Reporting bugs to app developers can be a buggy process itself. After a user takes the initiative to contact a developer, the exchange often spirals into a back-and-forth communication in order to diagnose the problem. Cofounders Omar Gabr and Moataz Soliman created Instabug to address this pain point. Instead of lengthy interactions during which a developer asks questions about the device, the operating system, and numerous other elements, Instabug automatically sends detailed reports to developers when people shake their phones—a natural interaction for frustrated users, the app's creators say. On Wednesday, the Cairo-based startup took its tool one step further with a revamped dashboard to help mobile developers track the status of bugs.
"We rethought the product from the very beginning," Gabr told Fast Company. "The first product was simply a bug-reporting tool. Now it's a complete bug-tracking tool, similar to Jira, Basecamp, or Asana."
When Fast Company first spoke with Instabug 10 months ago, Gabr and Soliman were trying to secure visas to leave Egypt and attend tech conferences in the U.S. "Last year was a total disaster," Gabr said from Cairo. "The embassy was closed. There was no electricity." Though political turmoil postponed their plans, the pair eventually made their way Stateside. Within eight months, they attended tech conferences (advancing to the finals of The Next Web's Mobile Startup Rally), met with entrepreneurs and investors to refine Instabug, and raised $300,000 in a seed round.
The new Instabug, which is optimized for mobile devices, automatically creates tickets when users shake their mobile devices. Gabr says this update provides a full-fledged communication platform for mobile developers, who can assign tickets to other team members. The new dashboard also has filtering tools that can highlight patterns among reported issues (for example, it can identify problems that are more prevalent with a certain operating system and/or device model).
The added features will allow mobile developers to use Instabug as their primary bug-tracking software, but Gabr said the revamped version can also integrate with existing project-management tools, including Jira, Github, Basecamp, and Asana.
"The step we're taking right now is to allow developers to collaborate with each other," he said. With Instabug, "we can convert negative or angry customers into loyal fans."
[Image: Flickr user Alfie Ianni]