Home

Share this Story

Study: iOS Apps Crashing at a Greater Rate than Android Apps

According to a new mobile app monitoring startup called Crittercism, iOS apps are crashing at a greater rate than your favorite Android apps. For a 2 month period, a ton of data was compiled and broken down by OS version and in some cases by app, and then into quartiles to give a better representation of the crashes. In the end, there was a clear winner (if you want to call it that), but some of the reasoning for this result is what we need to talk about.

Now, not to bring up that whole ridiculous “fragmentation” argument for the 1,010th time, but just take a quick glance at the chart above. As you can see, Android is not the only leading mobile OS on the planet that has its fair share of older builds floating around on devices. In fact, through this study, Crittercism discovered that there were at least 23 different versions of iOS and 33 of Android.

The second note that was discussed was the reasoning behind these crash rates, that seem to get higher as you get to a higher OS build. The obvious reaction is to assume that because the majority of people run the newest OS that the rate would have to be higher. This study doesn’t ignore that idea, but they also want to toss out the fact that many of the apps we use on a daily basis are simply not updated to be compatible with new releases. I would tend to agree that that is probably issue #1. How often do you find yourself on your Galaxy Nexus asking, “When is <insert favorite app> going to get Ice Cream Sandwich support?”

Lastly, the overall numbers that were presented are nothing for anyone to be overly concerned about. Sure, we can brag it up for the next few hours to our iOS counterparts about how their apps are less stable, but the truth is that apps on both platforms are crashing at less than a 1% rate. We aren’t talking about apps crashing 10-20% of the time or anything here. Both operating systems are stable, Android just happens to be slightly more stable.

+1 Android! (Sorry, had to.)

Via:  Forbes

  • tubezninja

    An app can’t crash if it won’t run at all. Have they, or will they do a similar study on users thwarted when an app won’t run on their device at all, due to the fragmentation of the platform?  that’s still a significant failure mode.

  • Michael

    *yawn* next topic.

  • Nate

    Ios apps crash more, but i can tell you that after 5 years with 2 different ipod touches (2 and 4) and 5 months with a droid 3 that the droid has crashed maybe 3x more TOTAL. My ipods were also JAILBROKEN 90% of the time. I shoudve gotten wp7 or an iphone… sad since google is GREAT overall with chrome and the google domain as a whole, they should fire the android devs and appoint the chrome creators to take their places

  • https://plus.google.com/104242241965716988815 boo Jay

    I love my android. I also own an iphone and I can attest that I put it in the trash all the time.  I mean…it’s crashes all the time.

  • Anonymous

    I have an iPad 2 and that thing crashes like crazy, especially the browser! I haven’t gone a single day when it didn’t crash. Couldn’t say the same about my Galaxy Nexus.

  • Anonymous

    As an owner of an iPod, iPad, Captivate, and Transformer, iOS crashes noticeably more often. Neither do it much though.  Still, might shut the iOS fanboys up.

  • http://www.thecarners.com Matt R Carner

    % chance this story ever shows up on The Verge = 0.

  • Anonymous

    Do your research folks, this is of course an untruth being perpetuated by an obviously biased scamdroid site.
    The research firm Crittercism is a Google funded startup.

    http://allthingsd.com/20110712/googlers-stick-together-google-ventures-invests-in-angelpad-start-ups/

    • Anonymous

      see that makes sense now. I’ve had android and ios for over 3 years now.. and there is no way ios is as unstable as Android. ios does crash.. but the frequency is no where close to that of android.

  • Justinmoser

     look how minimum ios 5.1 is.

  • akhi216

    I had an “iPod Sucks” 4th generation and it was impossible to surf the web because the browsers constantly crash no matter which one you use. I turned that iGarbage in to Gamestop for $110 in store credit for a PlayStation Vita preorder. I won’t even get started on the battery life. Aw what the hell, how can you tout a device as a gaming console when you can’t play a game for 45 minutes without the battery going dead!? I’ll stick with my PlayStation Phone.

    • Josh Groff

       If you don’t already emulate on that, head over to roms4droid, we’ll hook you up (I’m 4greaper, always willing to help my fellow android enthusiasts.) :)

  • Booboolala2000

    Funny how iOS takes up about 75% of this pie chart.

