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How I Built Simple Analytics Official iOS App


How did I meet with Adriaan?

Few years ago when I was wandering on the internet I cane across a man called Adriaan van Rossum. He was talking about a product which is a competitor to Google Analytics and it seemed interesting. Because being a competitor with a well known and accepted product is a good challenge to have.

I started following him. I wasn’t a heavy user at that time but checked upon his project time to time.

So let me just make a quick introduction to me and my company epist.io first.

I am a mobile developer for a long time. I have started with Android than moved to iOS. I have spent more than 7 years with developing mobile apps. I haven’t touched web technologies because it was too ugly for me, for 7 years. (But these days I am really enjoying being a SaaS developer and heavy user of web technologies like NextJS, ExpressJS, Node, Nuxt, etc.)

Then, I have started this blog and thinking about analytics. It is an obsession. You just want to check it all the time. “How many people are looking at my website? Where did they come from?” And it begins to evolve to an addiction.

When you realize you are just invading your readers/users privacy, things are getting complicated. I am a privacy activist at heart. Check my blog post about that.

Why being so enthusiastic about Simple Analytics?

I have remembered Adriaan and his product. It was a good opportunity to use it. But back in that day, I was a student and it was hard to pay for a service. It is great but you know, you are just trying to survive as a student.

One day, I have pulled the trigger. At that moment I have realized I have missed so many good things.

If you are using Simple Analytics;

  1. You don’t need any cookie banner etc.
  2. It is much more usable than other analytics tools
  3. If you are paying for something, you are not giving away your privacy.
  4. It is awesome!

Time has past and I thought, it might be good to just wave a hand and say, “Hey Adriaan, I am enjoying your product. Thanks for making this!” but I thought just creating an iOS app might be cooler.

I have contacted Adriaan and said “Hey Adriaan, I want to create an iOS app for Simple Analytics. What do you think?”. In a minute he replied “Yes, let’s talk about that.”

Why did Simple Analytics need an app?

I know, not every business or every person in the world needs an app. Basically, most of them don’t. When I was just a mobile developer I was thinking like, “I should build an app for every breathing creature in the world” but most of the time it is not necessary.

But companies and products like Simple Analytics need an app. Simple Analytics is using graphs heavily by its nature. Everyone using this products are looking for graphs and metrics. This is the whole point of this product. If you can show all graphs easily, it means your users will be happier.

As a user, I didn’t want to go to the website and click on the graph every time. A simple app might be more useful (and it is). Also with iOS 14, we have Widgets on our phones. If I could use these technologies, I might provide a value.

Which technologies and why?

For using widgets, you have to use SwiftUI. It was the brand new surprise of Apple. I was making toy projects with SwiftUI but I didn’t make any serious project. I thought, this might be the right time and started working on it.

In a week, we had a working prototype. It wasn’t that beautiful or useful but it was working. After few calls with Adriaan, I have managed to polish it. Right now you can download it from App Store and use it as much as you want! It is free and believe me, it is not tracking you!

What is next?

After seeing the positive comments about iOS App I have decided to make Android version as well. I will try to do my best. I am sure both apps will grow together nicely. Just keep an eye on me and Adriaan.

How can I help you and your company?

If you need an app or help with any project, me and my one man company can help you.

Thank you Adriaan for giving me this opportunity and thank you for reading.