How Do I Add Analytics to My Mobile App?

Tyler Yates

If you’ve developed a mobile app, adding analytics is one of the most important steps you can take to measure user engagement and improve your product. Analytics help you understand how users interact with your app, what features they use the most, and where they drop off. In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the steps to add analytics to your mobile app using Google Analytics – a powerful and free tool that provides detailed insights into user behavior.

Step 1: Create a Google Analytics Account

Before we begin, you need to have a Google Analytics account. If you don’t have one already, go to the Google Analytics homepage and sign up for an account. Once your account is created, create a new property for your mobile app.

Step 2: Set up Google Analytics SDK in Your App

Next, you need to add the Google Analytics SDK (Software Development Kit) to your mobile app. The SDK is available for Android and iOS platforms. You can download it from the Google Developers website.

Once downloaded, follow these steps:

For Android:

  1. Add the following dependency to your project’s build.gradle file:
  2. “`implementation ‘com.google.android.gms:play-services-analytics:17.0.0’“`

  3. In your app’s manifest file, add the following permissions:
  4. “`


    “`

  5. In your app’s manifest file, add the following meta-data under `` tag:
  6. “`

    “`

  7. Create global_tracker.xml in res/xml directory with following code:
  8. “`


    UA-XXXX-Y
    true

    “`

  9. In your app’s MainActivity.java, add the following code to initialize Google Analytics:
  10. “`
    // Obtain the shared Tracker instance.
    AnalyticsApplication application = (AnalyticsApplication) getApplication();
    mTracker = application.getDefaultTracker();
    “`

    For iOS:

    1. Add the following dependency to your Podfile:
    2. “`pod ‘GoogleAnalytics’“`

    3. In your app’s AppDelegate.swift file, import the Google Analytics library and add the following code to initialize it:
    4. “`
      import GoogleAnalytics
      ..
      // Replace with your tracking ID. let trackingID = “UA-XXXXXXXX-Y”

      // Initialize tracker. Replace with your property ID.

      let gai = GAI.sharedInstance()

      // Optional: configure GA tracker. gai?.trackUncaughtExceptions = true

      // Optional: set logger
      GAI.sharedInstance().logger.logLevel = .verbose

      // Set tracker configuration. guard let tracker = gai?.tracker(withTrackingId: trackingID) else { return }

      “`

      Step 3: Track User Actions

      With the SDK installed, you can now start tracking user actions in your app. Here are a few examples of common user actions you may want to track:

      • Screen views – track when users open specific screens in your app.
      • Events – track when users perform specific actions within your app (e.g., clicking a button or completing a form).
      • User timing – track how long it takes for certain actions to complete (e., how long it takes to load a page).
      • Exceptions – track when errors occur in your app.

      To track these actions, you need to call the appropriate methods from the Google Analytics SDK. Here’s an example of how to track a screen view in Android:

      “`
      // Set screen name.
      mTracker.setScreenName(“Home Screen”);

      // Send a screen view.send(new HitBuilders.ScreenViewBuilder().build());
      “`

      And here’s an example of how to track a screen view in iOS:

      “`
      guard let tracker = GAI.defaultTracker else { return }
      tracker.set(kGAIScreenName, value: “Home Screen”)
      guard let builder = GAIDictionaryBuilder.createScreenView() else { return }
      tracker.send(builder.build() as [NSObject : AnyObject])
      “`

      Step 4: Analyze Your Data

      Once you’ve set up tracking in your app and users have started using it, you can analyze the data in Google Analytics. There are many reports available that provide insights into user behavior, engagement, and retention.

      Some common reports you may want to explore include:

      • Behavior Flow – see how users move through your app and where they drop off.
      • User Acquisition – see where your users are coming from (e., organic search, social media, advertising).
      • Engagement – see which features are most popular with users and how often they use them.
      • Retention – see how many users are returning to your app over time.

      Conclusion

      Adding analytics to your mobile app is essential if you want to understand user behavior and improve your product over time. With Google Analytics, you can easily track user actions and analyze the data to make informed decisions about how to improve your app. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you’ll be well on your way to gaining valuable insights into your mobile app’s performance.