A Developer’s Best Friend – Now for Mobile Apps

We really love pie at New Relic and today, for Pi Day, we’re serving up a whole new slice …

New Relic is going completely mobile. Back in January, we launched the New Relic for iPhone app (available on the Apple App Store) that lets you go mobile while monitoring your web apps and servers. Now we’re taking that one step further by announcing support for monitoring native iOS and Android mobile apps.

Real Time Visibility Into Your Native Mobile App
Let’s face it. If you’re getting one-star reviews, complaints about your app being slow and flaky, and crash reports, it’s too late. Publishing a mobile app is exciting. And you should have real time visibility into your customers’ experience.

With New Relic for Mobile Apps, you’ll be able to answer two fundamental questions:

* Is my application performing well?
* If not, what can I do to make it better?

Introducing New Relic for Mobile Apps
New Relic for Mobile Apps lives inside every install of your app on every device to monitor the health of your app as it communicates with the world. It captures real time operational performance metrics, monitoring the health and speed of every server and web API your app talks to.

Use New Relic for Mobile Apps to see the big picture or drilldown into specifics by device, platform, wireless carrier or geography. You can also arm yourself with complete response details for server errors.

New Relic for Mobile Apps Dashboard

Making Your App Faster
Tuning your app in a development environment is not enough, as apps in the wild behave differently. In particular, the end user experience can vary greatly depending on the health of the web services your app talks to. With a global audience using hundreds of wireless networks and devices, you need to be able to clearly see which web services and individual requests are taking their own sweet time.

New Relic for Mobile Apps shows you HTTP request times broken out by server and URL, allowing you to find which requests are most common, the slowest and hogging the network with the most data. We make it easy for you to identify and improve the things that will have the biggest impact for your users. This is classic New Relic functionality for your mobile applications.

New Relic for Mobile HTTP Requests

The Dangers of Relying on External Services
Think the services your app uses are error free? Think again.

The wrong error is as damaging to your user’s experience as a crash. It can be tricky enough to identify and diagnose errors when you control the service. (Heck we should know. We’ve built our business around making it easier). When it’s someone else’s API and 5% of your users are having a problem, life just got a lot more complicated.

With New Relic for Mobile Apps, you’ll get immediate insight into which services consistently produce errors and the response bodies of those errors.

New Relic for Mobile Error Traces

Error traces are recorded every time a service call returns a 400 or 500 status code. They show you the full request URL and the actual response body. And for Android apps we’ll include a stack trace pinpointing where in your app the request came from.

Drinking Our Own Champagne
At New Relic, we use our own tools to monitor the performance of our applications. For example, we use New Relic to monitor our Ruby and Java infrastructure. And of course, we use our iOS agent to monitor the New Relic for iPhone app.

When we launched the iPhone app we started seeing 403 server errors reported into New Relic for Mobile Apps — lots of them. We reviewed the mobile code, checked our server logs and we couldn’t find any obvious problems. So some of us wondered if that was ‘just the way’ the API worked. Then we added Error Trace reporting.

New Relic for Mobile Apps Http Response Status Error

Just ten minutes later, we were able to remove 80% of the errors. After a couple more hours, we’d removed them entirely. Being able to see the real server response made all the difference.

I Use New Relic On My Servers. Do I Get a Bonus?
The New Relic agent on your server correlates requests from New Relic for Mobile Apps using HTTP header signaling. In the New Relic for Mobile Apps UI, you’ll see the request breakdown differentiating between app, queue and network time. Now you’ll know at a glance if that request is taking forever to query the database or if it’s just a lot of data to download over the air.

New Relic for Mobile Apps RUM UI

Want to know more about what’s going on in your web app? Click the App server drilldown link and look at the very same transaction from the server’s perspective.

New Relic for Mobile Apps App Server Breakdown

First Class Analysis
We’ve built first class analysis into New Relic for Mobile Apps. You can analyze and drilldown into network response time and connection failures by country, phone carrier, and device. You can also compare and explore changes between app versions. And you can even look at which devices are most common so you know how many people will use that tablet-specific feature request.

Since you may not control all of the services your app talks to, alerts can be configured on a per-service basis. This allows you to configure which services and what types of problems are important to your operations team.

Getting Started Today!
Getting started with New Relic for Mobile Apps takes less than ten minutes. Simply:

* Sign up for New Relic.
* Enter the name of the mobile app you want to monitor.
* Download our SDK and follow the instructions to add it to your app.
* Run your app in a simulator, emulator or mobile device and you’ll start seeing data in just a few minutes

While you’re at it check out the latest version of New Relic for iPhone, because now you can monitor your mobile apps from our mobile app. We meant it when we said we’ve gone completely mobile.

Want to see New Relic for Mobile Apps in action? Check out one of our upcoming webinars. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!


Jonathan Karon built New Relic's Mobile APM team. He spends his days inventing new ways to measure every aspect of mobile apps from the inside out and fine-tuning a world-class engineering group. When he's not talking about mobile apps as the ultimate distributed system, Jon can be found in the woods or experimenting with the menagerie of mobile projects. A tech polyglot he has been involved in various unfamous tech startups and was doing mobile-social-local-real-time apps when the Apple Newton was still hot. View posts by .

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