iOS API Integration

Installing the library

The easiest way to get Mixpanel into your iOS project is to use CocoaPods.

  1. Install CocoaPods using gem install cocoapods
  2. If this is your first time using CocoaPods, run pod setup to create a local CocoaPods spec mirror.
  3. Create a file in your Xcode project called Podfile and add the following line:
    pod 'Mixpanel'
    
  4. Run pod install in your Xcode project directory. CocoaPods should download and install the Mixpanel library, and create a new Xcode workspace. Open up this workspace in Xcode.

You can also get the library by downloading the latest version from Github and copying it into your project.

If you don't want to use CocoaPods, we have step-by-step instructions on how to manually install our library.

Initializing the library

To start tracking with the Mixpanel iOS library, you must first initialize it with your project token. You can find your project token in your settings dialog on the Mixpanel website.

To initialize the library, import Mixpanel.h and call sharedInstanceWithToken: with your project token as its argument. Once you've called this method once, you can access your instance throughout the rest of your application with sharedInstance.

#import "Mixpanel.h"

#define MIXPANEL_TOKEN @"YOUR_TOKEN"

// Initialize the library with your
// Mixpanel project token, MIXPANEL_TOKEN
[Mixpanel sharedInstanceWithToken:MIXPANEL_TOKEN];

// Later, you can get your instance with
Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

In most cases, it makes sense to do this in application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:.

Compatibility

Versions of Mixpanel greater than 2.1.1 will work for a deployment target of iOS 6.0 and above. You need to be using Xcode 5 and a Base SDK of iOS 7.0 for your app to build. If you are still using Xcode 4.x or building against an earlier SDK version, you need to use a previous version of the Mixpanel library. You can do this in CocoaPods by changing your Podfile to read:

pod 'Mixpanel', '< 2.1.1'

Automatically track events

After installing the library into your iOS app, Mixpanel allows you to use our in-browser editor to add tracking on the fly. No code or app-store re-submission required!

To navigate to our editor, click the link in the bottom footer. Then connect your app to dynamically add events.

Watch this short video to learn more about automatic event tracking.

Sending events

Once you've initialized the library, you can track an event by calling track:properties: with the event name and properties.

Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

[mixpanel track:@"Plan Selected" properties:@{
    @"Gender": @"Female",
    @"Plan": @"Premium"
}];

Timing events

You can track the time it took for an action to occur, such as an image upload or a comment post, using timeEvent: This will mark the "start" of your action, which you can then finish with a track call. The time duration is then recorded in the "Duration" property.

Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

[mixpanel timeEvent:@"Image Upload"];

[self uploadImageWithSuccessHandler:^{
    [mixpanel track:@"Image Upload"];
}];

Super properties

It's very common to have certain properties that you want to include with each event you send. Generally, these are things you know about the user rather than about a specific event—for example, the user's age, gender, or source.

To make things easier, you can register these properties as super properties. If you do, we will automatically include them with all tracked events. Super properties are saved to device storage, and will persist across invocations of your app.

To set super properties, call registerSuperProperties:.

Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

// Send a "User Type: Paid" property will be sent
// with all future track calls.
[mixpanel registerSuperProperties:@{@"User Type": @"Paid"}];

Going forward, whenever you track an event, super properties will be included as properties. For instance, if you call

Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

[mixpanel track:@"signup" properties:@{
    @"signup_button": @"test12"
}];

after making the above call to registerSuperProperties:, it is just like adding the properties directly:

Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

[mixpanel track:@"signup" properties:@{
    @"signup_button": @"test12",
    @"User Type": @"Paid"
}];

Setting super properties once and only once

If you want to store a super property only once (often for things like ad campaign or source), you can use registerSuperPropertiesOnce:. This function behaves like registerSuperProperties: and has the same interface, but it doesn't override super properties you've already saved.

Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

[mixpanel registerSuperPropertiesOnce:@{@"source": @"ad-01"}];

This means that it's safe to call registerSuperPropertiesOnce: with the same property on every app load, and it will only set it if the super property doesn't exist.

Managing user identity

The Mixpanel library will assign a default unique identifier (we call it a "distinct ID") to each unique user who installs your application. This distinct ID is saved to device storage so that it will persist across sessions.

If you choose, you can assign your own user IDs. This is particularly useful if a user is using your app on multiple platforms (both web and mobile, for example). To assign your own distinct_ids, you can use identify:.

Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

// Associate all future events sent from
// the library with the distinct_id 13793
[mixpanel identify:@"13793"];

Calling identify: with a new ID will change the ID being sent with future events. If you change the ID in the middle of a funnel, the funnel will break - we won't be able to associate the old ID with the new.

Linking two user IDs

In situations where you want to link the two IDs (in practice, this really just means when the user signs up) you should use createAlias:, which sends an update to our server linking the current ID with a new ID.

// This makes the current ID (an auto-generated GUID)
// and '13793' interchangeable distinct ids.
[mixpanel createAlias:@"13793"
    forDistinctID:mixpanel.distinctId];
// You must call identify if you haven't already
// (e.g., when your app launches).
[mixpanel identify:mixpanel.distinctId];

The recommended usage pattern is to call both createAlias: and identify: (with the Mixpanel generated distinctId, as shown in the example above) when the user signs up, and only identify: (with the aliased user ID) on future log ins. This will keep your signup funnels working correctly.

If you use createAlias:, you should only call it once during the lifetime of the user.

Storing user profiles

In addition to events, you can store user profiles in Mixpanel's People Analytics product. Profiles are persistent sets of properties that describe a user—things like name, email address, and signup date. You can use profiles to explore and segment users by who they are, rather than what they did. You can also use profiles to send notifications, such as emails, SMS, or push notifications.

Before you send profile updates, you must call identify:. This ensures that you only have actual registered users saved in the system.

Setting profile properties

You can set properties on a user profile with people set:.

Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

// mixpanel identify: must be called before
// people properties can be set
[mixpanel identify:@"13793"];

// Sets user 13793's "Plan" attribute to "Premium"
[mixpanel.people set:@{@"Plan": @"Premium"}];

This will set a "Plan" property, with a value "Premium", on user 13793's profile. If there isn't a profile with distinct_id 13793 in Mixpanel already, a new profile will be created. If user 13793 already has a property named "Plan" in their profile, the old value will be overwritten with "Premium".

Incrementing numeric properties

You can use people increment: to change the current value of numeric properties. This is useful when you want to keep a running tally of things, such as games played, messages sent, or points earned.

// Here we increment the user's point count by 500.
[mixpanel.people increment:@"point count" by:@500];

// Pass an NSDictionary to increment multiple properties
[mixpanel.people increment:@{
    @"dollars spent": @17,
    @"credits remaining": @-34
}];

Other types of profile updates

There are a few other types of profile updates. To learn more, please follow the links to the full API documentation.

Tracking revenue

Mixpanel makes it easy to analyze the revenue you earn from individual customers. By associating charges with user profiles, you can compare revenue across different customer segments and calculate things like lifetime value.

You can track a single transaction with people trackCharge:. This call will add transactions to the individual user profile, which will also be reflected in the Mixpanel Revenue report.

// Make sure identify has been called before making revenue
// updates
[mixpanel identify:@"13793"];

// Tracks $100 in revenue for user 13793
[mixpanel.people trackCharge:@100];

// Refund this user 50 dollars
[mixpanel.people trackCharge:@-50];

// Tracks $25 in revenue for user 13793 on the 2nd of
// January
[mixpanel.people trackCharge:@25 withProperties:@{
    @"$time": @"2012-01-02T00:00:00"
}];

Registering for push notifications

The Mixpanel library includes support for sending push notification device tokens to Mixpanel. Once you send a device token, you can use Mixpanel to send push notifications to your app.

