As a developer for mobile apps on Apple’s platform you’re born completely blind.
This is one of the hard lessons we’ve learned in the few months since the founding of our company.
When you release an app for the iPad you will get some data from Apple every other day about how many people have downloaded it. But that’s pretty much it.
You won’t know when they downloaded it, you won’t know the referring URLs of the sites they came from.
Sure you can track the clicks on your homepage (we use Clicky for that) but you will have a hard time bridging the final gap between your homepage and your app store page. There is no easy way to be able to tell if a potential customer that has clicked on the ‘download’ button on your homepage has actually clicked on the ‘buy’ button in iTunes after that.
You won’t know what people are doing with your app.
Once a customer has bought your app, Apple provides no direct way or means for you to find out what they’re actually doing with it. How long they are using it, how often, who they show it to, what they like about it.
The only way you’re going to receive feedback from your users is via reviews on the app store. And they will have a negative tendency because: When do people voice their opinion? When something has thrown them off. Therefore keeping a positive ratio of three or more stars on the App Store isn’t that easy.
Of course all of this can be fixed but it takes a lot of work.
Get some glasses!
We’ve solved some of these things by adding a voluntary statistics function in our app that makes it send us anonymous usage data of the people who have enabled it. We’ve added a feedback button right in the app that lets people send us an email from within the app so we know what our customers want and what they don’t like.
Right now we’re working on finding out how to use tradedoubler.com to find out referring URLs to our app store page.
But at the same time we’ve caused more uncertainty for ourselves by going universal with the new version of SoundPrism.
Why is that?
Because to my current knowledge there is no way to distinguish between iPod, iPhone and iPad sales with the sales statistics provided by Apple.
Feel free to comment with your findings and solutions to these problems if you would like to share them and please point out any errors on my side.