When iOS 8 gets released in the Autumn, Apple is introducing the ability to include system based analytics, to get a better understanding of how apps are used.
Being system based is a key differentiator for the incoming Apple analytics. Current analytics platforms, such as Flurry, are based in the app, which therefore means certain information vital to improving apps, isn’t accessible.
The new Apple analytics will offer developers and companies’ information about:
  • App Store page views – this will help to show whether users are interested in the app and whether better pictures or text will help to convince them that the app is relevant to them
  • App Units – revealing how many individual purchases have been made
  • Installs – to find out whether users install them across multiple iOS devices, and whether there is demand for an iPad or iPhone optimised version
  • Sessions – reveals how long users have spent in an app and the number of times they use it. (Third party analytics platforms will still be required to show in-app usage information)
  • Active devices – revealing how many devices the app is being used on, at any given time
  • Retention – are users coming back to the app? Do they only log in to take a look around and then leave?
  • Stickiness – to help show whether the app is retaining customers
  • In-App purchases – to reveal the revenue driving conversion rates, within apps

In addition to these metrics, Apple’s platform will allow companies to filter information by the version of iOS being used, type of device, region and app version.

Essentially, Apple is introducing metrics around what leads to an app being installed. Currently, developers don’t really know whether 10 million people are looking at an app on the App Store. They only know that 10 people might install it. By having information about visits to the App Store page and where the visits are coming from, developers can better optimise the sales channels, driving people to the App Store; to help convert users and get them to download the app.

This will also provide the ability to further enhance the ability to track app promotion campaigns, to find out the impact on App Store page views.

Developers will be able to see where they are missing out on opportunities (i.e. Being able to see if a large number of people have been viewing an app on the App Store in a specific country, to show the app needs to be localised to support their language).

For information about in-app activity, third party analytics are still vitally important. Apple isn’t trying to put firms such as Flurry out of business, they are merely introducing more visibility to app providers.

From a development perspective, all of this is completely free to implement. No work is required by developers and no framework is required for the analytics to work, as they will made available system wide. User privacy, however, is paramount for Apple and there is therefore a required user opt-in, in order for the user’s App Store visits and Apple analytics to be tracked.

Check out Apple’s video here explaining the new analytics. Jump to the 15 minute mark to find out more.

By Robert Haslam, PR Manager with input from one of Mubaloo’s iOS developers, Liam Nichols.

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