You can send a device token to Mixpanel using people addPushDeviceToken:

- (void)application:(UIApplication *)application
didRegisterForRemoteNotificationsWithDeviceToken:
        (NSData *)deviceToken
{
    Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstance];

    // Make sure identify has been called before sending
    // a device token.
    [mixpanel identify:@"13793"];

    // This sends the deviceToken to Mixpanel
    [mixpanel.people addPushDeviceToken:deviceToken];
}

Push notifications quick start guides

There is a quick start guide for iOS push notifications available to help you get started with push notifications in your app. It includes instructions for provising your app to use the Apple Push Notification service (APNs), preparing your push SSL certificate from Apple and configuring your app for push notifications.

There is also a step by step guide to integrating Mixpanel push notifications with your app that covers uploading your push credentials to Mixpanel, registering your user's device token from your app, and handling inbound push notification messages.

In-app notifications

There is a quick start guide for iOS in app notifications to help you get integrated.

Make sure that you have already:

  1. Included the latest version of the Mixpanel iOS library in your app
  2. Made sure you are identifying your users in the app.
  3. Created an in-app notification on the Notifications tab of the Mixpanel website.

Surveys

If you are using our mobile surveys product there are 3 things you need to make sure of.

  1. Include the latest version of the Mixpanel iOS library in your app
  2. Make sure you are identifying your users in the app.
  3. Create a survey for your project in the Surveys tab of the Mixpanel website.

The Mixpanel iOS library will automatically check for a survey when your app loads or resumes from the background. If a survey is available for the current user that they haven't already seen, it will be displayed immediately in an overlay view.

That's it, you're done!

Controlling when to show a survey

You may not want the surveys to show immediately when your app loads. If, for example, you have an app like Skype™, and you want to show a call quality survey at the end of a phone call, you need to turn off the automatic showing of surveys, by setting showSurveyOnActive to NO and call showSurveyWithID: at the appropriate point in your app.

// In application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:
Mixpanel *mixpanel = [Mixpanel sharedInstanceWithToken:
    YOUR_MIXPANEL_TOKEN];
//Turn this off so the survey doesn't pop up automatically.
mixpanel.showSurveyOnActive = NO;

- (void)phoneCallEnded
{
    [mixpanel showSurveyWithID:CALL_QUALITY_SURVEY_ID];
}

If you don't want to specify the survey ID, you can use showSurvey instead, which will show the first available survey targeted at the identified user if there is one. Surveys are never shown twice to the same user, so you don't have to check for yourself if the user already saw the survey before calling showSurveyWithID.

If you don't want mixpanel checking for new surveys when your app becomes active, you can turn it off by setting checkForSurveysOnActive to NO. This means that surveys will not show automatically, and that the network request to retrieve the survey will occur only when you call showSurvey or showSurveyWithID:

A/B testing experiments

Prerequisites

Getting started with A/B testing is quick and easy. Just include the latest version of the Mixpanel iOS library in your app and you are ready to start experimenting.

Make sure that you have already:

  1. Included the latest version of the Mixpanel iOS library in your app (v2.5+)
  2. Created an experiment on the A/B Testing tab of the Mixpanel website

To use the UI's visual experiment creator, please ensure that you're in the project appropriate to your app's current build (i.e., Production or Development). While not required, it's a good idea to connect your mobile device to WiFi while using the A/B designer.

Once you have created an experiment and, optionally, decided which users you wish to target, simply turn on the experiment to start serving your A/B test to customers. It is that simple!

Planning to run an experiment on the initial view of your app? It can take several seconds for experiments to be applied on first app open; as a result, we recommend against putting UX changes or developer Tweaks on the first view of your app. If you wish to A/B test on the initial app view you will need to take delivery latency into account. We recommend enabling the option checkForVariantsOnActive (to grab data when the app is opened) and joinExperimentsWithCallback method (to apply the variant data to the view).

Notes on experiment delivery

Mixpanel checks for any new experiments asynchronously when identify is called (commonly on app-open). After the response is received, experiment changes and tweaks are applied or removed where appropriate. To handle network availability, each experiment is cached on the device so they can be re-applied when the API call cannot be successfully made.

