AT&T ARO Makes Apps Even Better

27 08 2012

At the latest Path to 4G event at CTIA Wireless, AT&T exec Kris Rinne called for collaboration among carriers, content providers and app developers to create new standards to enable the efficient delivery of content over mobile broadband networks. In comes AT&T’s Application Resource Optimizer. ARO, for short, is a free diagnostic tool for analyzing the performance of mobile apps, helping the app to run faster and smarter by providing recommendations to help developers optimize the app’s performance, speed, network capacity and utilization. This will enable developers to realize reduced development costs and improved app quality.

As mobile apps become more robust and pervasive, they’re also going to become more high maintenance. They’ll use more memory and require more battery usage. We strongly support initiatives such as ARO to help ensure innovation is not limited because of constraints on a device’s hardware. Being the first vendor to offer ARO as a pre-loaded tool on live mobile devices, we’ve seen a great uptake in its use and have kept a close eye on its success. Developers have been using our devices to have on-demand, remote access to this service to expedite app testing and ultimately, increasing app ratings.

AT&T has been in the forefront of the app optimization market and as such, published a list of top wireless issues that developers should address in order to make their apps more network efficient. Here are a few:

1)     Unnecessary connections – Many times, apps sometimes open lots of unnecessary TCP connections to the data network which drains battery life

2)     Data transmissions – Apps would be more network efficient if opening and closing data transmissions were to be grouped together to eliminate network latency

3)     WiFi offload – AT&T has over 30,000 public hotspots in the US to reduce strain on network bandwidth

4)     Rotating screens – Many apps ping servers every time a device’s screen is rotated, wasting network resources for absolutely no reason

5)     Duplicate content – Ensure the app is now downloading content that is already on the device

Recently, Pandora, Zynga and other unnamed top companies have encouraged developers to use ARO to create apps that are less stressful on AT&T’s network by making the most use of the networks’ natural resource – the wireless spectrum. According to AT&T, Pandora used ARO to help reduce their battery usage by 40 percent. Additionally, ARO revealed that the Pandora app powers up the device’s radio every minute to send information back to Pandora about what the listener was doing. This measurement detail represented only 0.2 percent of Pandora’s overall data load, but due to the app’s design, the information accounted for 46 percent of Pandora’s overall power consumption. This led Pandora to update its apps’ efficiency – to send small bursts of data in a single, less sporadic transmission.

With AT&T ARO being a free and powerful tool with a great success rate, we highly recommend all app developers to give it a shot, unless they are against reducing development costs and improving overall end-user experience of their apps. Jokes aside, here is a link to AT&T’s ARO Virtual Developer Lab: https://www.keynotedeviceanywhere.com/AT&T/AT&T_ARO_welcome.html.

About the Author

Leila Modarres is the Head of Marketing at Keynote DeviceAnywhere which offers mobile app lifecycle management solutions. Visit www.keynotedeviceanywhere.com for more details.

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