Pete LePage

Thoughts on web development, life, and photography.

Measure & understand how installed PWA users differ from browser tab users

Are PWA users more engaged than browser-tab users? Do they convert more? Spend more time on site? How can you tell the difference between users who opened your PWA up via the launcher (standalone/installed users) vs users in a browser tab? Great question! The easiest way to do it is by using a dimension to track standalone vs browser.

I’m working on a more complete version of this for <> with a lot more detail, how to measure the effectiveness of your install promotions, how to do it with other analytics providers, etc, but I wanted to get this out now.

  1. In Google Analytics, setup a custom dimension, I called mine DISPLAY_MODE
  2. In your page, before you fire the pageview event, set the dimension using the code below.
let displayMode = 'browser';
const mqStandAlone = '(display-mode: standalone)';
if (navigator.standalone || window.matchMedia(mqStandAlone).matches) {
displayMode = 'standalone';
ga('set', 'dimension1', displayMode);

Now, comparing DISPLAY_MODE in Google Analytics you can see how standalone users differ from browser users. I’ve been testing this on Squoosh lately, and it’s interesting to see the differences. Users in standalone compress more images, come back to Squoosh more often, and spend more time in Squoosh than those just in a browser tab.