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HP Canada has launched a service designed to help companies produce more appealing mobile apps. Called AppPulse Mobile, it enables mobile app developers to get automated feedback from software running on end-user devices so that they can tune performance and stability in subsequent versions, executives said

Offered as a software service, AppPulse Mobile provides feedback data on real end-user sessions for mobile developers. Before they upload their mobile software to an app store, developers wrap their mobile applications using a software development kit provided by HP. This adds compiled code libraries to the app, which then talk to HP’s service while the software is running, delivering usage data for the developers to access.

HP executives claim that the extra code will add no more than one per cent overhead in terms of CPU, memory, storage and network bandwidth.

“Solutions like AppPulse Mobile give us insights into what users are really experiencing; what’s happening in the real world, to users, as they use that app. It provides valuable data and insight to the entire development lifecycle,” said John Jeremiah, technology evangelist for application delivery management at HP.

The SaaS-based analytics service is based on HP Haven, the online analytics service that runs atop the Vertica analytics software that it acquired in 2011. The idea is to use the analytics service to pull out emerging trends in performance for mobile apps.

Jeremiah described a typical scenario:

“Every time a user clicks submit or swipes in a certain screen, performance is sluggish. We’re able to correlate them and suggest that, say, on the Android Nexus 5 with version 5.1, we have a performance problem. We’re able to see it early and address the fact that it’s fine on KitKat, but on Lollipop it’s a problem.”

The service also features the Fundex, which is a score related to how enjoyable the application is to use. The score starts at 100, and an app loses points for various transgressions, such as crashes and sluggish performance. Developers can drill down and see how and why various points are being lost from their app’s score.

The AppPulse Mobile service is a new offering, but it also accompanies version updates across several other software development lines. HP has released new versions of Mobile Centre, which helps to automate app testing across a variety of real devices. Mobile Centre also integrates new versions of LoadRunner, the firm’s load testing software, and Performance Centre, which can be used to test app performance. There is also an updated version of Storm Runner Load, a cloud-based service that can test with thousands of virtual users from different geographies.

HP released a survey from Dimensional Research to support its findings, with stats linking mobile app performance to usage, and brand perception. 80 per cent of respondents said they would only attempt to use a problematic app three times or less while 53 per cent uninstalled apps that crashed or froze.

Just over a third of users said that mobile app crashes or errors make them think less of a company’s brand, the survey suggested. 3011 respondents were surveyed, including mobile app users in Canada.



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