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Mobile App Performance Monitoring

Performance is especially important in the world of mobile applications. Often times developers may feel that they have less insight into the performance of their mobile apps vs desktop or servers applications. The use of mobile app performance monitoring tools can help in this regard.

Mobile APM technology has come a long ways in recent years. There are several great tools out there worth looking at.

Firebase Performance Monitoring

I wouldn’t have expected to see a Google product listed alongside things like Dynatrace and Appdynamics but here it is. Firebase Performance Monitoring is a viable tool for mobile platforms. One of the big things that stands out about this options is that it is free to use. It can report network issues. It records all sorts of metrics including HTTP requests and application startup times. One downside is that it apparently doesn’t include end-to-end tracing.

New Relic - Mobile Performance Monitoring

New Relic is a well known tool in the world of application performance monitoring. You would probably not be surprised to learn that it also supports monitoring mobile platforms. It is known to be easy to install. It provides a very complete report and features full stack report tracing. As with many other products of the same type, it can be expensive.

Mobile APM with Dynatrace

Dynatrace is a huge player in this area. Their software is well known and has been around for a while. They are capable of providing excellent end to end tracing of every connection within a distributed application. Obviously, for this to be complete, they need to support mobile clients. They do a pretty good job of this. They are noted as providing HTTP session analysis in high detail. When compared to New Relic, they are supposed to be somewhat less intuitive. They can also be expensive.

AppDynamics

These guys are also good. They are about equivalent to Dynatrace and New Relic. They do feature a newer, more progressive looking web UI. They enable tracing of the entire stack and also include mobile platforms. AppDynamics is an incredibly powerful APM tool that lets you monitor sessions, errors, and just about anything you could want. It traces every connection between different components. All sorts of metrics are captured. One of the key features they offer is the ability to automatically detect a baseline of normal expected behavior

AppPulse Mobile

This is a mobile application performance monitoring solution. It provides end to end tracing which is pretty impressive. It watches performance but does much more than that. It watches network requests, crashes, and errors. It even goes as far as being able to watch battery usage. They provide detailed crash analytics as a main feature point of their software.

They do all of this without requiring code to be tagged or changed.

Cloudflare Mobile SDK

We all know Clouldflare. They have come to be respected for what they provide. Now it turns out that they also have also entered the world of mobile APM. They seem well positioned to provide this functionality too. They seem well prepared to handle the challenges of mobile application performance monitoring. With their experience in handling distributed systems, they should be able to handle the unpredictable, distributed nature of mobile platforms very well.

This isn’t going to be quite the same as Appdynamics or Dynatrace. I would imagine that the experience should be somewhat different but they definitely deserve a look.

Raygun - For Mobile App Performance Monitoring

Raygun is another tool that brings a fair amount to the table. It is geared towards monitoring and detecting crashes, errors, and performance issues. They support any language or frame work. They do provide full stack traces as well as searching and filtering.

I actually had never heard of them before but came across their product while searching for more information on their competitors. They’ve written a nice article comparing themselves with some of the other tools listed on this page. Just check the links in the references section at the bottom of this page if you want to read their article yourself.

Datadog

We have to mention Datadog. While they aren’t necessarily the same as the other products we’ve covered, Datadog does allow for the monitoring of mobile systems. They are great at capturing data. The approach might be a bit different. The problems that they typically solve are somewhat different in nuanced ways but they might be the solution of choice. It all depends on your preferences and your specific use cases. As with everything, don’t just compare features. You need to actually POC the software to really know what works best for you.

References