  • Josh Groff

    With a Sensation 4G on Virtuous Quattro and a G2X on CM7, most programs are crash free. Glad to see one of the major Apple fan-boy arguments taken down by a graph. ;)

  • Kerbero9

    “but the truth is that apps on both platforms are crashing at less than a 1% rate.”

    Doesn’t mean that iOS apps crash more…there are just more iOS devices.

    In other news more people who like the color red…like the color red more than the people who like the color blue.

    Really?

    -1 for Android fanboy flame bait

    • Anonymous

      And what you posted isn’t flamebait?

      Did you actually look into the study?  It matters not how many times the app was launched – the study accounted for that fact.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IRXQUPRGYT353VRYHBW35SFHBM dustin

      this one is a little crappy, theres better charts if you follow the source

    • Anonymous

      That’s a good theory.  I don’t expect that’s the reason.  I own an android phone/tablet and an iPod/iPad.  It’s not android that crashes more for me.  Granted, neither crash often. but it is usually iOS.  Especially when doing anything related to multitasking, such as multiple tabs, flipping through apps, etc.

    • Anonymous

      More iOS devices??? There are more models of android, more users and more builds.
      http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-12-30/tech/30571342_1_android-platform-smartphone-windows-phone 
      Maybe because there are more iOS apps there is greater potential for a crash but either way it’s a non issue since we are talking about 1%.

    • Anonymous

      No, not at all. Do a little digging into how these numbers came about before you blurt stuff out.

      These numbers are all based on percentages: it does not matter if more data was collected from iOS users – it would only become more accurate.

    • Anonymous

       No, the data is normalized.

  • STR

    As an analyst, I gotta say those pie charts are HORRIBLE. The different OS versions seem to be randomly scattered around the chart. Why is iOS5.0.1 between 4.3.4 and 3.2.2? They should be organized by OS then version number. Then you can see, at a glance, if there is any kind of correlation between age of OS version and crashes.

    Poor, poor data organization. I wouldn’t send this to my supervisor, let alone publish it in a national rag.

  • Anonymous

    From the actual article: “’I expect as Ice Cream Sandwich just launched and the new Nexus S phone launched (during the study), we’ll expect the same situation to occur (with Android) as what happened (with iOS),’ Levy says.”

    Hm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LuisElTiburon Luis Rojas

    I get at least 5 force closes a day. Just saying, 

  • Anonymous

    Apps hardly ever crash on my Galaxy Nexus…

    although that’s probably because there are only like 2 apps that are even compatible with it. :(

    • Anonymous

       Ummm, ALL of my apps work just fine with my Nexus.

      • Anonymous

        Um…yes…the apps that you can actually install.  That was my point.

        • Speedyrulz8

          That’s kind of crazy. I have 170 apps installed and every single one I used on my droid x works on my nexus. The only one that hasn’t worked for me was NFL mobile but it was updated.

          • Anonymous

            It’s not crazy.  There are a ton of apps that are not compatible with ICS.  Just because the ones YOU have installed work doesn’t mean it’s not an issue.

            “This study doesn’t ignore that idea, but they also want to toss out the fact that many of the apps we use on a daily basis are simply not updated to be compatible with new releases. I would tend to agree that that is probably issue #1. How often do you find yourself on your Galaxy Nexus asking, “When is [insert favorite app] going to get Ice Cream Sandwich support?””

            Kellex agrees.

          • Anonymous

            So, while the Android Market is free and open, it is actually better regulated than the Apple app store, specifically regarding what apps are compatible with what versions of the OS? 

            amazing.

            it just works, I guess.

          • Madonna’s Toolbox

            Those goatse and skat porn apps not updated fast enough for you, Gawker?

            Skat spankers are a niche market. I’m sure the market will catch up soon. Don’t worry!

          • Anonymous

            bleh, and why would you use NFL mobile anyway? Score Mobile and Sports Tap offer way more than NFL app.

          • LionStone

            Video and live stream.

      • EC8CH

        the sony tv remote app doesn’t support ICS yet grrrrrrrr

        • STR

           Actually, Sony Media Remote works great. I just had to:

          1) Download it with my old Nexus One on 2.3
          2) use app backup to save the .apk to SD
          3) copy apk to my Galaxy Nexus
          4) Sideload .apk.

