Analytics Tiles App Review
View your Google Analytics info in style on iOS
When it comes to keeping track of what’s going on with your website, there’s no better way than using Google Analytics. Despite being the industry standard for visitor stats, though, it’s not all that pretty to look at, especially in your browser of choice on the iPhone or iPad. It’s fair to say that Analytics Tiles App was born out of the desire to create a beautiful display of Google Analytics’ information, or at least, it certainly seems that way to us. The app itself is nothing short of stunning, combining simple displays of data with enough functionality to keep you posted on what’s going on with your website in just a few taps.
Naturally, Analytics Tiles App requires you to be running Google Analytics on your website – it’s a free service and fairly easy to set up, with instructions that vary depending on how things are running on your little corner of the web. Once it’s all up and running though, all you need do on Analytics Tiles App is sign in using your Google Account credentials and the app will do the rest – finding your Analytics details and displaying them in a set of pre-defined tiles.
After a short tutorial explaining the basic functionality, Analytics Tiles App really is yours to play with. It’s worth paying attention to the tutorial, as it’ll take you through some of the finer details of the app’s gesture-controlled interface. On the subject of gestures, we’d have preferred to see these be a little more intuitive. Scrolling down, for example, can activate either colour settings or allow you to set different tiles, depending on how fast you scroll or how long for. Scrolling up, however, does nothing, and we can’t help but feel that mapping one of those functions to this gesture would’ve made things easier.
That said, controlling the tiles themselves is incredibly straightforward; tap, hold and drag to move them around on the screen or tap twice to make them larger (taking up the full width of the iPhone’s display or three quarters of the iPad’s display) – it’s all fairly easy to grasp. The tiles themselves do a great job of displaying singular analytics stats in a form that’s easy to understand at first glance, these are set automatically (some are graphs, some are simple figures, some are pie charts), but it would be nice to be able to customise these and set a format that suits you. Adding new tiles can be a little fiddly, owing to a very large list with a lot of options that makes finding the right one and placing it in the right order a fairly time-consuming process.
Despite the issues with customisation, there’s no denying that this app looks beautiful. There’s just the right amount of subtle animation (in the loading and reloading of tiles) a plethora of colour and theme options (that are certainly more stylish than garish) and a simple, control-free interface that works just as well on the iPhone as it does on the iPad. In fact, the app scales up so well across iOS devices, it’s left us wishing for a Mac or PC version so we can hook it up to a big screen – the kind of information display that would look at home in any self-respecting internet startup.
Any app that attempts to display data in an interesting way has a challenge on its hands, but it seems like Analytics Tiles App has risen to it and achieved it with aplomb. It’s turned Google Analytics into something richly interactive and stylish to the point where we’d want it on our walls. That’s an achievement.
Analytics Tiles App does a beautiful job, and just a few more tweaks could make it absolutely perfect.
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