How Real User Monitoring surfaces mobile application performance problems

| 4 min. (671 words)

Maintaining a successful mobile application is not easy. Your users expect fast loading pages and crash free mobile applications as standard. But, if you have no visibility into these problems, you can’t fix them and provide a great user experience to users. Real User Monitoring tools like Raygun surfaces mobile application performance problems like poor page load speed, enabling you to fix them before any problems affect end users. 

You may be curious to see how exactly Real User Monitoring for mobile works, and how you can surface and isolate performance problems quickly.

Today, I’m going to delve specifically into the ‘Performance’ page, where you will find this information and more.

Using Raygun to surface mobile application performance problems 

Inside the Real User Monitoring (or RUM) mobile dashboard, you will get the data you need to understand your mobile application including:

  • How often people use your application 
  • How many new and returning users you have
  • Which countries are using your application 
  • How end users are navigating your application
  • Once usage data is flowing from your mobile application, your mobile dashboard will become active. Navigating the dashboard is easy. The tabs along the top of the ‘Real User Monitoring’ window give you the high-level categories that you can discover about your application:

    Pulse for mobile application performance - tab showing the performance tab

    As mentioned above, I’m interested in the application performance right now, which you can see under the ‘Performance’ tab. The overall performance of your application is broken down into network call performance, slowest views and load time distribution. Let’s take a look at these in detail:

    Network call performance

    The two events that RUM for mobile will log are the performance of network and API calls and view loads. Below is an example of some network calls:

    Pusle for mobile monitors you mobile application perrformance. Here you can see the network call timings

    Next to each network call, you can see the number of times it’s been requested from your mobile application, the number of sessions and end users, and the average performance of the call. The slowest network call is listed first in the table, so straight away you’ll see the slowest network call. Slow calls could mean, for example, that a database query is too slow and needs evaluating.

    Slowest views

    ‘Slowest views’ displays the number of times each view is visited and the performance of each view, ordered by the slowest. In the example below, you can see the view ‘DataViewController’ is performing poorly:

    mobile application performance : Pulse for mobile dashboard showing slowest views

    Load time distribution

    Load time distribution is a graph which shows your mobile application’s performance over time. From here, you can analyze trends or see sudden changes. In the chart below, you can see the peaks indicating your applciation has run into a performance problem.

    A slow loading page may be related to the slowest performing view. Looking at the changes made to the recent deployment of the application (specifically around the slowest view) is a good place to start:

    mobile application performance inside Pulse showing load time distribution

    The graph splits the data into three percentiles. The green peaks show the first 10% fastest performance values, while the red displays the 10% slowest.  The remaining 80% average performance times are gray. If the red and gray values are far apart, then the slowest values are probably outliers and less important. If the red and gray values are both high, then you’ve got a performance issue that is affecting your users. Ideally, you want all values to be as low as possible.

    How is your mobile application performing?

    Today, we’ve taken a quick look into the performance data Real User Monitoring for mobile reveals about your mobile application. Monitoring mobile application performance metrics can help make your mobile application more successful. As you navigate around the Real User Monitoring for mobile dashboard, you’ll see performance metrics displayed elsewhere too, such as when listing the most frequently visited views, or when drilling down into individual sessions. 

    If you’d like to know more about how to make your mobile application more successful, sign up for a free 14 day trial of Real User Monitoring. You’ll get instant insights into how your end users are navigating and using your mobile application.