Keeping tabs on mobile app performance can feel like running a submarine. There’s a ton of dials to keep your eyes on, and all of them are monitoring mission-critical systems. If too many go haywire, you’re sunk.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) wants its new AppPulse Active platform to be the dashboard that developers rush toward to stay afloat. The newest tool to the Application Performance Monitoring (APM) software suite, it's specifically targeted at the (still) exploding app market.

Happy Apps, Happy Customers

Battery drain is one of the big complaints from mobile app users. No one wants to use an app that sucks away battery, particularly when it’s not in active use. This is why some people have begun to uninstall Facebook from their phones and rely on the mobile site instead.

According to Monica Benjamin, director of product marketing for HPE Software, the AppPulse Trace platform can help developers nix any problems when it comes to battery life with several new tools.

“There is a need for developers to ensure that the applications they are creating are not battery hogging and draining the battery usage on the customer's device,” she said. “AppPulse Mobile begins measuring what percentage your battery was at from the point that you launched the app. And it measures what percentage your battery was at from the point of the crash or when you exited the app.”

Along with battery life, data use is something that often seems to be in short supply. Unlimited data plans are much rarer these days, so anything an app can do to limit data use is sure to be a welcome sign. And of course rapid data usage usually means that there’s some battery drain going on, as well. Addressing these problems is a major part of the HPE pitch, which has to convince developers to go with this platform instead of the many others out there offering such a service.

Optimizing App Performance

I’ve only dabbled in app development, but I did find there are a considerable number of metrics and other sets of data available that could be just what developers need.

Much of that is what developers need to be able to see about how their app interacts with customers’ devices, so they can replicate that experience and get data about mobile performance. AppPulse is trying to hit this need with several different capabilities.

“Developers want tools that provide visibility to code execution in run-time. Developers expect tools to help detect and isolate and prioritize areas in their code that require further optimization, code level visibility is critical. Tools that paint an end to end view from the client’s device, browser, to the network and tracing the transactions as they traverse the application infrastructure.”

AppPulse can, according to Benjamin, offer insight into the user experience including real user actions, transaction flows, error messages, device resource usage, client and server code execution and the device state. These are key metrics that will tell a developer if there are some issues in the code and how to make any adjustments based on user behavior.

The app monitoring market is an incredibly busy place. Microsoft recently acquired Xamarin, a company that helps developers use Microsoft’s programming language to create mobile applications. As computing moves from mobile-first to mobile-only, such mobile development platforms will be a critical component of business for large companies like Microsoft, HPE, and others who want to get into this space.

You can test AppPulse for 30-days. Afterwards the cost is $25 per data point for one month of service, with the rate dropping to $19 monthly if part of a longer contract. Enterprise businesses who have larger needs can contact HPE for a more specific price.