iOS fans generally maintains that the iOS apps apps are better than the Android apps. However, according to a study by Crittercism, that may not be entirely correct. Crittercism's study reveals that iOS apps crash more frequently compared to the Android apps. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules to determine which app is better - but the crash rate is one indication.
Crittercism's data came from 23 versions of iOS and 33 versions of Android. Their result is very surprising to say the least. Take a look yourself:
According to the graph above, around 80% of the crashes that Crittercism has tracked are from iOS apps. iOS 5 alone accounts for more than a quarter of the crashes.
80% is a staggering amount, but it does not tell the actual story. Crittercism tracks three times as many iOS apps as the number of Android apps. So, it makes sense that the number of iOS crashes they have tracked is far more than that of Android.
A clearer picture of the crash rates can, therefore, be seen if the crashes are represented as percentage of crash per app launch. This removes the discrepancy due to the greater number of iOS apps.
Here is the graph, with apps divided by their popularity.
What this graph shows is that in the top ¼ apps on each platforms, Android apps crash 0.15% times per app launched while iOS apps crash 0.51%. The same trend continues for the 2nd and 3rd quartile as well, the iOS apps crash more often than the Android apps - the margin though gets closer.
So, clearly iOS apps crash more frequently compared to Android apps. Without taking into account the development process in each platform, there could be two reasons for this.
In the iTunes App Store, it takes more time for developer to push out updates. So, if a problem is spotted the fix takes more time to reach the users. In the Android Market, that is not the case. Developers can push out updates as soon as they have fixed the problem. The Android Market also supports auto update of apps, which helps keep the apps updated.
A second reason for Android's lower crash rate could be simply because of the fact that there is only one phone that runs the latest version of Android - Android 4.0. Most of the Android phones are still on Android 2.3 or 2.2. In the case of iPhones, however, a very sizable number of them are running the latest iOS5.
However, such argument can be turned against iOS too. It can be argued that while iOS apps targets only a handful of devices, Android apps have to run on hundreds of different devices - each with different hardware and software. So, even if a majority of the iPhones are on iOS5, the developers have to make sure that their apps runs only only two devices.
For now, however, the data says that iOS apps crash more often than Android apps. It will be interesting to see this comparison in a few months after Android 4.0 gets on more phone.