Google Analytics iOS App - A Review
Google released its first analytics app for the iPhone and iPad recently following the release of an Android version in June.
For those of us who have been forced to pinch and zoom while using the Google Analytics mobile site, this was certainly a welcome move.
We thought we'd check out how well it works and how it measures up to the desktop version of Google Analytics.
The first thing you'll see on the home screen is a real-time overview of current site users. This is a bit hidden in the desktop version, so its a great start.
Beyond that we are shown summaries of acquisition, behaviour and conversions in a clearly presented and easy to digest format.
If you click on each of these options, you will be taken to more details for each data group.
In the same mechanism as the home screen, the detail pages are made up of cards, and clicking on each card will take you to more detailed information.
For example, the behaviour menu will provide a quick overview of various metrics, from which you can add segments to slice and dice the data, though previously created custom segments are unavailable to use here.
Date ranges can be changed by selecting the date range at the top of each page, and this works seamlessly as it does on the desktop version
Features of special interest
We liked the heat map of page views and couldn't find this on the main version of Google Analytics.
The graphic to identify the times and days of the week when your website is busiest can easily help you find the best time to promote a piece of content or to avoid for website releases and updates.
What could be better?
Speed - the app is frequently slow to load and update data (even on a good broadband connection). This makes for a frustrating experience if you are looking to do an in-depth analysis on the move. Think of buffering movies and you'll get an idea of what we have just experienced!
Since the app doesn't have a dashboard, it takes a bit longer to get a quick overview of how the site is performing, so a quick look might take a bit longer than on your desktop.
The main omission from our point of view is that custom reports are unavailable on the App.
As a quick go-to for an overview of stats, the Google Analytics app is a a handy tool. It saves time and and might help you identify trends and issues sooner than you would be able to without it.
However, the slow loading and lack of features like custom reports renders the tool a clear second best in our view. Still, its worth a few pixels on my iPhone, so there is will stay for the moment.