Number of app launches in Android is inflated

We are seeing some inconsistencies in our app reports in New Relic. It seems like New Relic charts are showing a higher amount of app launches (aka sessions) for our Android app than in reality. That also results in the underreporting of the crash rate (crashes divided by sessions) which now looks ridiculously low.

This started to happen in the 1.8 version of our app launched in October. The data for our previous version (1.6.1) was correct.

First we thought we had introduced a defect in 1.8 ourselves, but when querying in Insights the amount of sessions the results seem to be correct. Please notice how in the screenshots below New Relic shows a huge increase in the amount of app launches since 1.8 was released, and in the Insights query results it shows that the overall amount of sessions did not experience any significant variation.

New Relic Data

URL: https://rpm.newrelic.com/accounts/786801/mobile/6733620

Insights Data

URL: https://insights.newrelic.com/accounts/786801/query?query=SELECT%20count(*)%20FROM%20MobileSession%20FACET%20appVersion%20WHERE%20appName%3D'Merch.Android-RELEASE'%20SINCE%203%20months%20ago%20WITH%20TIMEZONE%20'America%2FLos_Angeles'%20TIMESERIES%20

Hey @Federico.X.Baseggio

There’s a great Mobile Level-up post titled Relic Solution: Why Am I Seeing Inflated App Launch Count In My Android App?.

The Android agent should be started in the onCreate of the default activity class as defined in the manifest. This is typically the MainActivity class but may be defined differently in the manifest.

If the agent is started in another class this may cause unexpected and unstable behavior. Specifically when starting the agent in the Application class it’s typical to see inflated app launch counts. This is usually caused by a background service such as push notifications which instantiate the Application class. This results in the agent reporting an app launch erroneously.

3 Likes