Running a good business requires an intimate knowledge of anything and everything that affects its operation. This means keeping track of numbers, reports, and any other data that can possibly be accumulated. Distributing apps on the Play Store is no different. Developers need to know if users are leaving bad reviews, if their apps are crashing, or if the install numbers suddenly rise. While the Play Store does tracks these things and more, many companies have more specific needs. Google is now allowing developers to export this data so it can be analyzed and re-used in many different ways.
Data is available in an assortment of reports for subjects ranging from financial details to crash records. Developers can use this information for things like generating bug reports or tracking sales trends in relation to marketing campaigns. Of course, there are many other possibilities for using mostly raw data. The current list of reports includes:
- Detailed reports
- ANRs (application not responding)
- User reviews
- Estimated sales
- Aggregated Reports (Statistics)
- User ratings
- Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) usage
Additional details and documentation for the file formats are available here.
Google provides two methods to acquire these reports, the easiest of which is to simply download them from the Developer Console (pictured above). As an alternative, developers can automate the process and programmatically download the same data through the use of Google's gsutil tool.
Note: personally identifiable information is not available from these reports.
Developers have been asking for better access to this data for years. It's good to see Google is taking these requests seriously.
- Android Developers Blog