I’m going to play a little bit of chicken vs. the egg on a recent discovery by Forbes that according to a Crittercism report, iOS apps crash more than those running on Android.
According to the study, the likelihood of an app crashing is quite dependent on the version of each operating system you are running, with iOS 5.0.1 being the least stable of them all experiencing 28.64% of overall crashes (in a normalized data set).
Forbes asks the kinds questions we would expect, wondering why there are so many crashes and suspecting it is due to hardware failures or networking differences. As a developer myself, the questions I would ask are much more troubleshooting in their nature. I’d like to see a report on -which- apps are crashing. For instance, if you take a game with immense popularity and millions of downloads that is being playing millions of times daily by millions of people… seeing it crash a number of times is not actually something I would be that concerned about. But if the apps that are crashing are quite varied in their titles and we see it happening across multiple devices, multiple app categories and a varied user demographic then then it is much more likely that the disconnect is in the hardware and less so with the user.
Consider also that there are over 100,000 more apps in the Apple App Store for iOS than there are for Android. Consider also that there are a significant number more users on Apple devices than Android (while I appreciate Android activations are increasing rapidly and rivaling that of iOS, a significant portion of those are not attached to data plans and taking advantage of apps in general). Adding in the human factor among developers of those apps and you are bound to see a crash or two, particularly among the more ground breaking apps that take advantage of operating system features as they come out.
Forbes did conclude that there were some issues that came out of developers not adhering to standards with Apple features such as iAds and that there were problems as a result, which only stands to reason. The one conclusion they did draw was that the majority of crashes were seen on the latest version of iOS where the widespread adoption of the latest Android version, Ice Cream Sandwich, is not yet prevalent.
From my personal experience, I would challenge you to surf the web on an Android tablet for longer than what seems like a few moments without experiencing a crash… until you install an alternative web browser such as Firefox (my choice for my Android tablet). Of course I am generalizing on this one, but that is what reports like this are all about.