New iTunes Connect Analytics, Crash Reporting

There are a lot of changes coming with iOS 8 including the quality and type of reporting on app usage, analytics, and crash reports directly from Apple.  These don’t seem to be specific or limited to iOS 8, but rather part of updates to the App Store & iTunes connect.  The impression I got from the announcements they made in this regard was that basically companies like Crashlytics and AppDynamics may be seeing competition from Apple, at least on the iOS side of the house.

Apple hasn’t provided in depth details about these features yet, but I would recommend sticking to Google Analytics (free!) in the interim until they are released.  Well, I guess Crashlytics is free, too, ever since they were acquired.

Specific features I was able to glean from the State of the Union address at WWDC14:

iTunes Connect Dashboard

Analytics

  • how many users visited your store pages
  • how many users went on to download your app
  • how many users remained active over time
  • all the analytics features are built directly into iOS – no extra coding needed by the developer (unlike Google Analytics, an any other third party services where we have to put in specific calls to GA in many places in our code)

SALES

  • app store views
  • app units
  • in-app purchases
  • sales
  • average sales

ENGAGEMENT

  • installations
  • active devices
  • sessions
  • stickiness
  • filter by device type

Beta Distribution

  • Apple is leveraging TestFlight which they acquired recently to roll out a new beta deployment service
  • beta users download the beta app just using their standard Apple ID (same one they use for iTunes etc.) – no need for any special profiles etc.
  • each app can have up to 1,000 beta testers (note they are not giving a device limit per org – this is 1,000 testers PER BETA App.  They were very clear that there is no device limit.)
  • TestFlight service can also be used for internal dev & testing teams – no more need for profiles etc. again.  This will circumvent our current need for multiple Apple accounts (enterprise, regular) and we will no longer be constrained by limited number of devices for testing.

CRASH REPORTS

  • Apple said it will be available in 2015
  • Fully aggregated and symbolic crash reports
  • Developers will be able to work through the crash reports from within Xcode

First foray into CocoaPods

I’m working on updating an enterprise iOS application.  As part of that update, I eliminated dependancies on several third party libraries, and the remaining libraries I wanted to manage using CocoaPods.  Otherwise, the situation was that the source code for those libraries had just been dumped into the project several years ago, and there was no easy way of knowing what version of the libraries was being used nor a sane way of keeping the libraries updated. Using CocoaPods was surprisingly easy, but there were a few gotchas I ran into since I was integrating this into an existing project.  I thought I would share in case there are any other newbies out there who run into similar issues. //READ MORE//

“Objective-C without all the baggage of C”

One of my developers who has a C background said about Objective-C, ‘it has a lot of baggage from C’.

Apple asked the question, ‘what if we could have Objective-C, without the baggage of C’. Today they gave an answer- a new language called Swift.

finally.