Android has mostly caught up to iOS 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.
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.
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.