Report this! Android Application Error Reports

gfb2There are a lot of sweet, new user features in Android 2.2, also known as [yummy] “FroYo”.  Whether your favorite is the updated camera app, the ability to tether your phone to share your broadband connection, or the tweaks to Exchange support, we can all agree that Android is continuing down the right path.  Personally, I don’t think there is a destination.  Android will continue to evolve.

One of the lesser talked about enhancements is the ability for users to send anonymous logs when an app freezes or crashes.  While it has always been possible for developers to write some code that offers a “Send us feedback” button or grabs the log, this feature is now built into to Market apps.

Users will also be able to send device logs.  If you’ve ever run the log collector app from the Market, you know that there is a lot of personal info in the log.  These logs will be sent to Google and not the developer.  This is so Google can play the part of big brother track down bugs with the core Android system.

When developers login to their Android Market dashboard, they’ll be presented with the a myriad of tools and stats to help diagnose and fix their apps.  Google helps by grouping similar bugs together.

When an app freezes or stops responding, the user can send a bug report to the developer with a click of a button, right from their phone. The new button appears in the application error dialog; if the user chooses to click it, the Google Feedback client running on the device will analyze the offending app and compose a report with information needed to diagnose it.

I don’t think this new feature will be the end-all be-all in app support, but it’ll certainly help developers to track down issues.  I’m the kind of guy that likes to work directly with the developer, when I come across an issue.  I’ll probably use the built-in reporting system, so the developer can track issues, but I’ll still email them directly.  I suggest you do the same.  It’s hard for them to decipher Market comments like “This apps sucks”.  It’s best to have a conversation with them, if they’re willing.  If they’re not, then that’s their issue.  I don’t think there’s a log collector for poor customer service.

Source: Google Android Blog