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iOS Vs. Android: Which Has the Crashiest Apps? 358

First time accepted submitter creativeHavoc writes "Forbes author Tomio Geron takes a look at data accrued by mobile app monitoring startup Crittercism. After looking at normalized data of crashes over the various mobile operating system versions he compares crash rates of apps on the two platforms. He also breaks it down further to look how the top apps compare across the competing mobile operating systems. The results may not be what you expect."
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iOS Vs. Android: Which Has the Crashiest Apps?

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  • Long Story Short (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alicat1194 ( 970019 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:14AM (#38934379)
    iOS crashes more than Android (for those who don't feel like trawling through the (not brilliantly formatted) article.
  • Re:Long Story Short (Score:5, Informative)

    by MtHuurne ( 602934 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:32AM (#38934487) Homepage

    0.75 percent point. The relative difference is quite large.

  • by darjen ( 879890 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:32AM (#38934489)

    It's more than just bad apps. I got an iPad a couple weeks ago and safari has crashed several times. I never have more than 5 tabs open. I have also had Skype crash as well, but I don't know how well that code is written.

  • by dreold ( 827386 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:39AM (#38934527)
    Sorry, just not true. Before the iPhone, an unlocked Treo 650 cost about USD 650 (without contract). Some fashionable dumb or feature phones - like the Matrix Nokia chromed slider - retailed up to USD 1000 at the time - with contract and all.
  • by kqs ( 1038910 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:47AM (#38934575)

    You have nobody to thank for this but a: the carriers and b: apple.

    It is they, who in collusion, raised the price of buying a phone to astronomical levels. Remember when the highest price for an unlocked phone was usually $200? What phone broke that trend? Iphone.

    Well, either that, or you didn't notice expensive phones before the iPhone, since unlocked Treos were $600 in 2006. But sure, you dislike Apple so it's probably Apple's fault.

  • by perryizgr8 ( 1370173 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @11:00AM (#38934629)

    despite all of your rambling bullshit, you cannot write apps that will properly multitask for ios AND will get listed in the official market.

  • Re:Long Story Short (Score:5, Informative)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Sunday February 05, 2012 @11:02AM (#38934645) Homepage Journal

    Personally I like the Apple model most because as consumer I prefer an app crashing than becoming unresponsive or worse

    As a consumer, I notice that I see far fewer unresponsive apps on my Nexus than I did with my iPhone 4. This is probably partly due to the fact that the Android OS is so quick to intervene and offer to forcibly close an app -- which turns an unresponsive app into a crash and would contribute to Android apps crashing more than iOS apps.

    as developer I dislike having a jungle of try/catches.

    Then structure your code so you don't have a jungle of try/catch blocks. If your exception handling code is complex, it's often a sign that the code in general is too complex and needs refactoring. It's a code smell [].

  • by Cimexus ( 1355033 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @11:04AM (#38934659)

    What? There have been >$1000 unlocked phones as long as I can remember. Hell, I remember the Nokia 8 and 9 series phones cost over a thousand bucks way back in 1997 or so...

  • Re:Android ftl? (Score:5, Informative)

    by WankersRevenge ( 452399 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @11:08AM (#38934693)
    We'll be probably being seeing the numbers shift as more ios developers start incorporating ARC into their code. For those not in the know, ARC is compiler optimization that handles object deallocation for the developer thereby preventing the most common kinds of crashes. People often get it confused with garbage collection and while the end results are similar, ARC occurs only occurs at compile time so there is no runtime performance hit. It's a big win for developers and end users.
  • by Ender_Stonebender ( 60900 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @11:20AM (#38934755) Homepage Journal

    I was bored this morning, so for those interested, since the article makes it hard to extract this information:

    All iOS versions total 84.36% of crashes; all Android versions total 15.49% of crashes. The worst offenders for iOS are version 5.0.1 at 28.64% and 4.2.10 at 12.64% (with seven other version listed at above 1% of crashes). The worst offenders for Android are versions 2.3.3 at 3.86% and 2.3.4 at 3.65%, with 4 other versions listed at above 1%.

