Yahoo announced this week that it’s adding support for Apple Watch analytics to its free mobile analytics service Flurry, which the company acquired last year. For those developers who are building apps for the Apple Watch ecosystem, it’s important to understand how users are engaging with these new small-screen applications, as user behavior and the metrics that matter are likely to be very different from those for smartphone applications.
Apple Watch apps, after all, are largely designed to provide quick information at a glance, rather than encouraging lengthy browsing sessions. That means developers may be looking to better understand how many users they have on the Watch, how many notifications they should send (and how many are too many), as well as how their users split their time between the watch and the phone, among other things.
With the newly introduced Apple Watch metrics, developers can now track new users, active users, the total event occurrences by day, the daily average event occurrences, daily average unique event users, and the percentage of app users engaging with the watch extension.
To use the new service, developers have to first create a Watch Extension key in their iPhone app, get the latest Flurry SDK, add the Watch extension key to their app and then submit it to the App Store.
News that Flurry was planning to release Apple Watch analytics was previously announced at a Yahoo developer meetup earlier this month. There, Yahoo Software Developer Hepeng Zhang spoke about how to improve the user experience in Apple Watch apps, saying that the best apps for the small screen would trim the bulk of the app wherever possible. He also talked about various technical challenges in building for the Watch, including memory restrictions. For example, he repeatedly noted that if an app exceeds the memory limit, even for a short time, it would crash.
At that event, Flurry Analytics Product Manager Brad Jones also talked about how important analytics were to understanding Apple Watch apps’ usage. The platform is so new that no one really knows how people will use these apps yet, he said. It’s even possible that some people will use just the Watch app and not its iPhone companion.
Flurry is now one of a few companies offering developers the ability to begin tracking Apple Watch app events and usage. Its support follows that of mobile marketing firm Fiksu’s announcement this week that it would allow developers to track Apple Watch events, as well as Kochava’s earlier move into this space. App Annie also recently updated its Store Stats to track Apple Watch. But as one of the larger players in terms of mobile analytics, Yahoo Flurry’s support will likely reach a wide range of app developers.
There are over 200,000 developers on Flurry today, and the Apple Watch app store had already grown to 3,500+ apps at launch – more than either the iPhone or iPad had at their debut.