App Analytics Usage Data for Mac Menu Bar Applications

Published 12 June 2021

Back on March 15, 2021, Apple put out a release to developers stating:

App Analytics now provides usage metrics for Mac apps, including data on installations, sessions, active devices, crashes, and deletions. And now you can measure user retention to see how often users return to your app after downloading it. Data is only available from users who have agreed to share their diagnostics and usage information with app developers.

As with most things to do with App Analytics, Apple has done a fantastic job of enabling this without any action required from developers. However if you, like me, have been puzzled to not see this new data come through for your menu bar apps, I learned from a helpful WWDC lab session that agent applications (LSUIElement) are excluded from these new metrics.

Admittedly this use case is more challenging to capture in a meaningful way, but menu bar apps are different to entirely background processes in that the user does interact with them on screen, so I’m hopefully some form of usage metrics will be enabled for this class of apps in the future.