  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @11:48AM (#38934895)

    but I know many people who found, when they get a smartphone, that its main purpose is NOT to make calls.

    That is so true. And let's not forget that, at least in Android's case, there's a built-in SIP stack so you can make cheap data calls. Of course, you could also run Skype on Android and iOS. There are a couple of VoIP providers (I understand that VOIPO [] is one) that let you use your SIP credential on your phone. In any event, even if your main thing is making voice calls, a smartphone can help save you money there.

  • Re:Android ftl? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 05, 2012 @11:49AM (#38934897)

    ARC isn't a silver bullet, and there are actual performance benefits to modern garbage collectors that ARC won't be able to take advantage of. Its really just auto-generated retain and release statements at all the most obvious points where you'd need it in code. It doesn't protect against circular ref leaks, and there are ways to structure your code that confuse it, requiring you to turn it off for the entire source file. It is nice that you can turn it off for one source file but leave it on for the rest of your codebase. And unless I'm mistaken, its still deallocating objects individually when their refcount hits 0, not giving you any of the bulk deallocation speedups that a generational garbage collector gives you. Garbage collectors have come a long way. The runtime cost of performing collection has gone way down, and for all but a few workloads is more than offset by the more efficient allocation schemes it gives you access to.

  • by milkmage ( 795746 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @12:00PM (#38934953)

    but the most popular phone leading up to iphone was the RAZR (2004). initial price in the states was $600 bucks. []
    It was 2004 when the RAZR launched in the US as a high-end design clamshell. It was $600, with a $100 dollar rebate from Cingular. yes, soon after launch the price dropped precipitously much like smart phones now. today you can get an android or ios phone (NEW) for just about every price point from free to 800 bucks.

    oh, and don't forget the venerable StarTAC. 1996 - ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS ( a primary selling point of which was support for OMG.. wait for it.. SMS. ...a free iphone 3GS is as capable as a laptop of the StarTAC era. Apple didn't set the bar, Motorola did - TWICE. Together the StarTAC and RAZR sold over 100M units.

    so poett, you either forgot or are too young to have ever known ;)

  • by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @12:44PM (#38935285)
    What smartphones have you used, and what constitutes "decent function"? Because I have never been disappointed in the telephone part of any of my smartphones.
  • by crmarvin42 ( 652893 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @12:46PM (#38935307)
    This graphic is worse than useless. Here is a good debunking of it from a stats focused blog I first saw it on. []
  • Slashdot got trolled (Score:4, Informative)

    by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @12:49PM (#38935337) Homepage

    This chart has already been torn apart on Junk charts []. Basically their statistics and reporting are so vague as to make it worthless. But yes, you may be surprised ... lies, damn lies and statistics.

  • Re:Android ftl? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 05, 2012 @01:23PM (#38935527)

    Android has a nasty habit of letting apps hold their state in RAM so they start up quicker next time.

    1) It's not "nasty".
    2) It's not "so they start up quicker", it's so they don't need to start again in the first place.
    3) The system will automatically kill background apps in this state if there's not enough memory to go round.

  • Re:Android ftl? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @01:44PM (#38935677)

    I'll reply here because you chose not to be a coward, but this response applies to the ACs below as well. Apps tend to crash when they are out of resources. Other apps will refuse to start when there are not enough resources to go around. Android has a nasty habit of letting apps hold their state in RAM so they start up quicker next time. To remedy that you visit the RAM tab of the task manager and tap "clear memory" I did this just now and it ended 12 ongoing processes to free up nearly 125MB of RAM.

