Following the Garmin outage, someone asked me on twitter about some usage statistics and its evolution over time. I thought it would be a good idea to put together a little write up both on the stats but also to show people what type of usage data one can see when you have an app.
ConnectStats remains a very tiny player compared to the big guys, and its two key statistics is that in the recent month the app got about 5,000 downloads and on average 3,000 users start the app every day with some variation between weekend and weekdays. This is quite a representative month.
While it is small, I have never advertised or done any promotion on the app. Except once, I used a free 5 GBP coupon I got from Facebook to promote a post, which didn’t achieve much… So this is pure organic growth of users.
With this, let’s dive in.
Apple itself provides a few statistics on the download of the app over the last few months. You can see how many apps are downloaded, how many times the app made an impression and how many time the app page was viewed on the App Store.
In the case of connectstats, you can see that the app’s page on apple store was visited 34,177 times and 10,301 units were downloaded over the last 3 months. It’s interesting that during the last few days there was a spike. I suspect users experiencing the outage in Garmin went and looked for alternative. Very likely these users were disappointed as ConnectStats of course would not download activities either while Garmin was out.
Apple lets you also see your daily unit download and how each release impact the number of download as well as which location are your users from. For ConnectStats it’s US, UK (where I live), Germany and France (where I am originally from)
I didn’t keep old statistics, but, as we’ll see in the other stats, ConnectStats seemed to have been very consistent over the years, which always puzzled me. Up to 2016 it had about double the number of download/users than it has now. But each “phase” was always very consistent from month to month…
Since the beginning of ConnectStats before Apple published much metrics, I was using an external service to keep track of the usage of the app. It works by sending a small packet of information to a server each time the app is started. Because I have always been personally quite concerned about privacy, I have always configured this service in ConnectStats to only record the very minimum useful information like the OS version, the device type, or the app version, as well as some tag about which features are used. All the functionality in the service to track users for advertising or other are disabled in ConnectStats. As mentioned in the past, I hope people feel re-assured by the fact the app is open source and developer could double check for themselves that the app is not doing anything wrong (intentionally or unintentionally) on the privacy front.
This data though is quite interesting for me to track usage of the app, and because I used it from the beginning can give a bit of historical perspective.
As you can see the report from the service is quite consistent with Apple over the last month. One information you get is the number of sessions, meaning how many time the app was started as well as how many distinct devices started the app, which is probably a good indication of the rough number of distinct users. Given I disabled all functionality to track individual users, this the closest I get.
Reading the chart, over the 8 years ConnectStats was released, it was started about 10 millions times, and installed on 320,000 devices.
You can clearly see on the graph the trends over the years, with one phase before 2016 and a drop/shift that remained consistent after 2016.
Services and Server
Since I moved to the Garmin API, I now maintain a database with the activities published by Garmin for ConnectStats users. This gives me the ability to see some extra statistics focused on that service.
That service was launched in a limited manner at the end of last year, but really switched as primary service for Garmin since the beginning of the year, or about 6 months ago. Since then 16,724 users registered for the service, and close to 1.6 millions activities were sent for these users by Garmin to ConnectStats servers.
You can also see in the table that about 5,000 unique users received at least one activity on each day and for these users a total of about 8,000 to 9,000 activities were sent each day by Garmin. You can also clearly see the drop on the 23 to 27.
Note that the server only keeps activities for the users that used the app in the last 3 months, so the number grows slowly and it keeps the size of the server manageable only with activities for active users…
Note that Garmin current does not provide any type of summary of usage of their API. ConnectStats is also connected with Strava, which has always been a smaller subset of users, but they provide some basic number of requests to their API as below
While the numbers are small, I think it’s not a bad result for an independent app build as a side hobby from an otherwise busy life. It provides enough users that I had many very interesting conversations with multiple users with similar interest to mine, while not being overwhelming with requests and questions one single person can’t handle.
I’ll conclude with the statistic I am the most proud of, the reviews on the App Store, across all regions.
Hey there – I really love your app! But what happened with the stats? Empty graphs and no years anymore…?
Shouldn’t happen. Can you send me a bug report so I can look?
I take that BACK…. Seems like the Garmin API is sending bunch of error files to ConnectStats in a format that again confuses the app…. arghhh…