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Mastering cross-platform app analytics

Understanding the iOS and Android ecosystems

The mobile app world is dominated by two major platforms, iOS and Android. As of September 2021, Android held a 72.5% market share in terms of installs, while iOS accounted for 27.5%. However, when it comes to revenue, iOS tends to generate more revenue per user. iOS users tend to spend 2.5 times more on in-app purchases than Android users. Depending on your app, native development can make a lot of sense. It makes things less complicated, especially in the beginning when you want to test and iterate quickly. However, in the long run, balancing your app's presence on both platforms is essential to maximize your reach and revenue. In this context, cross-platform app analytics becomes a valuable tool for optimizing your app and understanding user behavior across platforms.

Analytics in App Store Connect and Google Play Console

Both Apple and Google provide developers with their own analytics tools—App Store Connect for iOS and Google Play Console for Android. These tools offer essential KPIs and metrics to help you understand your app's performance on each platform:

App Store Connect (iOS)

  1. App Units: The number of first-time app downloads made on the App Store.
  2. Impressions: The total number of times your app's icon was viewed on the App Store.
  3. Product Page Views: The number of times your app's product page was viewed on the App Store.
  4. Retention: The percentage of users who continue using your app over time.

Google Play Console (Android)

  1. Installs by User: The total number of unique users who installed your app.
  2. Average Rating: The average rating of your app based on user reviews.
  3. User Acquisition: The number of users acquired through various acquisition channels.
  4. Retention: No longer available.

The benefits of additional analytics tools

While App Store Connect and Google Play Console provide essential metrics, additional analytics tools can offer a more comprehensive view of your app's performance and user behavior. This is particularly true for iOS native development (Swift), where App Store Connect data can be sufficient in some cases. However, it's essential to remember that App Store Connect only tracks users who opt-in. Tools like Lumin, which don't require opt-in because they don't save personal data, can be considered for a more comprehensive view. Additionally, if you want to track custom events, App Store Connect may be limited, and third-party tools might be more suitable.

These tools can help you:

  1. Track custom events: Additional analytics tools can help you track custom events, like button clicks or feature usage, providing deeper insights into user engagement.
  2. Unify data from both platforms: Combining data from iOS and Android can give you a complete picture of user engagement, acquisition, and monetization across platforms.
  3. Analyze user cohorts: Additional analytics tools can help you group users based on specific criteria, allowing you to analyze different segments and optimize your app accordingly.

Tips for mastering cross-platform app analytics

  1. Leverage platform-specific analytics: Utilize App Store Connect and Google Play Console to track platform-specific KPIs and metrics.
  2. Implement additional analytics tools: Use third-party analytics tools, like Lumin, to track custom events, unify data from both platforms, and analyze user cohorts.
  3. Combine quantitative and qualitative data: Collect feedback from users through surveys and interviews to supplement your quantitative data and gain a deeper understanding of user preferences and behavior.

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