Here’s some fanboy ammo for you: it appears that iOS apps may crash more than Android apps, going against the typical mantra that iOS for iPhone is typically more stable than Google’s mobile operating system. Mobile app monitoring startup Crittercism spent 1 to 15 December 2011 busily compiling crash data, and its findings are very interesting indeed. Put on your gas mask: a flame war is brewing.
First, the data shows crashes for 23 different iOS operating systems and no fewer than 33 different Android operating systems. Of that lot, the largest proportion of overall crashes (28.64 percent) were on iOS 5.01. As this particular version of iOS was still new in the testing period, this makes sense: lots of apps would need to be tweaked and updated to avoid kinks with a new OS. However, the data shows a lot of crashes on older iOS versions too: iOS 4.2.1 with 12.64 percent; iOS 4.3.3 with 10.66 percent; and iOS 4.1 with 8.24 percent.
It’s interesting for starters that so many people still use older versions of iOS, but it also seems that iOS may be more prone to crashing than Android (the data shows iOS account for three quarters of crashes). As we say above, this could be down to the recent release of iOS 5.01 (perhaps the imminent launch of Ice Cream Sandwich will lead to more Android crashes in the short term?), and Crittercism cites that as a likely reason. We’ll need to see more data, collected over a longer period, to say for certain that apps are more unstable on iOS.
Android owners shouldn’t start crowing just yet however. Though overall Android apps appear to be more stable on average (Crittercism also compared by crashes to launches, not just crashes, removing the potential skew of more iPhones being tested), the “best” or most stable apps, those in the top quartile, for Android actually crashed more than those in the top quartile for iPhone.
That suggests a level of polish is being applied to the very best iPhone apps that Android ones do not receive, but also that there’s an awful lot of poorly coded iPhone apps lurking within the depths of the App Store too – even more than on the Android Market.
What do you reckon? Is this definitive proof that Android is superior to iOS, or the complete opposite? Let’s hear your views in the comments.