    I think you're having a conceptual problem here. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having no "free" RAM. You're running a Linux box after all, and that's why you have a memory management subsystem. If there is not sufficient free RAM (or not enough in a contiguous block) for an app to start, the operating system will make space for it by unloading something that isn't currently running. Now, that make take a noticeable amount of time, depending upon the application and machine performance. In any event, every Android app is required to save its state when it is not in the foreground, so it can be restarted either from memory, or from the filesystem, exactly where it left off. It doesn't really matter whether the app is in memory or not, or whether you think you have no free memory ... or not. It's the operating system's job to handle that for you. This is not an Apple ][, after all, this is a modern OS that's fully capable of managing its own resources.

    Now, if what you're saying is that you're having stability or performance issues, odds are you have a misbehaving application (or a broken background service.) But that's not an operating system issue. Find out what's causing the problem and bug the dev to fix it. I don't know what kind of device you have, but I suppose it's possible that it doesn't have enough RAM to do what you want of it.

  • Re:Long Story Short (Score:2, Informative)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <> on Sunday February 05, 2012 @02:04PM (#38935811)

    Why do they need to know? (they're in the "Music" folder in the top level of their Home folder - such a hard to find location, but anyway), they can just drag the files out of iTunes onto another part of the drive if they can't find that folder. If they can get to the file in iTunes to play it then they can copy it to another drive or folder easily. (On Windows I believe it's under the "my documents > music" folder, but it's been a while since I looked. It's somewhere obvious anyway).

    They could also burn them to CD if they wanted (either as an audio CD or as a raw data CD/DVD with the aac/mp3 files on it - iTunes offers both options).

    It's hardly a massive hurdle to leaving the ecosystem.

  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @06:40PM (#38937637) Homepage

    There are no "smart phones" that provide decent telephony function.

    I completely disagree. Before I got my Droid 2 phone (Android phone from Verizon) I didn't think that a smartphone would be much different from a boring phone. And, I really loved my old Motorola StarTac flip-phone; I was reluctant to go from that to the comparatively massive Droid 2.

    Here is what I have found:

    • It's kind of nice to dial just by clicking on the screen. I mostly dialed numbers directly on my StarTac, with only a few numbers coded into numbered memory slots; now I look up my friend, point with my finger, and the phone dials. It's really a large step forward in usability.
    • It's also really nice to call businesses that are not in my contacts. I Google search for, say, Joe's Plumbing, then click on the phone number in the search results with my finger. Sometimes Google even puts a GUI button in there, "call 425-555-1212" The Phone app launches with that number pre-loaded, and I just hit the big green "initiate call" icon.
    • Google Voice Search is also really nice. I pull out my phone, hit that icon, and say "call James Johnston at home". And by golly the voice recognition works, it looks up the name in my contacts, and dials for me. I like this so much, I want a hardware button on the side of the phone to trigger the Google Voice Search feature.
    • Google Voice Search even works with businesses and other names not in my contacts, although it's much less reliable. The voice recognition doesn't do well with words that are not in Google's word list, but sound sort of like words that are. So if I try to search for "Vetco Electronics" it matches as "Petco Electronics" which isn't very useful. (However, for words that are in the list, or words that sound nothing like any word in the list, it works well. I can ask it to search for "Umpqua Bank" and it nails it. Hmmm, I suppose "Umpqua" could be in the list, but it seems unlikely.)
    • Not really exclusive to a smartphone, but the Droid 2 is the first phone I have had with a really usable speakerphone function. I bought a Bluetooth hands-free headset so I could legally talk while driving; I never use it, I just use the speakerphone function.

    In short, I'm quite pleased with my Droid 2 as a phone.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 05, 2012 @08:40PM (#38938177)

    NullPointerException and ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException are both equally as bad as seg faults.

    Funny you should say that. Know what happens if you dereference null in Objective C? Well, "send a message to nil," but it's the same concept. The answer: the method silent returns 0/false/nil (depending on what the return signature is). That's it. No exception and no warning.

    So if you were wondering about why iOS apps crash so frequently, it really is because of the language they're written in and the platform they target.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"