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Don’t let app experience analytics add to your SDK fatigue

App developers have to perform a careful balancing act, choosing the perfect SDKs to create an app with all of the functionality you need, without creating an app that gets bogged down by too many processes.

SDKs were created to make app design easier: rather than custom-coding a solution, you could implement an SDK that provided the functionality that you needed. It’s ironic, but perhaps not surprising, that what was supposed to make life easier for app developers actually created a whole new problem. SDK fatigue kicks in when you’ve had to install too many SDKs to create the right functionality for your app. These SDKs aren’t usually tailor-made to your needs, and may contain superfluous functions that bloat your app, making it far bigger and slower than it needs to be. This fatigue is compounded by the need to monitor each SDK to make sure that it is still functioning properly following updates, and that it isn’t conflicting with any other code.

When choosing which SDKs to implement, keep in mind what is important to you, and what is important to your users. Consider app experience analytics technology to create the best user experience possible. But at the same time, ask yourself: is your analytics solution contributing to your SDK fatigue?

Whether you are choosing an SDK to facilitate the user’s experience, or to provide you with valuable insights, there are a few things you can keep in mind to reduce your fatigue.

Top 4 tips for reducing SDK fatigue

1. Be picky
The average app uses upwards of 17-20 SDKs. If each of those is bigger than it needs to be, you’re going to have a bulky app which can slow down the app and contribute to crashes! Choose an SDK which has only the features you need. Whether you’re looking for the best app analytics tools or a physics engine for your mobile game, consider what features are important for you, and what you simply won’t use. Then find a well-rated SDK that provides what you need without a lot of superfluous extras.

2. Create clear ownership
Stay on top of your SDKs. For every SDK that you use in your app, ensure that somebody on your team is responsible for maintaining it. That means making sure all updates are run in a timely manner, that any errors are identified and resolved, and that if the SDK becomes problematic, you have a backup plan.

3. Know when to DIY
Question whether an SDK is really the best solution for the issue at hand. SDKs have become popular because they save app developers from endlessly reinventing the wheel, and thus streamline the mobile app development process. But using an SDK means trusting a third party to create the best option for your needs. Sometimes, this is fine, but other times, you may find that none of the options on the market do exactly what you need, and you have to settle for “close enough.” Consider that sometimes a custom in-house solution may be the better option.

4. Don’t forget security and privacy
Only use SDKs from trusted sources. If you are going to rely on the expertise of a third party, make sure to only choose the best. Users trust Glassbox’s mobile app analytics because we already built a strong reputation for web user analytics.

App experience analytics from Glassbox with a light SDK

Adding enterprise app analytics to your native mobile app doesn’t have to add to your SDK fatigue. In fact, choosing the right analytics solution can help you reduce your fatigue. By paying attention to your app experience analytics, you can determine whether any of your other SDKs are interfering with the customer journey. Features like Glassbox’s struggle score show you when users are experiencing errors or other frustrations, and because Glassbox captures server-side as well as client-side interactions, it’s easier to zoom in on the cause of every issue.

For more insights and inspiration on how to make the most of your mobile app, check out our white paper, Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Mobile Apps.