Thursday, March 3, 2011

Android: Tracking Version Usage

I had wondered and I've heard it asked, "How do I know what versions of my Android application people are using?"  The quick answer that you'll get is, "You don't."  I found a way using Google Analytics to track a couple of things: 1) you can track the number of people upgrading and/or 2) you can track the specific version usage!

I created a pop-up dialog that announces the recent changes to the user after an upgrade.  Inside that logic I put a trackEvent call to Google Analytics with a label of the Application Version and a value of 1 so each time that dialog is presented I get a +1 for that label.  Here's how:

if (!appPrefs.getAppVer().equals(getAppVerName())) {


    tracker.trackEvent("Upgrade", "Click", getAppVerName(), 1);


getAppVerName() is just a helper method that does the following:

public String getAppVerName() {
    String text;
    try {
        text = getPackageManager().getPackageInfo(getPackageName(), 0).versionName;
    } catch (NameNotFoundException e) {
        text = "Version Not Found";
    return text;

On your application's main activity screen you can also add a trackEvent to help keep track of which versions are being executed like so:

public class MyActivity extends Activity {

    GoogleAnalyticsTracker tracker;

    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        tracker = GoogleAnalyticsTracker.getInstance();
        tracker.start("UA-12345678-1", this);
        tracker.trackEvent("HomeScreen", "Click", getAppVerName(), 1);

Google Analytics will record 2 events for you: one called Upgrade and the other called HomeScreen. Both will have a label of the version making the call and a counter.  Also of note; in the recent changes logic I also set the Accepted Usage Agreement to false allowing me to re-display the usage agreement on upgrade.