Quality mobile SDK tools are the building blocks of a quality mobile app. According to stats from 42matters, the apps that top the charts on the Apple App Store and Google Play all use some of the leading mobile app SDKs: Firebase, AppsFlyer, Crashlytics, Adjust, and AdMob, just to name a few. You’ll find a great free resource with all the top tools at the bottom of this post.
However, with so many tools on the market today, mobile app professionals often suffer from choice overload. SafeDK calls it “SDK fatigue”. Trying to manage all the different SDK tools that you, your app, and your team need can leave you feeling like this:
How do you survive the mobile SDK shopping trip without losing your mind — or worse, your precious time? Here are a few things to keep in mind when building or refining your SDK tool stack.
Better together: Power up your mobile SDK tools with integrations
SafeDK’s 2018 report on the state of mobile SDKs shows a steady increase in the number of SDKs app publishers use. In 2016, the average was 15 SDKs per app. Now, app publishers are using an average of 18 SDKs per app. Will 2019 see that number grow to 19, 20, or even 25 SDKs? As the graph below shows, that number may be plateauing, as existing SDKs continue to improve in quality, merge to create stronger tools together, or offer integrations that create extra-powerful combinations, like Mixpanel with Braze, Optimizely with Appsee, and Adjust with AdColony.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on adding a tool that can help you out. Instead, see if you can integrate the new SDK with tools you’re already using or would like to use. Integration means that the tools can sync with each other and offer you a comprehensive picture of your app’s status, often in a single dashboard. For example, Crashlytics’ integration with Appsee enables you to use the already-powerful Crashlytics tool and also use Appsee’s session recordings to recreate crashes. This powerful combination of two market leaders ensures that no bug or crash will escape get past your defenses. By integrating two SDK tools, you get the best of both worlds without having to jump from one software to another.
Pick mobile SDK tools that work for you, not the other way around
Your job is to create and publish awesome apps that users love. It’s a tough job, and you need all the time you can spare to do it right. You pay for mobile SDKs to make that job easier, leaving you to code, design, market, and manage your app while they do the work that can be automated.
Your mobile SDK tools of choice should work for you, not make you work for them. They should provide you with the fastest possible service, the easiest setup, and the most accessible, actionable data. That’s why your SDK of choice should be used directly out of the box, with as much automation as possible, so that you can start getting results the same day.
For example, if a tool requires you to manually tag UI elements or native app events, that’s an exhausting and time-consuming process. It means you’ll have to work to make the tool work for you, and it’ll take time and effort before you can actually get the results you paid for. A tool that works for you is a tool that can do automatic event tagging and recognize elements without any work on your part.
How do you know if the tool can be used out of the box? Here’s a clue: look for a free trial option. If the company doesn’t have a free trial, that’s a pretty good indication that the tool requires more manual setup and can’t give insights on the fly.
Don’t get lost. Use a map to find the best mobile SDK tools
If you’ve ever gotten lost at the mall as a kid, you probably remember it as a terrifying experience. (The adult who was with you was probably even more terrified.) Shopping for mobile SDKs can leave you just as lost and confused, and in this case, Googling will only lead to a hundred open tabs and no actual decisions.
If you want to quickly find the top mobile SDK tools, all you need is a reliable market guide. It’s not surprising that one of the top downloaded resources in the mobile industry is titled the Ultimate SDK Guide for Mobile Apps, which you’ll find at the bottom of this post. Now released in an updated version for 2019, it sets the tone for the coming year by listing the best mobile SDK tools in each category.
Why should you use this guide?
The best reason: it’ll save you time. The guide will reduce the job of researching and choosing new tools from hours to minutes, by pointing you directly to the best mobile SDK tools currently on the market. The guide includes fourteen specific categories of mobile SDK tools:
- Quantitative analytics
- Qualitative analytics
- Crash reporting/bug reporting
- A/B testing
- Marketing and push notifications
- Beta testing/user testing
- Voice of customer
- Business intelligence/App Store intelligence
- Data Management
You can get a free download of the mobile SDK Guide for Mobile Apps 2019 here: