Analytics can play a crucial role in creating compelling user experiences and it’s no secret that some of the savviest companies study their analytics data religiously in an effort to satisfy their users and customers.

Thanks to the rise of the smartphone, ‘creating compelling user experiences’ for many companies increasingly involves building native mobile apps. And that means collecting mobile analytics data.

When it comes to which services are used to capture that data, Google Analytics users who would like to use it for their native mobile apps received good news yesterday: Google’s Mobile App Analytics offering, which was launched in closed beta at the Google I/O conference earlier this year, has been moved into an open beta.

In conjunction with the Mobile App Analytics open beta debut, Google has released new Android and iOS SDKs which it promises are “really easy to implement” but equally “powerful.”

The SDK supports new reports, including:

  • An App Versions report that allows companies to break app usage down by version. This can be used, for instance, to measure how many users are upgrading to a new version of an app, and how many would be left behind if an older version is deprecated.
  • A Custom Dimensions structure that Google calls the “next-generation Custom Variables.” With Custom Dimensions, it is possible to create more segmented views of app activity.

According to Google, Mobile App Analytics is taking big steps forward, but these steps are just the beginning. Given the growing importance of native apps to many companies, and the price of Google’s offering (free!), that’s bound to be music to the ears for businesses trying to figure out how to make the most of their app strategy.