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How do I find crash reports?

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Answer

Sometimes there are bugs in iPhone apps that cannot be reproduced easily in a test environment. This is normally because the bug in some ways is specific to the environment that it occurs in, this may be due to network or hardware configuration (I don’t have one of every Linn product for example), or due to data (unexpected characters in a title, overly large image etc). In cases like this a crash report is essential to determine what the problem is.

A crash report file contains information on the state of the application at the time of the crash. Most usefully it contains a trace that tells me the line of code that the failure happened on. There’s a bit of detective work involved and sometimes guesses at the cause, but more often than not I can create a code modification that avoids the bug. If I’m not certain of the fix I can send out a special release of the code that adds extra debugging information.

The crash reports are saved on your iPhone at the time of the crash, when you connect up with the sync cable the reports are copied to your computer. The location of the reports depends on your operating system:

  • Mac OS X : ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/[DEVICE_NAME]
  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Apple computer\Logs\CrashReporter/[DEVICE_NAME]
  • Windows Vista: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Apple computer\Logs\CrashReporter/MobileDevice/[DEVICE_NAME]

On Vista “Application Data” maybe hidden, so you may need to show hidden files.

There are two types of files stored here, .plist files and .crash files. I only need the .crash files. The files will start with the name of the application, Library (for iBookshelf) or MyLibrary for example and contain a date stamp.

You can right click (or Control-click) on the crash file and send as an email attachment.

Once I have the crash file it should not take long to analyze it and get back to you.

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