So far, Google Analytics has approached mobile-application tracking from a perspective that’s more tailored to conventional websites, said JiaJing Wang, a Google product manager.
With the new reports, Google Analytics will provide results for iOS and Android applications that include deeper, broader and more specific metrics, he said.
“Application developers and marketers need to have a profound understanding of their mobile applications’ usage,” Wang said.
One set of reports will focus on measuring new and active users of an application, the different versions in use and the devices it’s being installed on, as well as how people are finding it at the Google Play store.
Another set of reports will zero in on engagement data, such as the frequency with which people use the application, the length of sessions and the in-application usage patterns, as well as trends in crashes and bugs.
“You have to know what users are doing before you can make meaningful improvements to your mobile applications,” he said.
A third type of report will focus on tracking the attainment of specific outcomes, such as ad clicks, in-app purchases or pre-determined session duration goals.
Since Google is providing the capabilities free, it’s likely that the price of more sophisticated mobile analytics products from competitors will drop, which will benefit developers, said Michael Facemire, a Forrester Research analyst.
In addition, the native SDK (software development kit) for both iOS and Android makes it technically easy for developers to link their applications with the Google Analytics engine. “This low barrier of entry for developers from a cost perspective and a technology-effort perspective will make this an appealing offering,” he said.