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Tracking Your App: Using Analytics to Track Your App’s Progress and Design a Better App

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Have you ever wondered how your app is doing once it is downloaded by your users or which features they are using the most? Jeffrey Hughes, author of Android Apps Marketing: Secrets to Selling Your Android App, shows how analytics can help you build a better app and get more sales with just a few minutes extra work.
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Have you ever wondered how your app is doing once it is downloaded by your users? More specifically, have you ever wondered which features of your app are being used the most? How about from what part of the world? All of these questions and many more can be answered by using analytics in your iPhone or Android app.

You can write your own analytics or you can utilize some code from companies like Flurry or Tapjoy that specialize in analytics. The easier approach is to utilize their predefined agent which can be easily inserted into your app.

Flurry and Tapjoy provide accurate and real-time data about how your customers are using your apps. You can even gather data about how your app is performing across different handsets. No personal user data is gathered, but you will be able to tell in aggregate how many sessions are currently open and how your app is performing.

Here's another reason why you should consider using analytics in your app. When you submit your app for review with Apple (if you are writing an iPhone/iPad app), you will be able to tell (sort of) if your app is being viewed by their reviewers on any given day. As long as no one else is using the app after you have submitted it, you can safely assume that the open sessions are Apple testing your app. Not a big deal, but it's helpful to know when your app goes into review how long it sits before anyone at Apple actually picks it up and starts reviewing it.

Having analytics data will also help you as a developer to identify issues and opportunities with your app. If you know that some features are being used all the time and others aren't, you'll know where to focus future enhancements. Analytics can also help you determine where it makes sense to insert an offer for an In App purchase either on the iPhone/iPad or Android. (Android is a little more complicated because Google does not yet finalized its beta version of In App purchase capability.) If a large number of people are having difficulty moving past a certain point in your game, you can offer them some extra ammunition or weapons to get to the next level.

The following sections offer some general guidelines to follow if you are building a game app for either the iPhone or Android platforms.

General App Tracking

You should track the following items at a minimum when implementing analytics in your app:

  • User downloads. How many copies of your app are being downloaded each day?
  • User retention. How long are users playing your game?
  • Peaks/changes in downloads. Are you seeing more downloads on the weekends or weekdays? Are there certain countries downloading your app the most?
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