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User experiences with web and mobile applications are more important than ever. Users have high expectations for performance and demand consistent updates with new features and content. Thanks to low switching costs and a growing plethora of options available on the market, if users see even the smallest issue with stability, speed, or responsiveness, they’ll explore other options.
Stability measures application health as well as user experience. It’s calculated in two main ways to provide insight. A percentage of
Our insights help you determine application stability SLAs and SLOs, like how infrastructure and operational teams rely on the “five nines” to measure uptime and availability.
Target stability scores best represent your SLO. This score can be thought of as an aspirational goal to balance fixing bugs with building new features. If your stability score is above target stability, you can focus on building new features. If lower, get the bugs.
On the other hand, you can compare our critical stability score to your SLA. This is the minimum threshold your app should run on to ensure its functionality. If your stability score drops below your critical stability threshold, drop everything and focus on fixing bugs immediately.
To help you compare your application to other leading web and mobile apps, Bugsnag has aggregated data to analyze stability trends and release frequency with industry benchmarks. We welcome you to learn from them as well.
Stability is a percentage of app sessions that are crash-free. Stability scores are used to gauge app health and user experience.
Measuring App Quality Across Industries
When it comes to measuring app quality, stability hits different industries in varied ways. Factors like value of user interactions, and volume. Understanding these factors will help engineering organizations develop strategies for delivering higher quality apps.
Trendsetters: Setting the bar while delivering enrichening new experiences
Middle of the Pack: Good with the potential to be great
Run of the Mill: Nothing special and easily replaceable
Mobile apps continue to become more stable while web applications show dramatic improvement
In our reports from 2020 and 2021, median mobile app stability score in-creased from 99.63% to 99.80%. This year, median stability score for mobile apps continued to trend upwards, increasing to 99.88% in 2022. While mobile apps are becoming more stable, there is still work to be done to achieve the “five nines” of stability.
Android and iOS continue to have high median stability scores. One reason for this consistency is the amount of developers specialized in Android and iOS. Their well of knowledge not only helps them fix errors, it helps them do so efficiently.
While their median stability scores are similar, the range of scores between Android and iOS applications is noticeably different. Many Android applications have a stability lower than the platform median while iOS applications have a much narrower range. One reason for this discrepancy is because Android has a much larger number of devices – a more open development environment. This can make it difficult to test applications and increases exposure to crashes and errors. Whereas dedicated iOS development teams have a limited number of devices to test their application’s stability on.
React Native is a very popular mobile development framework thanks to its ability to simultaneously develop Android and iOS applications. It is especially helpful for engineers that may not be familiar with mobile frameworks but have experience with React for web applications.
Unity is extremely popular in the mobile gaming industry, with many of the most popular games developed on the platform. As primarily a mobile gaming framework, its not surprising Unity showed the same trends out of the platforms included in our report. Mobile games often introduce new features rapidly to satisfy their users, which can lead to more errors instability. Feature flags and experiments to introduce new features to a subsegment of users will help improve app stability while minimizing the amount of bugs (or risk) introduced to your application’s entire user base. As an aside, we recently launched support for Unreal Engine earlier this year, however we were unable to use the data for this year’s report. We expect to see Unreal Engine as a platform listed next year.
Each web-based application has its stability measured across multiple browsers. All customers experiencing errors in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or other browsers are included in the overall stability score of the application.
Sometimes errors may be caused by specific browser extensions, which are included in our stability score. However, most engineering organizations do not dedicate time and resources to fix these bugs because they are not from their application’s code.
Mobile apps release at almost twice the frequency of web apps
Web and mobile applications are shifting their release cadences as consumers frequently demand new features and immediate bug resolution. We sifted through our data to analyze the release frequency of the leading applications so you can benchmark them against your release cadence.
One notable example is the trend of faster releases for mobile apps which update weekly. On average, across all industries mobile apps deliver every four to five days. Meanwhile, web applications adhere to the biweekly release frequency, about every ten days. One possible explanation for the discrepancy is mobile apps more frequently test new features by practicing progressive delivery with feature flags, experiments, and A/B tests to retain their users. This is especially true in mobile gaming apps.
Release cadences depend on industry type
Gaming has the narrowest distribution, averaging about 6.5 releases a month. This is an increase over the weekly frequency we saw in last year’s report. The frequent release schedule may help explain why gaming saw the lowest stability score in our report.
Health & Wellness had the widest range of distribution as well as the second highest release median. Their second-lowest stability median is proof why there needs to be a balance between frequent and infrequent updates, and how measures like target and critical stability scores can help find that balance.
All industries besides Media & Entertainment released a new version of their application on a weekly basis at minimum. It’s becoming clearer developers are more confident in their releases schedules and accelerating new releases through progressive delivery practices like feature flags.
Outside of a few industries, each industry displayed a wide range of release schedules, with some releasing multiple times a day. This may indicate bugs are releasing at large scale and teams need to focus on minimizing risk with new features.