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InfoQ Homepage News Appcelerator Announces Insights for Tracking Mobile Apps Lifecycle

Appcelerator Announces Insights for Tracking Mobile Apps Lifecycle

Appcelerator, maker of the Titanium Mobile Development Environment, has recently announced Appcelerator Insights as part of its Appcelerator Analytics product.

Insights promises to deliver real-time aggregated analytics aiming at measuring higher-level metrics like user acquisition and retention, engagement, and app performance. If it delivers on its promise, Insights could be on a par with competitor products like Google Mobile App Analytics and Flurry.

Appcelerator has been active in the field of mobile cross-platform development since 2009. Its Titanium Mobile Development Environment enables the creation of hybrid apps running on several mobile platforms from a single JavaScript codebase. Along Titanium, which is open-source and free to use, Appcelerator also offers enterprises Backend as a Service (BaaS) and Analytics products through its premium Appcelerator Platform.

Appcelerator claims that its products allow to reuse 60%-90% of code when targeting multiple platforms and although some developers have reported varying degrees of success when doing cross-platform development using Titanium, it seems to remain a good option when speed of development and the availability of JavaScript skill set are the main factors driving development decisions.

Appcelerator Analytics features have also been the target of some critical remarks in the past, due to their not providing enough details to allow finer-grained tracking. On account of this, a few developers have resorted to integrate Google Analytics or Flurry within their Titanium apps, and open-source frameworks are available on github to make this step straightforward.

The new Appcelerator Insights build on the real-time feature added in May 2013 to Appcelerator Analytics to support mobile-specific metrics focusing on the full app lifecycle, from acquisition (number of app installs and connected devices), to engagement (active sessions and session duration), to retention (daily and weekly unique users). Furthermore, Insights will also collect quality metrics, including crash data and performance problems to show the stability of apps.

This focus on the app lifecycle marks a departure from the metrics and reports provided by the standard Web analytics and is similar to what, e.g., Google Mobile App Analytics has been offering since mid 2012. It remains to be seen if Appcelerator's effort to beef up its analytics products to make it competitive with similar solutions that have been fine tuned for a longer time will succeed.

Appcelerator Insights will initially be made available for the iPad Air, iPad retina and iPad mini retina; later, it will be made available also for Android devices.

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