You want your app to succeed, right?
But how are you going to measure that success? From your market research, you should already have a good idea of your objectives before your app hits the mobile app stores.
No matter what your goals are for your app, you need some key metrics to evaluate how you are doing: downloads, revenue, ranks, reviews, etc. Don’t get me wrong though, it doesn’t stop there and you want to use in-app analytics too.
The good news is, there are many good tools that let you track all these. The bad news is that it’s not that easy to pick one. Here are our favorites and what we like or don’t like about them.
These tools don’t require the installation of an SDK, so don’t hesitate to try them by yourself to find the right fit.
App Downloads, Revenue & Rankings Tracking Tools
Given the fact that most of our readers (yes, I’m talking about you) are indie developers, we decided to focus on free or very affordable solutions. For freemium tools, we sometimes mentioned some features of the paid versions but without detailing.
Here is a quick comparison table of the tools we took a look at (don’t hurt your eyes and click on the snapshot or here to see the pdf version):
If there are any mistakes in this App Downloads Tracking Tools comparison table,
please contact us and we’ll update it
Stores: App Store, Google Play Store
App Annie is not only a great tool to do market research and validate your app idea, it’s also very useful to track your app downloads and revenues.
The dashboard view lets you analyze the iOS or Android revenue of your app with a stacked chart and a table view provides you with the last 7 days downloads and revenue (and their evolution). You can also see your app US ranking and number of reviews over that period.
In the Detailed view (per app), you get a chart with:
- Revenue and downloads during the date range of your choice
- Break-down per country (pretty useful to evaluate the need for localization)
- Tables with your app daily ranks
- Chart for your rank history
- Reviews written on your app.
Another neat feature is the possiblity to add events: a review of your app on a blog, a price dropping promotion, an app update, etc. It makes it easier later on to evaluate the impact of your marketing efforts.
We like: easy to use and nice ux, email recaps, hourly ranking
Not so much: can’t choose date range on dashboard
Price: Freemium (see details here)
Stores: Appstore, Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore
The free version of AppFigures (up to 5 apps), won’t really let you have more than what App Annie offers. However, in its $4.99 (+ $1.49 per app after 2 apps)/month version, it has some pretty nice features.
The sales and downloads page has a chart that lets you:
- Analyze data for one or several apps
- See units downloaded, profit and app updates for a a specific date range
- See the break-down per country
- See the events you defined to analyze marketing efforts impacts
- Overlay the app ranks (nice-to-have, but probably better to watch separately)
The Ranks section of Appfigures allow you to get charts with hourly rankings per country for any app (yours or others’). Besides the fact that you shouldn’t spend hours watching your app rank, it’s pretty useful on launch day or when doing marketing experiments if you want to “immediately” analyze the impact.
As on App Annie, you can read the reviews written about your apps around the world.
They have a developer API allowing to interact with reports and account data.
We like: fairly easy to use, hourly rank and app updates tracking, integrates iAd
Not so much: not free if you want email recap and hourly rank tracking
Price: Freemium (with several features included in free version)
Stores: App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore, GetJar, Handago, Mobihand, Nook Apps, RIM App World, WP7 MarketPlace
Mopapp, like App Annie, offers App Store rankings that can be useful for your market research.
The Mopapp dashboard is quite different from the others, as it offers a combined downloads or revenue charts for a given date range as well as pie charts to compare how you are doing by:
- Ad networks
You can easily apply filters for any of the above criterias: removing an app or a store from the charts/comparison for example.
More details are available for each criteria, with the same concept of applying filters to see exactly the data you want and need.
If you’re using iAd, AdMob, InMobi or Smaato you can track your earnings directly within Mopapp which can be a nice time saver.
Finally, if you (or most likely your company) can afford it, the entreprise version lets you integrate with your flurry account to track in-app usage analytics and compare them with your downloads. Entreprise version comes with more features like translated reviews, ranking history and competitors comparison.
We like: data import, helps you compare easily platforms and apps, integrates some ad networks data, upgrades info, link flurry account (entreprise version)
Not so much: no ranking data in free version, events hard to find, entreprise version at $199/mo, category was wrong for some apps when testing
Distimo App Analytics
Stores: App Store, Google Play Store, BlackBerry App World, GetJar, Nokia Ovi Store, Samsung Apps, Windows Phone 7 Marketplace
If you follow us on Twitter, you most likely have seen us sharing some of Distimo’s excellent reports on mobile markets data.
Distimo also offers a free app analytics and sales tracking tool to app developers. I like the customizable dashboard where you can add/remove widgets to monitor what matters to you.
Design is different (better in my opinion) than Mopapp, but it works in the same way in the sense that you apply filters (stores, apps, countries, metrics – downlaods or updates) to the following data:
- Ads (Adfonic, AdMob, iAd, InMobi or Smaato)
- Rankings (for your apps and competitors apps)
- Funnels (using AppLinks for cross-platform app distribution)
- Events (manual or automatically detected – e.g. new release, app entered the top 100)
- Datagrid (total download and revenue data over a given timespan, that you can sort)
A great tool with some level of customization, that gives you the possibility to find and visualize pretty much any data you can need when it comes to tracking downloads and revenues.
You can try a live demo here.
We like: thorough, integrates ad networks data, app rankings comparison with competitors, funnels, events, email reports
Not so much: level of complexity (but still simple to use given all the features)
Some other tools
We can’t possibly review all existing tools. We decided on the ones above because they are free or affordable, and because they provide the most needed features while supporting at least the App Store and the Google Play Store. Here are some other tools that might be of interest:
AppViz (Mac – iTunes Connect) – Analyze your iTunes connect data (reviews, rankings, events) with charts and tables. Starts at $49, free trial available.
Appstatics (iOS) – Acquired by Appsfire, this free (with premium features coming soon) app lets you track the rankings of your apps.
With this round-up you should be able to save some time in choosing the app downloads tracking tool that is right for you. Define your objectives before launching your app, and track your success! Don’t think that’s all you have to do though, it’s not all about downloads.
If you believe we forgot a great tool or if you want to share your own experience, we’d love to hear it in the comments!