Any mobile app company's greatest fear is performance anxiety. Simply put, there is a link between a good user experience and customer retention. Surprisingly, it all starts with how the app appears on the home screen: According to ComScore, one-fifth of Millennials have removed an app because they dislike the way the icon appears on their smartphone. Fortunately, for most organizations, the difference between success and failure is determined by factors such as app speed, convenience of use, and the availability of relevant content.
This blog will primarily focus on essential performance assessment and strategy measures.
The Importance of Mobile App Performance Measuring
Testing strategy for mobile application
3 Pillars of Mobile App Performance
The simplest way to monitor performance issues
As per Statista, 25% of mobile apps were downloaded and used only once and later abandoned by the end-user.
Let us see the Importance of measuring mobile app performance to start with.
Mobile App Performance is very essential. If your mobile app does not perform adequately, the end-user will delete it and replace it with a better performing app!
So, what should be done?
- Before releasing your mobile application to the public, it must be fully tested.
- You need to use the tools which help you get the analytics on how the application is performing post-release when it is being used by the actual users!
Let’s dig into Mobile App Performance Testing Strategy
There are mainly 3 pillars of any mobile application performance.
- Device Performance
- Serer/API Performance
- Network Performance
When the user experiences a slow app, they get disappointed.
For device performance, you should check the following
- App Start-Up
- How much time your app takes to start-up?
- It is the initial performance parameter that the user evaluates. As a general guideline, the initial screen should appear in 1-2 seconds after the user touches the app icon.
- Battery depleted while using the app.
- Some mobile apps drain battery life and heat the phone when they are constantly used.
- This aspect significantly improves the performance of any mobile app and occurs when your mobile application consumes more resources than it requires.
- Excessive resource utilization strains the processor, causing the phone to overheat.
- Memory Usage
- When testing an app, make sure to look at how much memory it uses.
- The memory consumption of the application grows as specific functionalities are implemented. When processing media files, memory consumption increases, just like it does in Android apps.
- In some circumstances, memory used by the entire operating system is only 14%, while a new app consumes 11%. So, before releasing the software to the end-user or handing it to the customer, these factors must be addressed.
- Software/ Hardware Variation
- When testing a mobile app, it is necessary to test it on a variety of devices.
- It's possible that the app runs nicely on one device but not on others. We can test the app on all Android/iOS suppliers.
- Similarly, the application should be tested with various RAM and CPU requirements, such as 3GB and 2GB.
- Compatibility with Other Apps
- When the mobile application under test operates in the background alongside other apps, there should be no interference. Switching between the app under testing and other apps is the best approach to check it.
- Background App
- When an app currently operating in the background is retrieved, it should remain in the same state as previously. Data will be lost if this scenario is not handled correctly. When you reinstall the software, you must enter data from scratch once more.
- Though this used to happen often earlier due to less RAM size on the device, Garbage Collector used to free the memory from the application, which was not being used for a longer time.
The response time becomes essential to performance when the app interacts with the server via API.
You should look at the following for server performance.
- Data to and from the server
- The app should process data sent from the server as efficiently as possible. The data loading process should not take too long.
- Data is sent in a certain format in some applications. So it should be changed to a suitable format before being displayed in the app. Apps can slow down and response time can increase as a result of this procedure.
- API Calls Produced by the App
- The number of calls from the test app to the server made by the app should be reduced.
- Multiple API calls for the same functionality may be made in some cases.
- This should be done with fewer calls to improve performance.
- Server Down Time
- If the server is unavailable for any reason, we can save data in the native database. As a result, we can display data stored in the native database even if the server is down.
- Another option is to use failover database servers, which means that if one of the servers goes down or goes into maintenance, the backup server should be ready to take over.
- The failover/backup server should be continuously replicated and synchronized with the primary server.
- In any case, there should be a valid message should be displayed to the user if in case the internet is not turned on from the device or server response gets timed out.
The mobile application performance must be assessed on various networks and network parameters.
The following should be checked for network performance.
- Jitters are a phrase used to describe a delay in receiving information through a network.
- It's a difficulty with packet switch networks or connectionless networks.
- Packets can take a different path from the sender to the receiver since information is distributed in packets.
