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Wilco van Esch

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    Handling incorrect iPad data in Google Analytics

    This is important to know about when you use mobile/tablet data to make decisions.


    In Google Analytics, if you filter data by Device Category regex (mobile|tablet) or by Mobile Device Model -> iPad, it won't include data for iPads running iPadOS 13 (released September 2019) and above.


    Apple decided to force desktop behaviour for iPads by changing the User Agent to resemble a desktop device.


    You have to identify the data from iPadOS 13 and above by yourself. You're looking for Operating System Macintosh instead of iOS, with Screen Resolution width (note, this is the logical resolution, so may be lower than you're expecting) of 1024 or lower (which currently covers iPad models with iPadOS 13 and above and excludes macOS models).

    An example of when I needed the percentage of iPad users versus all users:

    1. Note the count of all sessions for a specific date range (Audience -> Overview)
    2. Find the sessions for macOS (Technology -> Browser & OS -> Dimension: Operating System -> Value: Macintosh)
    3. Dig down to screen resolution (Secondary Dimension: Screen Resolution, Show rows: 5000)
    4. Export the data (Export -> Google Sheets)
    5. Agree to importing the data to your Google account
    6. In Google Sheets, select the Screen Resolution column (in my case: B)
    7. From the Data menu, select Split text to columns
    8. As separator, select Custom, then enter x
    9. Now, in any empty cell, enter formula =SUMIF(B:B,"<=1024",C:C) (replacing B with the column containing the screen resolution width - the leftmost value - and C with the column containing the sessions)
    10. Finally, divide this number by the number for all sessions and make it a percentage