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New iOS 8 APIs trigger higher app crash rate

Gregg Keizer | Sept. 25, 2014
In its first days of availability, iOS 8, Apple's newest mobile operating system, has exhibited an app crash rate significantly higher than iOS 7 did a year ago, an app performance management developer said yesterday.

(Crittercism had pre-sales app crash rates for the iPhone 6, probably test units owned by Apple engineers and employees who launched an app with Crittercism's framework embedded in the code.)

Levy also speculated that the new Swift programming language, which Apple also introduced this summer, might be part of the cause for the increased app crash rate. "With an immature language, you're going to see issues," Levy said.

By Crittercism's metrics, 27.4% of all iOS devices running its clients' apps were powered by iOS 8 on Tuesday, a considerably lower number than Apple's 46% that accessed the iTunes App Store on Sunday.

But regardless of the higher crash rate, Levy praised iOS 8. "All in all, with the amount of changes [in iOS 8], Apple is doing an even better job this year," he said.

Levy had no problem recommending that consumers upgrade their iPhones and iPads to iOS 8, but cautioned businesses to hold off for now. "You don't have to be on the bleeding edge," he said, what with the risk that a mission-critical mobile app will fail.

Things should improve, perhaps rapidly, as Apple quashes bugs and app developers revamp their wares. "Over the course of the [iOS 8] betas, the failure rate went down," Levy said and pointed out that last year issued three iOS 7 updates in just over a month.

Levy was prescient: Apple released iOS 8.0.1 today, but then quickly pulled the update after customers flooded the firm's support discussion forum with reports that they'd lost cellular service on the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models.


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