Users are highly intolerant to problematic apps, especially with the abundance of alternatives to try out. Around 80% of users will attempt to use a troublesome app only three times or lesser, and if it drains the battery too much, for instance, 36% of users will uninstall it without hesitation.

Several issues that “bug” the users will not be evident during development and testing, and will require the app to be deployed and tried by the end-users. In such cases, an app’s performance can be monitored using APM tools to gain real-time feedback of the users’ experience.

In this article, we will cover some of the best mobile APM tools in the industry, discuss their key features and see how they are shaping the future of app performance.

The Ultimate Guide to the Best APM Tools in 2020 1

What Are Application Monitoring Tools?

Application performance monitoring tools are used to monitor the performance of an app and identify potential issues before they impact the user experience. An APM tool throws light on when, where and what caused a problem.

What Is APM Used For?

APM tools are used to collect logs related to an app’s performance and analyse them to rectify and prevent errors without causing any hindrance to an app’s functionalities or end user experience. Here are some of the benefits of using APM tools.

  • Analyse an app’s performance across multiple platforms and devices.
  • Monitor different versions of an app.
  • Identify frequently-occurring problems and take proactive measures.

24 Best APM Tools in 2020

1. Firebase Performance Monitoring

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Firebase is a Google-acquired company that uses customised performance tracing to get insights on how an application performs from a user’s perspective. It is one of the best and free APM tools that allows developers to understand the context of performance issues for easy rectification.

Key Highlights:

  • Set up custom traces to monitor specific events.
  • Track attributes such as OS, device, app version and CPU usage.
  • Supports Android, iOS, and JavaScript.
  • Offers automated monitoring of HTTP/S requests to pin down network latencies.

2. New Relic Mobile Monitoring

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New Relic is a California-based technology company that offers DevOps, Cloud and Digital Customer Experience services for advanced monitoring across all digital touchpoints of a business. The tool makes performance analysis easier by organising data of multiple platforms under one roof.

Key Highlights:

  • Uses synthetic and real user data for proactive app monitoring.
  • Discovers issues caused by the backend with end-to-end transaction monitoring.
  • Supports Android, iOS and Cordova.
  • Allows tracking of multiple versions of an app.

3. Dynatrace

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The Dynatrace monitoring tool is one of the prominent APM tools in the industry that utilises artificial intelligence to boost app user experience with proactive problem resolutions. The causation-based AI performs precise root-cause analysis of an app’s performance issues to readily come up with actionable solutions without the aid of any human operators.

Key Highlights:

  • Offers real-user monitoring with session replays.
  • Powered by AI to detect performance anomalies before they impact users.
  • Supports Android, iOS, Cordova, and PhoneGap.
  • Offers immediate detection of poorly performing microservices.

4. AppDynamics Monitoring Tool

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AppDynamics is a San Francisco based APM and analytics company that uses machine learning to automate anomaly detection and easily correlates business and software performance metrics. It is one of the best Firebase Performance alternatives, offering deep visibility into an application’s code, enabling developers to capture crucial debug data, securely.

Key Highlights:

  • Business IQ module allows correlation between app performance and business outcomes.
  • Simulates user-behaviour to discover issues proactively.
  • Supports Android, iOS, Xamarin, and Cordova.
  • Suitable for diagnosing and eliminating problems at code-level.

5. Elastic

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Elastic is one of the best open-source APM tools that allows developers to quickly identify bottlenecks of an application’s performance with its visual representation of running services. The tool employs machine learning features to find abnormalities in an app’s behaviour.

Key Highlights:

  • Alerting features deliver up-to-date status of code performance.
  • Dedicated UI allows easy identification of problematic changes at code-level.
  • Utilises unsupervised machine learning to forecast trends based on historical data.

6. Nastel AutoPilot

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The AutoPilot is an APM tool offered by Nastel Technologies, a US-based IT monitoring company. The tool helps developers to understand the health of their apps and offers fast-acting automation, essential to cut down the frequency and duration of outages.

