You’re already using your smartphone to search and surf the web. You’re using it to read and write email. You might be using it to tweet, post to your blog, or network on Facebook. If your smartphone is an iPhone, you can also use it to keep an eye on all the sites in your Google Analytics account.
With the recent launch of Analytics App, there are now three primary apps that bring Google Analytics to the iPhone; myAnalytics and Analytics Pro are the others. Analytics Pro also has a “lite” version.
But are they any good? After using each of them during the past week, I can answer that question with a “yes,” but one of the three is heads and shoulders above the rest. Here’s a look at the good, bad, and ugly of Google Analytics apps on the iPhone.
Requirements: iPhone and iPod Touch; iPhone Software 2.1
Pros: If all you’re interested are the most basic data about your sites, myAnalytics might be right up your alley. It shows seven reports: Visits, Page Views, Views per Visit, Bounce Rate, Time on Site, New Visits, and Top 3 Countries. All of this data is shown on a single screen, and moving from one web site profile to the next is as simple as sliding your finger across the screen. (see image below left)
Cons: It’s too basic for most marketers and webmasters. Seven reports isn’t enough to really know what’s going on with your web sites. There’s no way to customize the reports that are shown. Nor can you drill down for more details of any reports. What you see is what you get. Also, to change the date range, you have to close the app and go to your iPhone’s main Settings and choose a new date range from there. Then, when you return to myAnalytics to see the new date range, the app has to reload all your Google Analytics data from scratch. The app’s description warns you that myAnalytics works best when you only have 5-9 web site profiles in your account, and that it might time out if you have more.
Verdict: If you only track a few web sites and only care about a few reports, myAnalytics might be just what you need. But it’s probably not strong enough or flexible enough for most Google Analytics users.
Price: $3.99 Requirements: iPhone and iPod Touch; iPhone Software 2.0
Pros: I can’t speak to any pros from direct experience, because this app will not display any reports for me. All I can make work is the “home” screen. (see image above right) There are reviews in the iTunes App Store saying it’s slow; indeed … after 10 minutes of waiting, my report page remains blank. From looking at the screenshots, the app appears to produce reports that look like a PDF export of Google Analytics data. The developer says this app provides 19 different reports, almost triple what myAnalytics offers.
Cons: The interface, at least as far as I was able to use it, is a bit clunky. Since I can’t speak directly to the reports, reviewers in the App Store have said this app is slow, the info. is hard to see (you have to pinch and drag to zoom in/out on the data), and that it crashes on occasion.
Verdict: For my money, this is obviously the worst of the three apps I’ve been trying. Your mileage may vary.
Price: $5.99 Requirements: iPhone and iPod Touch; iPhone Software 2.2
Pros: This app offers 29 reports, which is far and away the most of the three, and is the only one that includes Event Tracking and Custom Reports. The interface is very clean and easy to use. But the strong suit is by far the tremendous depth of data included in its reports. You can dig into the Keywords report, for example, and scroll and scroll through all those words that brought traffic to your site.
Cons: Not many. For small web sites, it may provide too much data; but I’ve said the same thing about Google Analytics itself, and you can easily access only the reports you want. I mentioned how clean the interface is, but I almost think it could use a little color. And I’m being greedy here, but I find myself wanting the graphs to be shown on each report, rather than just the Overview reports. (see image above left) I’m nitpicking; there’s not much to complain about.
Verdict: This is by far the most comprehensive of the three apps, and comes the closest to mirroring what Google Analytics offers via its regular interface. If you’re an analytics power user, this is the one to use. Then again, I’m not in that category, and it’s the only app I’ll be using, too. It’s well worth the extra two dollars; in fact, compared to what the other apps provide, this one is a bargain at its current price.