- When data gets to its destination, it is scrambled differently than when it was delivered.
- In the case of Jitters, the mobile app should be able to handle the situation.
- Show the relevant notifications to the end-user, instructing them to either retry the request or wait for the system to answer again.
- Packet Loss
- In the event of a complete packet loss, the App should resend the information request or generate the appropriate alerts.
- The user will be unable to interpret the information provided in the App if the data is incomplete. For the user, this might be a cause of stress. As a result, it is advisable to display an appropriate message or request that the user try again.
- The Network Speed
- The App must be tested on several different networks with varying speeds.
- The application should be tested on 3G and 4G networks, including Wi-Fi and mobile networks. Keeping a check on the App's activities is also a good idea. Specifically, when both networks are operational, and migration from one to the other has occurred.
- For example, while switching the phone network from 4G to WIFI and vice versa, an issue may develop in an app for users. In this instance, the program becomes unresponsive and may need to be restarted before it can be used again.
- Several third-party tools are available on the market to measure the elements mentioned above, but none give complete information in one bundle. Having said this, you must be worried about how you can keep a tab on all such aspects simultaneously.
As we have now seen the aspects affecting the application performance, let us now see the easiest way to monitor the performance issues!
The best way to get data on application performance is to have Firebase Performance Monitoring integrated with your application.
- Firebase Performance Monitoring SDK
- Firebase Performance Monitoring is a software service that allows you to evaluate the performance of your iOS, Android, and web apps.
- Collect performance data from your app using the Performance Monitoring SDK and then examine it in the Firebase console.
- Performance monitoring allows you to see where and when your app's performance may be improved, allowing you to utilize that knowledge to address performance concerns.
- Automatically measure app start-up time
- When you incorporate the Performance Monitoring SDK into your app, you won't have to write any code before your app starts monitoring many key performance metrics.
- The SDK records launch time, rendering data by screen, and activity while the program is running in the foreground or background for native apps.
- The SDK records information for web apps such as the first contentful paint, the ability for people to interact with your app, and more.
- Identify situations where app performance could be enhanced.
- When you don't know why your software isn't doing as well as it should, it might be challenging to improve its performance.
- As a result, Performance Monitoring allows you to view performance data by variables such as country, device, app version, and OS level.
Let us now see how Firebase Performance SDK helps?
Firebase itself takes care of provide performance measures in various aspects; you need to integrate, and that's it!
Customize monitoring for your application.
- You may build custom traces to record your app's performance in specific scenarios, such as loading a new screen or displaying a new interactive feature, and custom metrics to track events that you define (such as cache hits) throughout those traces.
Here is a quick video showing how it really works
Things to take care of while implementing custom traces:
Collecting user data
- Personal identifiable information (PII) such as emails, names or phone numbers is not collected by Performance Monitoring. By attaching new characteristics to Performance Monitoring, developers may collect extra data.
- Data that personally identifies an individual to Google should not be included in Performance Monitoring. An example of a log message that doesn't include any personally identifiable data: "experiment", "A"); trace.putAttribute("experiment", "A");
- Here's an example that contains personally sensitive information (do not use custom property in your app): user.getEmailAddress(); trace.putAttribute("email");
- Data that reveals any personally identifiable information will be deleted without notification.
Firebase Mobile App Performance Monitoring Data Collection:
Now you would think about what kind of statistics the Firebase Performance SDK provides.
Let us see the type of information collected through the Firebase Performance Monitoring default implementation includes
- General device information, such as orientation, model, and OS.
- Disk and RAM size
- CPU consumption
- Carrier (based on Mobile Country and Network Code)
- Radio/Network information (for example, Wi-Fi, LTE, 3G)
- Country (based on IP address)
- Signal strength
- Jailbroken or rooted status of the device
- Battery level and battery-charging state
- App version
- App foreground or background state
- App package name
- A pseudonymous app-instance identifier
- Network URLs (not including URL parameters or payload content) and the following corresponding information:
- Response codes (for example, 403, 200)
- Payload size in bytes
- Response times
- Duration times for automated traces.
Mobile App Performance testing is a key process that can determine the success of your Mobile App. If you wish to know how your mobile app can perform in the real world talk to us!