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During the onset of digitalization, it was super easy for businesses with an online presence to succeed. But now that it has become mainstream, capturing the attention of potential customers even for a second has become challenging. It’s clear how the attention span of the common masses has been declining.

No blaming, though. After all, there is so much stuff on the internet trying to hog their time! They don’t like to wait because they usually don’t have to. The best bet for any business is to eliminate as many potential mobile app performance problems as possible.

Two processes that discover such issues are crash reporting and Application Performance Management. Tools providing both approaches are so similar that even professionals get a little confused. In fact, most QA teams haven’t been choosing between the two for mobile app performance testing. Instead, they’re using both.

Whether planning on implementing both processes or selecting one, it’s vital to know the difference between them. This post will take a detailed look at the core differences between APM and crash reporting. Let’s dive right in.

Crash Reporting vs. APM

Before diving into how APM and crash reporting are different, let’s first check each in detail.

What is Application Performance Monitoring or APM?

Application Performance Monitoring, or APM, is an approach to tracking key performance metrics for software applications using telemetry data and monitoring software. It is a vital segment to develop and manage the performance strategy of an app.

Your potential customers can get easily frustrated due to slow loading and application crashes. Poor performance can decline employee productivity, even if we talk about an internal business app. APM and performance testing tools view and help address different variables affecting the app’s performance.

The core features of an APM solution include the following: 

  • Integration with third-party and service management tools
  • Analysis of the user journey to offer better transparency
  • Detailed app observability for a better understanding of the impact on user experience and business results
  • Tracking of user experience on various platforms

What Is Crash Reporting?

A crash is the abrupt closure of an application without warning. Things are pretty straightforward when a page or an application interface becomes unresponsive. But sometimes, a platform can become unresponsive even when an app keeps running. In this case, the crash is not apparent.

Crash reporting is detecting errors when a good-going app suddenly stops working. The key is to use framework handlers, platform anglers, and logging results in tandem. Crash reporting facilitates practical error handling. 

How is Application Performance Monitoring different from crash reporting?

Now that it is clear what APM and crash reporting mean, it’s time to check out the different factors that help differentiate the two of them.

  • Installation, Integration, and Features of Workflow

With most APM tools, the first steps start with the installation of an agent on the servers you wish to monitor. This process can get overwhelming and complex when the number of servers is high. Not the mention, the resource consumption cost of agents is also high. 

But crash reporting only needs a tiny code snippet. After installing the library, the professional in charge can add this snippet to the application. Thanks to the absence of an agent or extra efforts to set up, you can install crash reporting to production in a few moments.

APM surfaces data as efficiently as possible and easily integrates with different Chat0ps software and issue trackers. The focus of most workflow features is on offering better server performance metrics. On the other hand, crash reporting integrates with repository software. It provides workflow features such as tagging, labeling, and grouping different errors.

  • Data Level On Software Errors

If you are looking for a granular view of errors related to software in both the backend and front end, crash reporting is the way to go. In other words, crash reporting tools offer comprehensive contextual information on different crashes and errors. As long as the problems affecting the customers are straightforward, crash reporting is enough on its own. 

However, APM has more details. For instance, sometimes, a single activity makes an entire server unresponsive. You are going to need an APM tool to offer more insights. Since APM and crash reporting are somewhat complementary, the best way to eliminate user problems is to use them together. Testing teams don’t have to spend a load of time deciding which one to pick between the two.

  • User Detail Level

If you know the errors that affect the most customers, you fix them first. Crash reporting helps identify the commonly occurring errors and those facing them to help you prioritize the solutions.

On the other hand, APM tools show errors that might not be actual problems with your customer experience. Poorly performing pages during monitoring of the service side of your application also plays a role here. When using both approaches, you can spot server errors with APM and use crash reporting to further dive deep into the causes of an issue and who it affects.


The importance of the performance and speed of any website or application is undeniable. In fact, visual stability, interactivity, and load time are the three parameters that hugely impact your search engine rankings. This makes APM and crashes reporting essential factors for improving the ROI of a business.

The pandemic has transformed the way users use both different services and products. Now they are available more readily than ever. Even though this boom is a blessing for both customers and businesses, companies still struggle to create a flawless user experience online.

Detecting, recognizing, and addressing the aspects that compromise the user experience are non-negotiable. APM and crash reporting offer details about your application’s health and performance. As long as you are using a tool that fulfills these respected needs, both processes enhance the end product quality.

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