Measurement options for mobile apps

Learn about other ways to get your app usage data.

Apps using the Firebase SDKs for Android and iOS will have the latest mobile app reporting features in Google Analytics. If you would like to explore other methods for measuring apps, there are several additional options to choose from.

In this article:

Track using the Firebase SDK

The latest generation of app reporting in Google Analytics works in conjunction with Firebase – Google’s integrated mobile app developer platform. By implementing the Firebase SDK for iOS and Android, you’ll have access to the latest mobile app reporting features in Google Analytics. With the latest mobile app reports, you’ll enjoy free and unlimited event reporting for up to 500 distinct event types, cross-network attribution, realtime access to data, and the ability to export all your raw data to BigQuery. Learn how to get started with Google Analytics app reporting.

Implement a Universal Analytics tag via Google Tag Manager

When you implement a mobile app using Firebase, you can activate a Tag Manager container for your app and then easily use Tag Manager to configure and deploy a Universal Analytics tag or any supported 3rd party tags.

Google Tag Manager supports the latest and previous versions of mobile app reporting in Google Analytics. If you intend to implement tracking the previous generation of app reports, Google Tag Manager—in conjunction with Firebase—is the recommended method.

To set up a Universal Analytics tag via Tag Manager, follow these steps:

  1. If you haven't done so already, get your app set up with Firebase:
    1. Install the Firebase SDK (Android | iOS).
    2. In the Firebase console, add your app to your Firebase project.
    3. Add Analytics to your app (Android | iOS).
  2. Create a Tag Manager account and configure a Tag Manager container.
  3. Add Tag Manager to your project (Android | iOS).
  4. Create your Google Analytics tag in Tag Manager.

Once your app has been compiled with Firebase and Tag Manager, you can add any additional tracking tags from the Tag Manager interface with no need to rebuild your app.

Use the Measurement Protocol

The Google Analytics Measurement Protocol is a standard set of rules for collecting and sending hits from any Internet-connected device to Analytics. It's particularly useful when you want to send data to Analytics from a kiosk, a point of sale system, or anything that is not a website or mobile app. Because, while the Analytics JavaScript and mobile SDKs automatically build hits to send data to Analytics from websites and mobile apps, you must manually build data collection hits for other kinds of devices. The Measurement Protocol defines how to construct the hits and how to send them to Analytics.

Install the Google Analytics Services SDK

The Google Analytics Services SDK is a standalone SDK. It is separate from the Firebase SDK. The Google Analytics Services SDK works with the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol to automatically build hits and send data to Google Analytics.If you would like to implement this non-Firebase version of a mobile SDK, please see the developer documentation for Android or iOS.

Read Analytics for mobile apps to learn more about setting up app reporting using the Google Analytics Services SDK with Mobile app reporting views.


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