Analyzing your app's performance with Trace

Last updated at 2021-06-03

Once you have the Trace SDK installed in your app, Bitrise’s Trace add-on will provide real time monitoring for your app’s performance across its entire install base. You can track a wide variety of different metrics, all from the end users’ perspective, to make sure that your app is performing as it should.

Application performance overview

Log in to Trace and click Overview on the left to get to the Trace dashboard. On this page, you can check the performance of your apps over a selected period of time. This serves to give you a view on the shifts and trends in the app’s performance.

The data is displayed in separate widgets, with each widget focusing on a different metric. Depending on how often you wish to check in on your apps, you can select one of the supported digest views:

The available metrics are:

Analyzing application performance in detail

For deeper analysis of your application performance, you need the Performance page of Trace. The primary purpose of the Performance page is to give you an overview of the performance of your app across the app’s entire install base.

The Trace performance page

You can check the performance of your apps in three distinct categories of metrics on the Performance page:

On the Performance page, you can check all these metrics, and break them down based on various properties, such as device type, operating system, network carrier, and so on. Read on to find out about the specific metrics, and how to take advantage of Trace’s analysis features.

Application stability metrics

Trace tracks three stability-related metrics:

Application responsiveness metrics

Trace tracks three responsiveness-related metrics:

Application consumption metrics

Trace tracks three metrics related to what an application consumes:

Filtering and sorting metrics

On the Trace Performance page, you can:

Various session properties are available for filtering, including:

Available session properties

You can filter for any and all of these. For example, you can set the Country filter to United States and the Device filter to iPhone X. This means that Trace will show the metrics collected from users in the United States who use your app on an iPhone X.

By default, no filter is active: the metrics of all sessions monitored by Trace are displayed on the Performance page. To set a filter:

  1. Click on the filter bar below the Performance heading.
    By default, this bar displays All sessions.
  2. Choose the filters you need.

You can also group the individual metrics based on the above categories. Grouping means getting a breakdown of the metric based on the selected category. To do so:

  1. Find the metric you need; for example, App Error Rate.
  2. To the right of the name of the metric, open the dropdown menu.
  3. Choose the category you need.
    For example, if you select Device, you will see the app error rate, grouped by device type.

Analyzing your app's performance with Trace

You can also set a date range for the available metrics. To do so:

  1. Click the date range dropdown menu in the top right (by default, it says Last 24 Hours).
  2. Choose the date range you need.

Checking the details of a metric

To check any of the metrics:

  1. Go to the Performance page.
  2. Find the metric you need.
  3. Click Details to go to the Performance details page.

Analyzing performance details

The Performance details page gives you a full breakdown of any selected metric. You can apply the same filtering and sorting to the sessions as on the Performance page, and set a date range the same way.

The performance details page

At the top of the page, you can see the metric inspector: it is a chart that displays the metric’s data over the specified time period, which you can set in the dropdown menu found in the top right corner. Apply filters and sorting to narrow down your analysis of any issues.

Below the metric inspector, you’ll see detailed breakdowns of all session properties, such as app version, country, network carrier, and so on. For each breakdown you can see a plot for each item of that property. To put it in simpler terms: in the App versions breakdown of, say, the Network errors metric, you will see plots for the network errors of each app version that is tracked by Trace. You can easily create a plot analysis:

  1. Find the breakdown you need (for example, App versions).
  2. Click the specific plot you need (for example, version 2.6.30).
    This will apply a session filter. It is the same as setting the same filter in the Session filter bar at the top of the page.

Using the Session filter

And that’s it: now every breakdown will show data related to only the selected plot (in our example, app version 2.3).

Analyzing sessions

Performance metrics in themselves give no indication to what the users of the apps did in a specific session. For example, the app crash rate shows the number of crashes but doesn’t give you any context to the crashes themselves, and how the users triggered them. To do so, you need to use the Session Explorer page.

The Session Explorer shows the specific details of what happened during a user session as well as details about the environment on which the session occurred, all vital in locating and reproducing a problem. The data includes all important session properties, such as app version, device type, OS version, network type, and carrier, as well as the duration of the session and a user journey. The user journey shows what parts of the app the user viewed and interacted with and the duration of the interactions.

To check out individual sessions:

  1. Go to the Performance page in Trace.
  2. Select a metric - for example, App Crash Rate -, and click Details.
  3. In the top right corner, click See User Sessions.
  4. Set a date range for the sessions you want to see - for example, 24 hours.
  5. Navigate between the different user sessions with the in the top right.
  6. To see a user journey in detail, scroll down to the User Journey section, and click Show All.