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Use pre-launch and crash reports to improve your app

Your app business relies on delivering high-quality apps. Part of achieving this quality is testing your apps on a range of devices. Pre-launch reports use automated tests on real devices to identify layout issues, provide crash diagnostics, locate security vulnerabilities, and more. You can then run custom tests on Firebase Test Lab and use the crash and ANR reports to search more deeply for quality issues.

Why it works

Identifying where your app has problems ensures you're offering the highest quality possible to users upon launch and, by correcting any issues quickly, you may be able to reverse negative reviews (particularly if you respond to let users know you’ve fixed the issue). You can also provide a better experience for new users, which should lead to better ratings and reviews.

Features

  • Pre-launch reports: Summarizes the issues found when your alpha or beta test apps are tested automatically for device compatibility, display issues, and security vulnerabilities on a wide range of devices in Firebase Test Lab.
  • Custom tests using Firebase Test Lab: Catch defects throughout the development process by running scripted tests on your app, using Firebase Test Lab custom tests.
  • Crashes and Application Not Responding (ANR) error reports: If your app crashes or stops responding and the user chooses to send details, Google Play collects relevant information and makes it available to you in the Google Play Console. By reviewing these crash and ANR reports you can identify issues with your app, then update your app to eliminate them.
  • Firebase Crash Reporting: Get detailed reports about the errors in your app. Errors are grouped into clusters with similar stack traces and triaged by the severity of impact on your users. In addition to receiving automatic reports, you can log custom events to help capture the steps leading up to a crash.

Best practices

  • Track progress by comparing builds. As part of the pre-launch report, the Crashes tab shows a chart with your APK's compatibility compared to previous builds. Each bar on the report represents a recently tested build of your alpha or beta APK, along with the number of successful and failed launches found during testing.
  • Check how your app runs on different versions of Android. With the pre-launch report, near the bottom half of your app's Crashes tab, you can view individual reports showing the test device and the device's Android version. A red icon shows whether your app had any testing issues.
  • Find layout issues. Screenshots in each test summary let you see how your app appears on test devices with different Android versions, languages, and screen resolutions.
  • Test behind sign-in. Provide user sign-in credentials so that the pre-launch reports can test screens and features available to users with accounts. This means you’ll get a better understanding of how your app performs for your most valued users.
  • Consider uploading another alpha or beta test. A test may show ‘unavailable devices’ in the results, even though your APK was compatible with those devices. Upload another alpha or beta APK to make sure the app works with all devices.
  • Identify security vulnerabilities. Known security vulnerabilities are flagged so you can act to keep your app safe for users. The report even scans for issues in third-party libraries. The names and descriptions of any security vulnerabilities found in your APK are included in the pre-launch report for each test.
  • Remove location requirements. Your app may have a dependency on geolocation and this dependency might not be met where the test devices are based. If this is the case, publish an alpha or beta APK that removes the location requirements., especially if your app has content restrictions based on country.
  • Embed data you want included in the tests. If you want to run tests on an app with pre-loaded data, publish an alpha or beta version of your app with your media files embedded in its APK.
  • Test apps using Google Play licensing services. Include the License Verification Library (LVL) and its features in your app to confirm it behaves well when checking that the app is licensed to the current device.
  • Test from behind a login. You can provide credentials so that you can better understand how your app performs across the most popular devices.
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