By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 06/17/2014
Apple has created an entire growth industry, thanks to the App Store. But as a developer, it hasn't always been easy tracking sales, which is important for marketing, planning and pricing. In the past, I've used services such as AppViz from IdeaSwarm, AppFigures, Flurry, Distimo, and App Annie, in addition to Apple's iTunesconnect, of course. Recently, there has been a flurry (pun intended) of activity on this front.
AppViz is now available as an iPhone app. IdeaSwarm recently migrated their already very functional Mac app to an elegant interface that is cloud-based. This eliminated one of the main concerns of having to have your Mac download the reports every day (or at least not go two weeks without downloading them, as Apple purges reports after two weeks.) But instead of the flat-rate pricing, they shifted to a per-app price that some app developers, especially those with many free apps, could find disconcerting. However, the app is powerful and pretty and worth it for many users.
Distimo is free, and they support iOS, Mac OS, iAds, Google Play, Amazon, Microsoft Windows, Samsung Bada, and other app stores. Since I have apps on all of those platforms, this was important to me. It's nice to have one dashboard with all of my daily sales, and daily email reports automatically sent as well. The news here is that App Annie, probably Distimo's largest competitor, is acquiring Distimo, to create a Goliath in app sales analysis.
This may have been prompted by Apple's recent update to their iTunes Connect mobile app. In addition to Apple's iTunesconnect website, developers could use the iOS app to track sales. However, it was pretty bare bones for the longest time. Apple recently gave the app a makeover and it is more robust. I use it, but given that it only tracks Apple sales (naturally) I plan to continue to use the Distimo + App Annie service as my primary dashboard. Developers, what tools do you use and prefer? Let us know in the comments!