In a recent post on the Google Firebase blog, Google announced that the latest version of Firebase Crashlytics, the firm’s tool for reporting and managing app crashes, has been released from beta and will now serve as Firebase’s default crash reporting tool going forward.
Along with the news that the service is no longer in beta, Google also announced that Firebase Crashlytics has been updated to include several major new features. All of this can be useful to developers and project managers who are tasked with building and maintaining mobile apps.
The major updates included in this release are:
Integration with Analytics Events – Firebase Crashlytics can now be integrated with Google Analytics events, providing developers with the ability to see a trail of “breadcrumbs”, or steps a user took within an app that led to a crash right from within the Google Firebase console.
This feature does require that the latest Firebase SDK is installed and that Google Analytics for Firebase is enabled. It can potentially save developers a lot of time when it comes to learning about a crash and what may have caused it. They will no longer have to rely on user reports and trying to manually replicate it. One can simply log into the console and view the trail of events that led to the crash.
Crash Insights – In addition to providing breadcrumb trails, Crashlytics now also has the ability to provide insights as to what the potential cause of an app crash may have been, based on the analysis of aggregated data of app crashes over time. The service takes this data and looks for any trends that may be able to provide developers with insights into the reasons that crashes occur.
Build Pinning – Users can now select individual builds and pin them so that they appear at the top of the Crashlytics dashboard. This feature will also enable app builds to be pinned to the dashboards of other users who are on the same team.
dSYM Uploading – While Crashlytics uploads debug symbols (dSYM) files automatically in the background, there can occasionally be instances where this process fails or is interrupted. However, users can now manually upload their dSYM files to the service so that they can still symbolicate the crash logs should something prevent a file from being uploaded automatically.
For app developers, trying to diagnose and resolve issues that cause apps to crash can be a challenge, especially when users are not all using the same device, operating system, or even build of an app. What used to be a process that involved reviewing user reports and manually trying to reproduce app crashes is now vastly simpler with services like Firebase Crashlytics.
Regardless of whether an organization is building a simple brochureware app, a game, or even a full-featured paid app, it’s important to be aware of any potential issues that could cause the app to crash, thus detracting from the overall user experience. And employing a tool such as Crashlytics could be something that could easily help make this process more effective and efficient, regardless of the type of app being built.