Mobile Analytics

Mobile Web

Users can interact with mobile devices in more ways than large screen devices. They can touch, swipe, tilt or shake them.

Mobile devices differs also in the context of the much shorter attention span they hold with users. Mobile users are more likely to abandon sites that take time to load. The connection speed is therefore, a greater priority. JS tags and other elements that slow down devices should be used sparingly, though this may become a lesser issue as carriers move to 5G and speeds improve.

Mobile devices also support the superior GPS (Global Positioning System) location tracking facility. Based on signals transmitted from satellites, devices can pinpoint user location. Large screen devices on the other hand, rely mainly on IP address.

Global Positioning System (GPS)

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a utility that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing services. It consists of three segments:

  • Space segment: consists of 24 satellites that transmit one-way signals giving current GPS satellite position and time.
  • Control stations that maintain the satellites in their proper orbit.
  • User segment: GPS receivers receive GPS satellite signals, and use the information to compute user’s 3-D position and time.

The US Air Force develops and operates the space and control segments.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are developed with SDKs (s/w development kits), for example iOS SDK or iPhone SDK. SDKs typically include an IDE (integrated development environment), a comprehensive facility for software development.

SDKs can also be configured to record and report usage analytics. Besides the usual metric, mobile analytic systems can access built-in features like GPS, gyroscope (orientation) and accelerometer, which are of greater relevance to mobile users.

Instead of cookies, mobile users are identified through IDs, and since attention span is shorter, session timeout is 30 seconds, as opposed to 30 minutes for larger screens.

An important aspect of mobile analytics is the analysis of cohorts. Considering that most apps have relatively short life span and usage tends to decay over time, cohort analysis, i.e., grouping users based on the time app was installed is of greater relevance for apps.

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