          It was kind of a pain to do that, but it hasn’t crashed once on me. Sony just needs to spend 5 minutes updating their market account to allow 4.0

          • EC8CH

            Thanks, maybe I’ll try that with my wife’s D-Inc.

            Sony must be too busy loosing money to bother with such trivial things. I suppose they’ll get around to it once they release an ICS phone.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, I had to do the same thing with the Samsung remote app.  Funny that Samsung doesn’t even update their apps to work with their own flagship phone.  The app works find, but it doesn’t support 720p displays, so there’s a large border on all sides, but at least it works good.

        • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

          Yea but that app sucks

      • Anonymous

        All I need is ScreenCast and my Galaxy Nexus app life will be complete…

    • Anonymous

      Odd my 100+ apps all install and run perfectly fine.

    • Michael Forte

      Funny, which apps would these be? I have over 150 apps and they all work fine with ICS.

      • Anonymous

        Congrats!  I haven’t had the same experience.  Plants vs. Zombies, Madden 12, and Launcher Pro are just a few of the apps that have not worked, even though they worked on my old, beat up OG Droid.

        • Anonymous

          Then something is wrong with your Nexus. Those work for me, and there aren’t “only like 2 apps that are even compatible with it.” You seem to be the only one with this problem, stop trolling, what’s wrong with you.

        • babadush

          I haven’t used launcher pro in a while but last I remember it hadn’t been updated in a year. He was too busy working on his music app.

    • Anonymous

      And the troll of the day award goes to…..

      • Anonymous

        The award goes to you.  I own a Galaxy Nexus.  Why would I troll?  Read the article.  Kellex even says himself there are issues with many apps not being compatible the ICS.

        • Anonymous

          “although that’s probably because there are only like 2 apps that are even compatible with it.”
          Sounds like an obvious exaggeration which I related to trolling.  If I misinterpreted then I’m wrong, but that’s how I read it.

          • Anonymous

            Using hyperbole doesn’t make someone a troll.  People exaggerate all the time to show their frustration or make a point.  If I say, “The Galaxy Nexus is a million times faster than the OG Droid Incredible” am I suddenly a troll?  It’s not TECHNICALLY a million times faster, but I shouldn’t have to explain that.  It was never meant to be taken literally.

  • http://twitter.com/RickRamey Rick Ramey

    Fragmentation.

  • Anonymous

    Not trolling, love Android. But aren’t there other studies showing that iOS users use more apps more frequently than Android users? The study says it uses a normalized data set but normalized by what? OS users or app launches?

    Edit: Just finished reading the article. Nevermind…

    • Anonymous

      Except this study explicitly compared the same apps that appear on both platforms.

    • Muddy B00ts

      I read somewhere else that it was normalized in a few ways.  One of which is that this is % of crashes per app launch. Not just # of crashes.

    • Edwin M

      I know from comparing my wife’s phone (iPhone) and my phone (Rezound) that the apps that are similar on both of our phones (mostly games) crash more frequently on hers (i.e. words with friends, scrabble).

  • Anonymous

    Come on Kellex this is the ultimate #FANBOY post Lol

  • Anonymous

    One word, LOL!

    • http://twitter.com/JDSavarese J.D. Savarese

      or 3 words. Abbreviated. 

      • Anonymous

        Nice 1 (a word & a number)
        Sad thing is that lol/omg/etc… are probably considered words by kids today!! (im not directing this at the cat you replied to, just in general)

  • Michael Forte

    But iOS 5 is a new OS!! Of course it’s going to have problems!
    /s

  • Anonymous

    They really need to slay a few more unicorns to harvest their horns; the magic is running out!

    • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

      The magic died with Jobs.  He may have given them a 5 year plan to sustain them for a while, but after that, they’re done.  Android is only getting better and their visionary leader is gone.

      • Anonymous

        Jobs was a great salesman. We’ll see how they fare without him, but I don’t think he revolutionised the industry or anything and they have the same programmers and designers and such. Sure, Jobs provided a clear vision (very important in a corporate setting), but he didn’t actually make anything.

        • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

          “ I don’t think he revolutionised the industry or anything”

          Are you serious?  He may have been a complete butthole, but smartphones and tablets are what they are today because of Jobs.

          • Anonymous

            False. Everyone was moving towards all touch interfacing; Apple just got a completed device to market first. They took the next, logical step that everyone else was also taking. If Apple wasn’t first, someone else would have been. Don’t fall for the hype.

