Interaction Latency: Square’s User-Centric Mobile Performance Metric

Mobile performance metrics often take inspiration from the backend world and measure resource usage (CPU usage, memory usage, etc) and workload durations (how long a piece of code takes to run).

However, mobile apps are used by humans and the app performance directly impacts their experience, so we should primarily track user-centric mobile performance metrics. Following the lead of tech giants, the mobile industry at large is now adopting the tracking of app launch time and smoothness (jank during motion).

At Square, our customers spend most of their time in the app long after it’s launched, and they don’t scroll much, so app launch time and smoothness aren’t critical metrics. What should we track instead?

This talk will introduce you to Interaction Latency, a user-centric mobile performance metric inspired from the Web Vital metric Interaction to Next Paint” ( We’ll go over why apps need to track this, how to properly implement its tracking (it’s tricky!), how to aggregate this metric and what thresholds you should target.”

20 minutes
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Pierre-Yves Ricau, Android Distinguished Engineer at Block

My pronouns are he / him. I'm currently working as an Android Distinguished Engineer at Square.

P99 CONF OCT. 23 + 24, 2024

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