be a UI bug. For example, when an order is being processed (see the screenshot below) and user tries to swipe, the UI may result into weird state.

  1. Understand application latency: Now, with improved processing speed using the A11 Bionic chip, application responsiveness will improve – and customer expectations will also increase. As result, any app or network slowness will be noticeable, making it even more imperative for developers to know exactly when the application is slow and which line in the code is slowing the app down.

  1. Continue to monitor user segmentation and crash performance: You should continue to monitor app crashes and user segmentation to understand which devices, OS versions or form factors users are using. In addition, segmentation of performance issues based on different app versions will help identify how your code has improved or degraded with new version releases.

As you continue to serve customers on various mobile devices and complex applications, it’s imperative to have a comprehensive Mobile Real-User Monitoring tool you can rely on. Learn more about AppDynamics Application Performance Management solutions now.

Anupam Jindal (AJ) manages Mobile and IoT products at AppDynamics. He has been developing and managing strategic direction of growth products for over 7 years in B2C, B2B and B2B2C markets. AJ is passionate about disruptive technologies and enjoys converting ideas into revenue generating products.

Game of Phones – All Apps Must Thrive

As the fourth installment of HBO’s ever popular hit series, Game of Thrones, premiered this past Saturday, millions of viewers were frustrated to find out HBO Go crashed due to overwhelming demand. A discouraging sign for fans who wanted to watch the highly-anticipated premiere.

An HBO Go representative confirmed the technical issues in a statement to TechCrunch:

“HBO GO did experience issues due to overwhelming demand around the premiere of Game of Thrones. The service has returned to several platforms and we are working hard towards full recovery, which we expect soon.”

TechCrunch also points out this isn’t the first time HBO Go has experienced issues because of overwhelming demand. There was a brief outage last month during the True Detective season-finale.

But as fans, as technical folks, we must ask: why?

Similar apps, like the AppDynamics-monitored NBCUniversal, experienced little to no trouble with increased demand — over 700,000 tuned in to watch the USA vs. Russia hockey game during the past Winter Olympics.

AppDynamics also recently announced our Mobile APM solution – monitoring both iOS and Android apps. HBO, it’s time to let us help. You missed a great opportunity to surprise and delight Game of Thrones enthusiasts who were hoping to stream the premier episode glitch-free.

With the ground-breaking end-to-end performance detection technology and reporting capabilities provided with AppDynamics Mobile Application Monitoring you can proactively see and respond quickly to application degradation, crashes, hangs, and failed network requests. You can also understand crash metrics by device, geography, OS and application version. So HBO’s outage could have been proactively avoided altogether, or at the very minimum resolved in a fraction of the time.

Take five minutes to get complete visibility into the performance of your production applications with AppDynamics today.


AppDynamics for iOS and Android Applications

mobileUp until 6 months ago, I owned a Droid X cell phone. It was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made in my life–18 months of my life controlled by a cell phone operating system that crashed more times than Windows 95, and that’s an impressive statistic. So when I finally got my hands on an iPhone 5, it felt like I got part of my life back. Mobile devices and apps have become central to my life, both from a work and social perspective. My end user experience, lack of patience, and general happiness is therefore dictated by vendors and providers of such devices and apps.

For example, the other day I downloaded one of several iPhone apps available for I was actually looking to buy a car and wanted to browse quickly through all that data without having to click, scroll, and browse through pages of data. Anyway, I opened the app, waited 10 seconds and it froze before it eventually disappeared into thin air. No error message, no apology, just a broken useless app with a crap user experience. I did wonder if the vendor who created this app actually knew their app was crap from any logging code they might have embedded in the app to notify them of crashes. Anyway, I went back into the App Store and downloaded another app and that worked–which goes to show a competitor is just one download away.

It therefore fills me with supreme excitement to announce that AppDynamics will be able to inform these vendors of how their devices, OS and apps are performing–and more importantly what the end user experience is for their customers. It will help them deliver more happiness and goodness to people like me. Yup, that’s right: AppDynamics will be able to monitor the performance and health of native iOS and Android apps, the handset operating system, and the interactions these entities have with remote service providers and server-side application logic when they request and process data.

Mobile applications can differ significantly in UI and architecture; they can simply operate through standard OS web browser like Safari or Chrome, which then connect to backend server-side logic. The vast majority involve native application code running on the device that are downloaded from places like Google Play or App Store. You even have native application code that wraps around the OS web browser to give the user experience or impression that you’re surfing the web, thus allowing vendors to re-use existing server-side content through their mobile apps.

I drew this pretty picture to visualize the complexity of this challenge:

Mobile RUM You might think monitoring mobile apps or their devices is a walk in the park. The reality is that the monitoring agents used to collect such data from iOS or Android apps is the simple part. The complexity is taking all that performance data from thousands of applications across billions of devices and converting it all into information, so vendors can understand and enhance their end user experience with it. That’s why we at AppDynamics designed and built a brand new data collection service so it could support data from billions of devices and crunch several hundred billion events a minute. There’s no point delivering a new monitoring service for our customers if it didn’t scale and perform, that would be like Porsche delivering a new 911 Turbo that did zero to sixty in 10 seconds–totally unacceptable.

AppDynamics is laser-focused on helping customers understand their mobile end user experience. Stay tuned–there’s a ton of cool sh!t on the way.