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One important way that mobile products differ from desktop apps and websites is the range of circumstances in which they may be accessed. In a desktop environment, web apps can safely assume an unmetered internet connection (likely with decent bandwidth and latency) is available at all times. Good mobile products are designed to work in situations where bandwidth is limited, latency is high, or where there is no network connection available. Mobile devices run on batteries and users are increasingly savvy to the point where battery hogging apps may be deleted for this reason. Similarly, many users do not have unlimited data plans and expect apps and mobile sites to be data-conscious. Finally, apps that crash are swiftly uninstalled, often with a poor review left in the app store.
Whilst performance analysis is likely to be considered primarily by the engineering team, it’s worth keeping in mind that a product that performs poorly in any of the above scenarios is likely to suffer from high churn and/or reduced engagement. Paying attention to performance metrics will alert the team to any potential inhibitors to growth.
Above: the Fabric monitor app, which incorporates crash reporting.