Lightstep handles end-to-end mobile-initiated transactions from the end-user button clicks down to database queries. Lightstep is based on the OpenTelemetry open standard and specifically intended to work across heterogeneous system architectures.


Lightstep’s architecture handles unlimited cardinality, which is particularly useful for mobile platforms where the number of unique devices, users, locations, and other important attribute information can easily reach high orders of magnitude. To increase your confidence that Lightstep will scale to meet the needs of your system’s traffic, see Lightstep’s case study with Lyft.

Streams and Targeted Queries

Mobile use cases also lend themselves to setting up Streams for common segmentations such as device type, application version, and geographical region that may show different performance characteristics across segments. Check out the Explorer view for ways to use Lightstep to identify important segmentations in your system performance.

Practical Guidance

Make sure to close/flush your spans when the app goes into the background, to prevent very long (and not very useful) span/trace data later. Leverage your existing telemetry mechanisms from the mobile device to carry span data.

For examples and information about tracers for mobile apps, see the Android and Objective-C Git repos.