Sales

What is SDK Recognition and How Does it Work?

Nov 11, 2016

Adam Blacker

Nov 11, 2016

VP, Insights

 SDKs, or Software Development Kits, are the handy bits of code installed in a mobile app to improve performance (say, analytics or crash reporting ), offer a feature (social sharing or paying), or enhance revenue generation through UA or video advertising. There are plenty of SDK use cases we could discuss, but for now, let's dive into how SDK recognition technology works. 

apptopia_sdk_recognition_graphic.png

First, let's talk about how an SDK is installed.

When a developer wants to work with a new service provider to offer a feature like push messaging or advertising, they install a few lines of code into the app. To activate the feature for users, they must push out an update. This causes the app to be re-downloaded with the newest version installed. Most of us set our phones to 'auto-update' our apps and barely realize the change. The same is true when an SDK is uninstalled. Nothing happens without pushing out an update. 

How does SDK recognition technology work?

The key to factual SDK recognition is in the update. By running a unique process every time an app pushes out a new release, a granular timeline of SDK installs and uninstalls is possible. Here's how: 

  • Download all the free apps. All of them.
  • Decompile the apps
  • Decrypt the apps' code
  • Analyze the code to detect SDK fingerprints

Going forward, these 'fingerprints' are recognized and can tell the story of when an SDK is installed or uninstalled. More detail about how recognition works, and whether a live-scan is possible, is available in this quora post

 Learn more about SDK Recognition

Adam Blacker

VP, Insights