If you'd like more control over when this check for new experiments occurs, you can use the checkForVariantsOnActive flag and the joinExperiments or joinExperimentsWithCallback methods to download and apply experiments manually.

The $experiment_started event is fired when a given experiment (both changes and/or tweaks) is first started on a device. The event will contain an $experiment_id property with the given experiment id which we encourage use within funnels, and our other reports.

A/B developer tweaks

For more complex changes that you want to A/B test, you can include small bits of code in your apps called Tweaks. Tweaks allow you to control variables in your app from your Mixpanel dashboard. For example, you can alter the difficulty of a game, choose different paths through the app, or change text. The possibilities are endless.

To use Tweaks in any file in your app, you need to import one file.

#import "Mixpanel/MPTweakInline.h"

Value Tweaks

A value Tweak allows you to assign a value to a variable that can be changed later. The simplest Tweak looks like this:
int numLives = MPTweakValue(@"number of lives", 5);

Once you add this line, you will see a Tweak called "number of lives" with a default value of 5 in the Mixpanel A/B test designer. You can then create an A/B test with a different value for "number of lives". For example, you could set up an experiment where 50% of your users start a game with 5 lives, and 50% start with 10 lives. When there are no experiments running, the value of numLives will simply be the default of 5.

Flow Control Tweaks

Value Tweaks can also be used to control flow in your app.
if( MPTweakValue(@"show alternate view", NO) ) {
    // Show alternate view.
} else {
    // Show original view
}

By default, the alternate view will not show. But you can now set up an A/B test that flips this value to YES for a percentage of your users.

If you have more than 2 options, you could use a switch.

switch ( MPTweakValue(@"Action to take", 1) ) {
    case 1:
        // Do something
        break;
    case 2:
        // Do something else
        break;
    case 3:
        // Do a third thing
        break;
}

You can use Tweaks to assign values to UI elements too.

UILabel *label = [[UILabel alloc] init];
label.text = MPTweakValue(@"label text", @"Hello World");
label.hidden = MPTweakValue(@"label is hidden", NO);

Binding Tweaks

When designing an A/B test in Mixpanel, MPTweakValue changes will only apply when the code block they are in is executed. For example if you have an MPTweakValue to assign text to a label on viewDidLoad, and you made changes to the Tweak in the A/B test designer, you would not see the changes apply until the next time viewDidLoad was called. If you would like to see your changes applied immediately when designing a test, you can use MPTweakBind to accomplish this.

UILabel *label = [[UILabel alloc] init];
MPTweakBind(label, text, @"label text", @"Hello World");

The first 2 arguments are an object and a property. Whenever the Tweak is changed in the A/B test designer, you will immediately see the new value of the Tweak applied to the given object and property, in this case label.text.

Debugging and logging

You can turn on Mixpanel logging by adding the following Preprocessor Macros in Build Settings:

  • MIXPANEL_DEBUG=1 - logs queueing and flushing of events to Mixpanel
  • MIXPANEL_ERROR=1 - logs any errors related to connections or malformed events

If you're using CocoaPods, you'll need to add this to the Pod target instead of your main app project's target: CocoaPod deugging and logging

You can also add this to your Podfile to ensure everyone on your team will always have logging enabled:

post_install do |installer|
  installer.pods_project.targets.each do |target|
    target.build_configurations.each do |config|
      settings = config.build_settings['GCC_PREPROCESSOR_DEFINITIONS']
      settings = ['$(inherited)'] if settings.nil?

      if target.name == 'Pods-MyProject-Mixpanel'
        settings << 'MIXPANEL_DEBUG=1'
        settings << 'MIXPANEL_ERROR=1'
      end

      config.build_settings['GCC_PREPROCESSOR_DEFINITIONS'] = settings
    end
  end
end

About ARC

As of version 2.2.0 the Mixpanel iOS library uses ARC.

If you are using Mixpanel in a project that does not have ARC enabled, you need to enable ARC for just the Mixpanel source files in your Xcode project settings. This is done by adding the -fobj-arc compiler flag to each Mixpanel file under
Build Phases -> Compile Sources

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