Up 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 Craigslist.com. 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 craigslist.com 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:
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.