Better Android Apps Using Android Vitals

Harty, Julian and Müller, Matthias (2019). Better Android Apps Using Android Vitals. In: Proceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGSOFT International Workshop on App Market Analytics (WAMA ’19), 27 Aug 2019, Tallinn, Estonia, ACM, pp. 26–32.



Google provides Android Vitals, a set of reports and tools for Android Developers as part of Google Play Console. Android Vitals can help developers improve their Android apps after an app has been launched by providing information on how their app is performing in key areas such as battery use, performance, and stability (freezes and crashes). Android Vitals also provides various comparisons, including against global bad behavior thresholds, against various peer groups of apps, and across releases of this app.

Developers confirm Android Vitals notifies them of relevant problems and they found it valuable even if they also use crash reporting and mobile analytics.

The underlying data is used by Google to assess the relative quality of Android apps; and the perceived quality may materially affect the visibility of an app in the Google Play Store. Yet little is known about the tools.

This paper outlines various experiences from the developers' perspective of using Android Vitals with several popular Android apps to help open discussions and suggest further research areas. It introduces an open source project, created as part of our work, that enables developers to download pertinent data, particularly crash reports. The data can be analysed both by the development team and others. A particular benefit of this tool is to make the data available outside of the Google platform, which allows developers and (indirectly) researchers to develop additional analysis techniques not currently provided by the platform.

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