Understanding how quick your users are updating iOS
Its not a secret that Apple devices are upgraded much faster than Android or other devices. Basic questions for every developer are how fast are my users installing updates, is it important for me as developer and where can i find this information and how to use the information.
The information where you can find this information is iTunes Connect.
iTunes Connect is a suite of web-based tools for managing content sold on the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, and the App Store for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. As a member of the Apple Developer Program, you'll use this tool to manage apps, agreements, tax and banking information, sales reports, and more.
The last sentence ended with “and more”, and I will focus on analyzing trends and Usage.
Why you should use iTunes Connect
So iTunes Connect is a suite of tools where you can find a lot of information about your apps. In the normal Overview tab you gain all the information about Apple Store views, App Units and sessions. Also sales and Territory are displayed here.
But more insight you can get in the Metrics tab. Here you can spend some time and find a lot of more statistics about Sales, sessions, installations and more. You can get the most valuable data by using View By and Add filter.
In my results, I clearly see four iOS versions used in the last 90 days. In august there where only a few users using 8.3 and the majority using 8.4. Apple released iOS 9.0 on september 16 and a few days later on 20 september the first downloads with the new OS started for my App. In the last part of september there were more downloads with iOS 9.0 then iOS 8.4
October Apple releases iOS 9.1 and again more and more downloads where on iOS 9.1 devices. November all downloads where targeted to users using iOS 9.1 devices except 1 using 8.3
You can also view this data for installations, sessions or active devices and crashes, all found under Usage.
Usefull information for deployment strategy
Adding new features
The adoption of a new operating version and updates are really quick for users of Apple devices. A release is a month later installed on most devices, users are excited to try the new features of the latest Operating System. This will also affects your update scheme and planning to add the new features to your App.
Another important item is testing the app with the new version. You do not want to be surprised by the users of your app complaining about broken functionality or even worse, the app is not working anymore. This will affects your roadmap pretty hard because all your times is set on bug-fixing instead of smooth development.
Choosing Deployment Target
I also put attention on finding results for sessions, installations, or active devices. Between usage data and downloads is on important difference. Downloads will drive you to new updates for your App but usage data will give you information how to choose the right iOS Deployment Target.
My results, in november there where no downloads less then iOS 9.1 except the one using 8.3. Active devices information told me the majority updated their devices to at least iOS 9.0. New users are on 9.1 but the early adopters are using my App on 9.0 and some with 8.4
For the dutch App “Moestuin basis“, testing the App against iOS 9.0 gives me the knowledge nothing was broken so I could work further on features and optimizing for iOS 9.x instead of bug-fixing. It also gives me the knowledge of Deployment Target 8.4 to choose and not to choose directly the latest version.
By the time of writing this blog, all users of the updated App are using 9.x.