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Re: [londroid] Crash reporting: Bugsense vs Crittercism (vs other?)

From: Elliot E.
Sent on: Monday, January 14, 2013 12:40 PM
Hi Balazs,

I have recently looked into this issue for our small mobile consultancy, so i'm happy to share some of my findings. We cover both iPhone and Android, so our first priority was something that was cross platform. I looked at Bugsense, Crittercism, Flurry, Google Analytics, and one you didn't mention, and the one i eventually went for, Hockeyapp. Details below, but first a few definitions:

Caught exceptions - they all report on uncaught exceptions (e.g. when your app crashes) but really, if you've done your job properly, these should be caught before you crash. That doesn't mean you don't want to know about them though, so support for caught exceptions is just that - reports on (specified) errors that didn't crash the app.
Proguard symbolication - allows you to upload a Proguard obfuscation map so you can make sense of the stack traces with your original class names
Breadcrumbs - allows you to record events so you can see the sequence of events leading up to a crash
Fix notifications - If you fix an error, users who experience that error are notified that there is a new version available with a fix.
Logcat support - seeing the logcat leading up to a crash is very useful, and is my favourite feature of ACRA 

The contenders (in alphabetical order)
Note: Balazs, these 4 all support grouping all similar errors together and let you mark it as fixed and in what version

$0 (Unlimited apps, 500 errors, 7 day retention)
$19 (Unlimited apps, 25,000 errors, 30 day retention, Fix notifications)
$99 (Unlimited apps, 100,000 errors, 60 day retention, Fix notifications, Proguard symboication)
Class-leading interface
Fix notifications (only on $99 plan)
Caught exceptions
Proguard symbolication (only with $99 plan)
Jira Integration
Breadcrumbs (but only on the expensive enterprise plan)
No breadcrumbs
No logcat support

$0 (Unlimited apps/devs, 2000 erros/month)
$29 (Unlimited apps/devs/errors)
Caught exceptions
No proguard symbolication
No fix notifications
No breadcrumbs
No logcat support

$0 (Unlimited apps, unlimited errors, unlimited devs)
$24 (Unlimited apps, unlimited errors, unlimited devs, handled exceptions)
Fix notifications
Breadcrumbs (only with expensive enterprise plan)
Logcat support (only with expensive enterprise plan)
Caught exceptions (only available on $24 plan)
Expensive (if you want decent features!)
Seems to be no way to find out what type of device an error occurred on - a MAJOR oversight imo, and the deal-breaker for me

$10/mo (5 apps 2 devs, unlimited crashes)
$25/mo (25 apps, 5 devs, unlimited crashes)
Beta distribution tools
Proguard symbolication available on all plans
Jira Integration
Supports caught exceptions
Logcat support on all plans
Fix notifications (only on $24 plan)
No free plan (though a 1-month trial is available)
No breadcrumbs

My conclusion:
We eventually went with HockeyApp because it offers all the features of the others, plus tools to help in doing closed beta testing of your app. It was also the only one to offer any sort of logcat support on a reasonable price plan. Runner up would have to be BugSense. The interface is excellent - easy to see the important stuff immediately. Crittercism could be good if they took some of their best features out of the enterprise-only category, while Bugsnag just seems to be a bit short on features.

Honourable Mentions
I came across a stack overflow post ( ) that claimed flurry would soon be offering "full stack trace reporting" - which would be great because the one thing that would make found bugs easier to reproduce would be to be able to work out the sequence of events leading up to the crash, and since most apps already use flurry to record this type of info, if flurry had proper error reporting it would be killer. Unfortunately, i emailed their support and it was a mis-communication that the feature was already available, but they apparently do intend to release something like that very soon, so one to keep an eye on...

Google Analytics
While the analytics side is great, the error reporting is not as developed as the other players. I believe you can see stack traces but very little else. Their documentation is quite confusing though, so i'm not even sure about that much (if anybody has experience with this, i'd love to hear about it!)

Finally, i also found it interesting to see what the community at large uses, which seems to be Bugsense:

BugSense:  3.25% of apps, 3.64% of installs
ACRA  2.60% of apps, 5.25% of installs
Crittercism:  0.43% of apps, 1.61% of installs
HockeyApp:  0.13% of apps, 1.18% of installs

There you go, my £0.02. Good luck with your search, Balazs!

-Elliot Long

twitter: @elroid

On 8 Jan 2013, at 14:53, Balazs Balazs <[address removed]> wrote:

Hi All,

I'm currently using ACRA for crash reporting but lately it started to become very inconvenient so I started to look for other options.

Basically it looks like there are two good options, either Crittercism or Bugsense. I've tried both with a sample project, they both look very similar.

Anyone has any experience with those? Which one do you recommend? Advantages, disadvantages?

Also have you found any good open source backend for ACRA? I wasn't able to find a good one, with a usable interface and a good enough feature set.


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