Key Highlights:

  • Offers pre-built wizards, templates and web-based dashboards.
  • Can be integrated with enterprise system management platforms.
  • It is equipped with a Complex Event Processing (CEP) engine for highly-advanced app analytics.

7. Aternity

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Aternity simplifies application performance monitoring by offering a scalable, easy to use, and unified APM tool for apps, networks and cloud-native ecosystems. The tool helps in storing and indexing more than billions of transactions each day, without any loss in quality.

Key Highlights:

  • Uses innovative visualisation to gain quick surface insights into an application’s performance.
  • Uses intuitive queries and machine learning algorithms to answer any performance problems.
  • Agile with modern DevOps requirements.

8. Site24x7

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This APM tool offered by Site24x7 is primed to eliminate outages by understanding an application’s behaviour and removing errors from each line of code. The tool offers in-depth visualisation to analyse how an app connects and interacts with external components.

Key Highlights:

  • View product information, app logs and performance issues, all in the same console.
  • Offers graphical and tabular representations of slow database calls and usage.
  • AI-powered alerts notify spikes in an app’s performance.

9. Rollbar

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Rollbar offers a comprehensive APM solution for both web and mobile apps and helps in monitoring and debugging errors in real-time. The tool allows developers to train the system by creating custom rules to group same exception classes together.

Key Highlights:

  • Delivers nine times higher deployment frequency.
  • Offers a complete overview of code context, request parameters and affected users.
  • Easily view new and reactivated errors from multiple code versions.

10. AppPulse Mobile

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AppPulse Mobile is an APM tool offered by British technology company Micro Focus. The tool has the revolutionary FunDex score, which is an easy-to-understand user experience score calculated from each app session. Implementing the tool is a quick process as it doesn’t require any change in an application’s code.

Key Highlights:

  • Offers end-to-end transaction tracing.
  • FunDex score helps in understanding how happy users are with a mobile application.
  • Supports iOS and Android.
  • Crash analytics offers detailed data starting from what the users did to the OS version used.

11. Loupe

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Loupe is an APM tool used to monitor and find errors, with the help of full-text search and filters. The tool makes integration easier by allowing developers to connect it with existing logs. Loupe also allows developers to see the biggest users of their apps.

Key Highlights:

  • Offers custom alerts through email or Slack.
  • Developers can analyse and track errors for individual users.
  • Offers detailed stack trace and events that lead to an error.
  • Allows clearing of old and known errors.

12. Splunk MINT

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The Splunk MINT is an APM tool offered by Splunk Enterprise used for monitoring the performance and usage of Android and iOS apps. The Splunk MINT SDK can be added to an app with just a line of code.

Key Highlights:

  • Track the flow of events that led to a crash.
  • Analyse which OS is more affected.
  • Analyse trending errors.
  • Monitor fail rate trends and analyse server-side spikes.

13. Sumo Logic

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Sumo Logic is a California-based data analytics company that uses machine learning to detect customer-impacting issues beforehand and helps in reducing an app’s downtime. 

Key Highlights:

  • Offers pattern detection of frequent issues with machine learning.
  • Offers easy-to-use search templates and dashboards.
  • Can be integrated with AWS, Azure and GCP.
  • Real-time alerts with notification and collaboration tools.

14. Instana

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Instana is an application performance monitoring tool that offers an intelligent analysis of services to keep an application healthy and well-performing. Currently, the mobile APM tool of Instana is in its beta stage.

Key Highlights:

  • Tracks each user session.
  • Compares performance across multiple app versions.
  • Offers empirical data to classify “slow” and “fast” services.

15. Sentry

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Sentry is an APM tool that brings mobile app crash reporting and run-time errors under one roof. The tool also tracks user adoption, app usage, and percentage of crash-free users and sessions. 

Key Highlights:

  • Analyse issues using release details, graphs and filters.
  • Start using it within five minutes of setup.
  • Access all data via API.
  • Offers customisable grouping of error reports into specific issues.

16. Broadcom

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The application performance monitoring tool from Broadcom focuses on delivering a flawless user experience by providing visibility to fix problems before they impact the users. The tool also offers artificial intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) to detect anomalies earlier, predict behaviour and provide corrective actions. 

