In an ideal world, gaining full visibility into your mobile app's performance wouldn't cost a dime and would be integrated with an optimization solution (spoiler alert: the world is about to become a better place...)
Would you hire a mechanic who could diagnose your car's problem but could not fix it? How about a security guard who could tell you when your house was being robbed but could not protect it? What about a doctor who can identify symptoms but not treat them? Of course not!
And yet, that's what existing Application Performance Management (APM) solutions do. They can identify problems, but they offer no way to fix them. What's the point?
Over the past three years the PacketZoom team has been talking to hundreds of app developers, many of whom complain about the high cost and low gain from APM providers that cannot fix performance issues, only monitor and report them. In other words, a so called "solution" was only alerting them that a solution was needed.
The high fees charged by some of these APM vendors simply provide app developers with access to the mobile application performance analytics - data that should rightfully belong to the app publisher / developer who has put in the resources to create that application in the first place.
Another serious problem is that data provided by APM's is limited and far from being timely (with a delay of hours or even days) which in many cases makes them irrelevant. This delay contributes to the frustration developers feel from not having enough insight into what's really going on with their mobile app in real-time. Some described it as a "black box" and were looking for ways to understand what was causing high error rates and slow download times. Many were concerned with the fact that the app they had invested so much in behaves mysteriously when used over hundreds of different and inherently uncontrollable mobile networks around the world and they have no tools to track and measure any of it.
So here they are - with app developers not only unable to guarantee that their app is "well behaved" the way they've programmed it to be, but with no way of even knowing how it behaves in real-time across different geographies and in real-life situations (which are naturally very different than a single network/location/lab testing).
We were blown away by some of these sentiments from developers, especially when they also surfaced from companies that have tried using existing APM solutions. Then we realized that for some, using an APM solution has actually made matters worse. Developers have learned the hard way that most of those 'solutions' were limited in their capabilities; at times they even took away from the app's bandwidth, hence compromising its performance even further (back to our previous analogy, imagine a doctor needing to make you sicker in order to provide a simple diagnosis).
So after listening and taking in all that input, frustration and sentiments, we've decided it is about time...It is about time we leveraged our team's mobile networking expertise and create a complete mobile-first solution designed from the ground up with mobile app developers in mind. It's about time we added to our optimization ecosystem an analytics product that empowers developers to understand and control their app behavior in real-time and in real-life conditions. It's about time developers utilized a complete, inclusive, end-to-end solution to analyze, control and optimize mobile applications that adds Optimization to the limited App Performance Monitoring framework. And it's about time developers got it for free. Free forever.
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