Leon Cullens, a software engineer and entrepreneur from Rotterdam has recently launched Googalytics - the premium Google Analytics app for Windows 8 / RT built with Telerik Controls for Windows 8. Googalytics is your companion on the move, helping you to stay on top of your website performance leveraging the Windows 8 capabilities. The app currently is the #8 top paid app in the Business category in the United States. Google Analytics tweeted shortly after the app’s release:
What’s the story behind Googalytics?
LC: We identified a niche for an easy to use Google Analytics app for Windows 8. We had already development experience with Windows Phone and this transition felt very natural.
Googalytics is the first Google Analytics app for Windows 8 that truly sticks to Microsoft's design guidelines. We put a lot of effort into making the app as clean and easy to use as possible and fully integrated with Windows 8: featuring live tiles, charms support, snapping, screen rotation support and full Windows 8.1 support coming soon. Our aim is to deliver the best Google Analytics app for Windows 8.
How did you choose the apps’ revenue model?
LC: By listening to our customers. Initially we set a €6,49 price for the app giving the users access to all functionalities, future updates and extra features. Based on feedback from the community we decided to lower the price to €1,19 and introduce in-app purchases for some of the functionalities. Our customers clearly prefer this model as it gives them more flexibility.
What’s your experience with Windows 8 development?
LC: Developing for Windows 8 is really productive and easy. The Microsoft tooling is great and there's a lot of flexibility (you can either build your app using XAML or HTML). There are plenty of opportunities in the app market which is not that crowded yet and growing at a very fast rate.
What development challenges did you have to overcome?
LC: WinRT was still very new when we started developing the app and some of the libraries we needed were written for .NET only. It’s close enough but not the same. Therefore we wrote our own libraries for these specific issues. For instance we decided to skip the official Google API library, and manually write a library that does authentication, perform requests, parse the results, etc. One of the most useful tools for that was Fiddler, a network monitoring tool that was acquired by Telerik. With Fiddler we've been able to easily view the response of our API calls and optimize the app. Fiddler helped us spot unnecessary requests, and reduce the size of other requests.
Are you planning to port your app to another platform?
LC: Not for now. The reason we chose to develop for Windows 8 / RT is because there wasn’t a good enough solution for a Google Analytics app there. This poses a smaller problem on other platforms. Apart from that, we are putting a lot of effort into supporting specific Windows 8 features that add value for our customers, like live tiles and snapping. This integration with Windows 8 makes our product a lot better.
How did Telerik Windows 8 controls help you in the development process?
LC: When you are building an analytics-focused app, you need a lot of data viz components such as graphs and data tables. Windows 8 doesn't have these controls out of the box, and when we started developing Googalytics there weren't any good open source alternatives. The Telerik components are very advanced and met most of our requirements: touch support, speed, customization options. We’re now planning to implement the new Map control.
Counter-Strike or Call of Duty?
Battlefield! Otherwise Call of Duty:)
Thank you Leon for this interview and good luck with your app.
Check out Googalytics on the Windows Store.