Key Highlights:

  • Machine learning techniques reduce false alerts.
  • Offers a 360-degree view of user experience and app usage with the help of user journey analytics.
  • Offers real-time performance insights by device type, location and version.
  • Offers code-level visibility into problematic sessions.

17. IDERA Precise

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IDERA is a mobile application performance monitoring tool with an intuitive dashboard that offers quick insights with easily decodable error detection. The tool has deep SQL monitoring capabilities with multi-platform support.

Key Highlights:

  • Offers corrective actions for detected issues.
  • Offers historical analysis and trends of issues.
  • Provides end-to-end transaction visibility.

18. Workspace ONE

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Workspace ONE Intelligence, formerly known as Apteligent, is an APM tool offered by VMware for consumer mobile apps. The tool captures and interprets issues faced by consumers to resolve them faster. 

Key Highlights:

  • Determines the impact of app crashes to reduce user churn rates.
  • Prioritises issues based on critical elements that users interact with the most.
  • Offers customisable dashboards capable of unifying data from multiple operating systems.

19. Raygun

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Raygun is an application performance monitoring tool for web and mobile apps that helps in pinpointing root causes of performance issues with great speed and accuracy. The tool identifies the high priority issues of your app that requires a relook for better user experience.

Key Highlights:

  • Offers customisable dashboards for improved performance issue analysis.
  • Offers automatic issue detection along with code level insights.
  • Provides deep insights into which function was executed, its duration and the component it was called from.

20. Airbrake.io

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The mobile APM tool from Airbrake effectively turns performance data into highly-actionable insights. The tool provides precise breakdowns of errors that cause performance issues and the diagnostics required to solve them.

Key Highlights:

  • The sort and filter function can be used for identifying high-impacting problems.
  • Can be installed and used in just three minutes.
  • Has a lightweight library for least impact on an app’s performance.
  • Offers comprehensive response types and linked errors.

21. Datadog

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Datadog is one of the best APM tools used for monitoring, optimising and troubleshooting an application’s performance. The tool is agile enough to quickly find traces that match with a specific user, error, service or custom tag from a global overview.

Key Highlights:

  • Investigates service disruptions by isolating the cause.
  • Utilises machine learning to identify errors and latency issues.
  • Quickly build drag-and-drop performance dashboards.
  • Supports live root-cause analysis for reduced resolution time.

22. Headspin

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Headspin measures multi-channel user experience across multiple devices around the globe. The tool offers AI-powered alerts and actionable insights to make error rectification faster. It also provides proactive detection with automated testing to quickly identify the code changes that cause degradations.

Key Highlights:

  • Export data and insights into business intelligence tools with ease.
  • Benchmark the performance of an app’s critical KPIs against its industry peers.
  • Offers a customisable mobile app performance dashboard with real-time analytics.
  • View KPIs based on versions, OS, locations, devices and networks.

23. Germain APM

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The mobile app performance monitoring tool by Germain offers custom monitoring and automation to boost user experience. The tool provides behaviour analysis of users, along with features to record and replay user sessions.

Key Highlights:

  • Offers email or SMS alerts for quick resolutions.
  • Incorporate business metrics with performance analysis.
  • Offers pre-configured plugins.

24. IP-Label

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The APM solution offered by IP-Label understands the significance of app quality in determining user experience. The tool uses synthetic scripts, which behave as virtual users to measure an app’s performance.

Key Highlights:

  • Offers screen capture whenever an error occurs.
  • Utilises synthetic monitoring which measures availability and performance of apps.
  • Provides root-cause analysis to identify issues before they affect end-users.

Conclusion

With an advanced analysis of app performance KPIs and automated error detection, APM tools have become an integral part of app development to offer superior user experience. 

With 3 out of 10 apps being uninstalled within 30 days of download, poor performance can force users to uninstall sooner than that and can further lead to poor app store ratings. To make sure your apps never have to face such outages, real-time monitoring using APM tools is crucial. Start using the tools discussed, and you will be able to solve critical problems before they impact users.

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