Blog Post

Study shows iOS apps crash more than Android

Android(s goog) has mostly caught up to iOS(s aapl) in terms of the number and quality of apps available, and it might have eclipsed it in another regard: App stability. According to Crittercism’s Mobile Experience Benchmark report, apps are about twice as likely to crash on iOS as they are on Android.

Crittercism Android

Not surprisingly, the study shows that newer versions of Android and iOS offer more stability than older ones. KitKat, Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich, for instance, showed a 0.7-percent app crash rate, while apps crashed 1.7 percent on the older Gingerbread OS. The same is true for iOS. The latest iOS 7.1 has a 1.6-percent app crash rate, while apps on iOS 7 crash 2.1 percent of the time. iOS 6 is even higher at 2.5 percent.

As someone who primarily uses an iPhone but tests plenty of Android devices, I find this somewhat surprising. Anecdotally, I definitely experience more crashes on the Android phones I test, but then again, I mostly just tend to run the same apps over and over again on my iPhone, which brings less variability to the mix.

Crittercism Apple

The study also shows that gaming apps have the highest crash rate, at 4.4 percent, while e-commerce apps tend to crash the least, at 0.4 percent. That makes sense, since games tend to be much more resource intensive and are becoming fairly complex on mobile devices.

The report also breaks down app stability by certain devices. The Samsung Galaxy S4, for instance, is shown to experience fewer crashes than either the Galaxy S3 or the HTC One. For iOS, the iPhone 5 is the most stable device, followed by the iPhone 5s. The iPad 2 experiences the highest number of crashes, likely because it runs the oldest hardware.

27 Responses to “Study shows iOS apps crash more than Android”

  1. Rann Xeroxx

    There are technical reasons for iOS being a bit more likely to crash. Apps on iOS run closer to the machine layer than on Android. Android apps are Java based and run on a Java layer a bit higher than machine. There is also some more sandboxing going on as well.

    Fact is iOS almost has to be more locked down and iApps perform a more rigorous vetting process because if it did not, the crash rate would be higher. This is just a legacy of Apple’s choice of how iOS was architectures in a C# type language.

    You are far more likely to see a crash on an iPad than an iPhone as tablet centric apps tend to push the performance of the device more than the needs of a phone app. There are also some rather questionable Android devices out there will buggy device drivers. To gain any benefit from less crashes on Android, you really need to run a quality device.

  2. Rot Tor

    We have a saying where I am from, to make soup on a nail. I think this is pretty irelevant for both Android and iOS. Who cares if apps crashes 1,6% or 1,7% of the time. First world problems.

  3. Derek Jones

    What are people running that crashes? Lots of games? I’ve almost never had an app crash on an iDevice – and also rarely on Android come to that.

  4. fermish

    Looks like the company that did the study is in the business of helping people fix stability issues with apps.
    So is this real? Or is it “give us money and we fix things”

    In real life if the apps you use crash a lot you change apps or platforms.
    If they don’t crash you stay put.
    That means the real question is — how many people change from/to ios/android or the other way because of application stability?

    • John Salman

      “how many people change from/to ios/android or the other way because of application stability?”

      Good point Fermish.. I keep reading that not only do Android phones outsell Apple phones, but specifically Samsung phones one their own outsell Apple.

      As of 2013 Android had 66.6% of the phone market share and Apple had 18.6%. From what I read these days, that trend is still following that direction.

      I imagine that one reason why Android sells so many devices, is because of the vast numbers of people in the developing world who are now buying smart phones, will buy Android because of the cheaper phones that run it. With this in consideration, that there are are large number of cheap Android phones being included in this study. It’s quite impressive that these cheaper low-spec devices didn’t dragging Androids crash rate up. iOS has only ever been released on premium devices, so hardware issues should be less of an issue.

  5. TechPulse Mag

    i have never had a crash on any of my iphones..hmmmm hard to believe. I have had tried android phones, and they always froze and crashed for me..Apple all the way . http//

    • DeZign

      When start an app, and it doesn’t do anything, or disappears after a few seconds, that’s an app crash – just cause Apple doesn’t say “application has failed”, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen ;)

  6. John Adams

    This is an extremely flawed article, your comparisons are across multiple OS versions, do not represent the current market OS distribution, and do not indicate what apps are in what study.

    It’s nearly impossible to glean useful information from this.

  7. Not especially useful without apples to apples comparison. Ferraris need spark plugs changed more often than Chevies. Their drivers try to do a helluva lot more as do their designers.

    • coder543

      But by your own analogy, Android is the ferrari. iOS apps are heavily restricted from accessing functionality, whereas Android apps have almost free reign, within the permissions granted by the user in downloading the app. iOS apps are more functionally limited, and, apparently, less stable.

        • coder543

          malware loves everything, but malware isn’t a problem on Android. Not a single person I know has dealt with it, despite keeping effective virus scanners installed for years. I don’t even bother anymore, because it is such a non-issue.

        • Rann Xeroxx

          Only place you see malware on Android phones are in Russia and developing Asia as many of these phones are using non-Google apps stores and many phones are even sold with pirated software installed along with malware. Its a wild west out there.

          Use only Google, maybe Amazon, and you should never see malware. But I’m a MDM admin with about a thousand Android phones under my system and I have yet to see malware on any of them.

    • DeZign

      In fact Android phones are much more actively used, as they multi-task – the apps keep running when you switch screens – so the device is much more heavily loaded.