          • Anonymous

            Doesn’t mean it was going to be as good without Apple’s influence.  Saying it would have is just, well you know, conjecture.

          • Anonymous

            Saying it would not have been is just, well, you know, conjecture.

          • Anonymous

            he proved that smartphones are useful in a mainstream environment, and not just techno geeks find them useful.

            I had been using a winmo phone for about a year before I even heard of the iphone, and friends were all like “this is visionary!” I was like “um, wat?”.

            revolutionize the industry Apple and Jobs did not, make the industry mainstream and help make tech cool, Apple and Jobs did.

  • Anonymous

    I did mess around with the 4S in the VZW store briefly back in November or December and I was trying to use their much-touted photo editing function and it crashed every time. I kept trying and I could not get it to start.

    Not that that means much in the larger scheme of things, but just saying that my first experience with the 4S was Crash City.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care I need one with the wifis and geebees.

    • Anonymous

      Oh God, I think I just had an aneurysm.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gilbert-Estrada/100000308267656 Gilbert Estrada

      And now I need to come up with a reason to explain why I chucklesnorted in the middle of a staff meeting.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe it for a second.. I have and I am using both operating systems.. ios apps are 10 times more stable and even aesthetically pleasing than their counterparts in Android.

    • http://www.thinkgeeks4u.com Hiral Patel

      I do agree aesthetically iOS is better but they have been 2 years ahead of the game with app development. Its only a matter of time before Android closes this gap. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

      The apps themselves may be more aesthetically pleasing on iOS (other than the core ICS apps, those are beautiful) which is really the fault of the devs, not the OS itself, but iOS itself is WAY uglier than ICS.  iOS looks nearly the same as it did 6 years ago and it’s started to show it’s age aesthetically. Glossy effects and 3D buttons were all the rage in 2006, not anymore.

      • EC8CH

        even better are the blacked out inverted ICS apps

        mmmmmm yummy AMOLED blackness :-)

    • Anonymous

      Which to believe: a far reaching, intensive, scientific study with exacting protocols over a long period of time and with a reputable method, or some random dude on the internet sharing his anecdotal experience from an obviously biased standpoint? Such a tough decision.

      • EC8CH

        sorry… he has a puppy avatar.

        he is obviously more trustworthy.

        • Michael Forte

          No way…only if it was kittehs :P

          • EC8CH

            Puppies are waaaaaay more trustworthy.

            Catz are evil, they are plotting to overthrow us and haz all our cheezeburger

          • Josh Groff

             Cats are cunning and lie in wait for the purrfect time to steal our food. Dogs on the other hand just beg and look cute till they get fed.

          • LionStone

            You mean like this? Laying in wait…

          • Josh Groff

             Yes, that is exactly what i mean. ;)

            I’ve had cats pretty much all my life, they are like ninjas.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IRXQUPRGYT353VRYHBW35SFHBM dustin

        im wondering if they only count crashes that are reported, ill have an app crash 10 times in a row and wont send the crash reports, ive never owned an ios device myself and im still slightly skeptical about this… not to mention every new report outside of the blogs that has to do w/ android and ios are usually debunked within a week.

        • Anonymous

          That’s not how the test worker. From Gizmodo UK:
          “Crittercism counted 214 million separate app launches across 23 different versions of iOS and the 33 varying builds of Android out there at the moment, generating average app crash data as a percentage of the total failures.”

    • Anonymous

      Apps in my iPad2 crash noticeably more often then my nexus. I don’t even know if I’ve had an app crash on my nexus to be honest.

      Ive actually been saying the same about it constantly force closing for 6 months now. Won the iPad at work.

      • Anonymous

        won, or got stuck with ;-)

        • Anonymous

          I do wish it were a Android tablet. 

    • Josh Groff

       I can agree with this, especially with skinned android. An AOSP or CM based ROM fixes most crash problems.

    • Anonymous

      empirical evidence > anecdotal evidence.
      sorry, you lose.

      besides, my own anecdotal evidence is to the contrary. even the apps built into the OS crashed. Safari for instance on my iPhone would crash once a week on average. Granted that’s about 7x better than the old winmo phone I used to use which crashed out mobile IE once a day. but no one cares about winmo.