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Case Study – Dawn Patrol

We love surfing, we love apps, and we want to share those passions with fellow surfers. Therefore we built Dawn Patrol.

With Dawn Patrol, you can transform your Apple watch into a surf watch. It can track your surf, count your waves and show them on a map, it also measures your heart rate and calories burned. Before and during the surf you can check the actual surf forecast of your favourite surf beaches just by lifting your wrist. Dawn Patrol is the first surf tracker on Apple Watch, and has been available in the App Store since 2016.

What were your team's devops challenges and pain points prior to using Sematext?

Our app does some heavy operations on the front end. Especially on the Apple Watch. When people are surfing, our app is used as a tracking device. It is constantly monitoring your heart rate, the calories you burn, it uses your GPS position to follow your tracks in the water and it monitors motion data to understand movements you make in the water.

On top of that, the Watch shows local surf conditions like tidal updates while you surf.

A surf session typically takes an hour and a half or more, and the app needs to be super stable. We need to know what's happening on user devices. When errors occur we want to know about it so we can use that to improve stability of the product. Since our product is so front-end focussed, there's a lot of stuff happening on the device that we don't know about.

We're using Sematext to log device information so that we can recognize problems at an early stage to keep the product stable as our users would expect from us.

What were your requirements and considerations for monitoring and / or logging solutions?

The logs needed to be anonymous, we don't want any user information so we can assure privacy to our users.

It was really important for us to find a solution that works on Apple Watch.

Last but not least, the logging needed to work offline too. Most of our users are offline while they're using the app, so the Watch needs to gather the logs while it is offline, and then send the logs over when it connects again after the surf session.

Why did you choose Sematext?

It is a combination of price and quality. The price is attractive and can help us grow our business. And, of course, the fact that it supports Apple Watch and works even when the app is offline were two critical requirements that Sematext met.

Implementing Sematext to work with our app that runs on Apple Watch was super easy. All we had to do was add Sematext to CocoaPods and implement two tiny functions. The insight we derive from via Sematext helped us identify a few potential issues in our app and it helps us keep our app running smoothly. It is helpful when implementing new features and learning about how they work in different device setups and software versions.

What problems does Sematext solve for you?

We are using the logging function of Sematext. We can now monitor device logs without having to ask users to send files over to us manually, which is what we had to do before.

Having insight into app usage and issues via logs collected by and into Sematext helps us make the product stable. It also helps us implement new features and learn about how new features work in different device setups and software versions.

Before we were logging info in a text file, and in rare cases we would ask users to send those log files over to us. Now we can just see logging in Sematext, without having to ask users to extract those and then send them to us. This is way easier for us, and way simpler for our users.

Please share some insights into your implementation process and transition to Sematext.

Implementing Sematext was super easy.

We already had a logging mechanism in our app.

All we had to do was add Sematext to CocoaPods and implement two tiny functions, one to initialize Sematext, and one to log information to Sematext.

The rest works out of the box, just do those things and by magic your logs will appear online in the Sematext portal. Our developers have access to the portal and can monitor the logs they're looking for.

What was the outcome and which product feature(s) do you find most helpful?

We started using it recently, and we identified some potential issues in our app through the app logs. This helped us resolve these glitches and assure the stability of our app.

Challenges before Sematext

  • No insight info app behaviour
  • Getting info about app behaviour required manual data uploads

Favorite Sematext features

  • Apple Watch support
  • Ease of integration and ease of use
  • Useful out of the box dashboards
  • Low cost

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