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If an app crashes while I'm using it in OS X I get a little (apparently) OS-driven dialog that lets me "report the crash to Apple". It sends along a stack trace and some other system information.

Does this crash information get shared with the app developer of the app in question at the time the crash occurred?

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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Mac OS X Reference Library Technical Note TN2123 states:

CrashReporter performs two useful actions:

  • When a program crashes, CrashReporter will record a crash log (typically into ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/), and inform the user by logging a message to the system logging facility.
  • In addition, if the program that crashed is running as a logged in GUI user, CrashReporter will present the user with a dialog asking them whether they want to submit a bug report to Apple (see Figure 1). If the user clicks the Report button, CrashReporter displays another dialog that shows the details of the report (see Figure 2) and allows them to comment it before submission.

And not much further along, states:

In this technote I explain how to interpret crash logs that you have obtained from end users.

I believe this implies that the information is not automatically shared with the developer. The developer needs to "obtain" the crash logs from the end users' ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/ folder.

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This answer is confusing. According to another answer, no, developers don't get the report, only apple does; unless they are using the app store. –  J. Pablo Fernández Mar 2 '11 at 6:20
    
In the CrashReporter Limitations section of that Tech Note, it says "There is currently no way for third party developers to access the reports submitted via CrashReporter." The last noted revision of that doc was in 2008. I don't know how good Apple is about either removing or marking as such docs that they're no longer maintaining. –  Terry N Apr 10 at 2:47
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Heh, yes, that Tech Note is in fact out of date, yet not marked as such. A way for 3rd-party devs to access CrashReporter reports under at least some circumstances is described here. –  Terry N Apr 10 at 3:31
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Recently announced by Apple (Dec. 17, 2010), the iTunes Developer Guide [PDF] illustrates how a Mac App Store developer may receive crash log reports for their apps. This isn't true for apps downloaded outside of the Mac App Store, unless the developer has coded that functionality in manually.

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Here's an up-to-date link to the relevant part of the guide. –  Terry N Apr 10 at 3:20
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I think Apple is currently preparing a system for developers of apps in the Mac App Store. The iTunes Connect interface already shows a "Crash Logs" button, so I guess it will be possible this year.

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