App research firm Apteligent just published its latest data report on network crashes in which it compares failure rates in online interaction between apps running on Android 7.0 Nougat and those on iOS 10. In other words, the company decided to take a look at the number of times apps fail to connect to a remote server. Remember that time when you messaged your friend through Facebook Messenger and the app asked you to try again or the instance when you refreshed the front page of Reddit on Reddit is Fun and the app did nothing? Have you ever watched a YouTube video which simply stopped buffering? Yes, those are network errors, cases in which your app fails to send and/or receive data or scenarios in which data gets corrupted somewhere along the way.
That's what Apteligent was researching and, interestingly enough, the company concluded that Android Nougat is 2.5 times more likely to experience network issues in comparison to the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system. More specifically, the study suggests that 20% of all crashes on Nougat are caused by network errors while only 8% of iOS 10 app crashes can be attributed to the network. That certainly isn't great but it's worth noting that it sounds much worse than it is.
Namely, as pointed out in the examples above, network errors are often just mild inconveniences and even when they result in an app crash—which is what Apteligent is reporting about—they're not causing the overall Nougat crash rate to go up. As Phandroid points out, the overall crash rate on Android Nougat amounts to about 6% which is perfectly comparable to Marshmallow. In other words, this study simply shows that Nougat apps crash because of network issues more often and not that they crash more often in general. It's a bit confusing but the bottom line is: there's no reason to worry. Android Nougat is practically just as stable as the previous versions of the open source OS and it will probably only get better with future updates. So, no, your apps definitely won't crash 20% of the time you try to use them. Last but not least, given the 0.2% adoption rate of Nougat in comparison to iOS 10's 89%, it's certainly possible that the numbers for Nougat aren't even true so we'll have to wait for the sample pool to grow before drawing any final conclusions.