Blog Getting ready for iOS 14 with Adjust’s newest SDK

Getting ready for iOS 14 with Adjust’s newest SDK

Implementation of iOS 14 ad tracking guidelines has been delayed by Apple to 2021. You can find our latest guidance here.

There are many questions surrounding the new iOS 14 update, especially when it comes to mobile measurement on iOS — and Adjust has been working hard to come up with simple, actionable steps you can take to prepare yourself for a post-iOS 14 world. We don’t want you to just transition to a new normal; we want to put you in the best possible position to thrive.

The first and most important thing clients can do is update to our newest SDK, which is available now. The new SDK supports key iOS 14 frameworks in order to transition smoothly for the eventual iOS 14 release. The most important of these additions include robust support of AppTrackingTransparency, support of SKAdNetwork data and workflows, and an enhancement of our attribution methods outside of IDFAs.

AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) support

In a nutshell - the ATT framework enables users to control who gets to track them with their personal data, including IDFAs. It’s easy to see how this may affect your internal analysis and performance measurement. But as we’ve said before, this is an opportunity to build opt-in flows that incentivize IDFA collection and maintain your app tracking and user acquisition.

In our new SDK, Adjust will automatically track a user’s opt-in status - so you’ll know if a user has any of the ATT statuses (Authorized, Denied, notDetermined, and Restricted), which also allows you to optimize towards opt-ins as a conversion event.

As soon as a user gives consent to be tracked, we’ll immediately send you a callback and update attribution data accordingly. There’s nothing extra you have to do to keep your data clean through the ATT framework.

This is critical in building your own opt-in flows and app experiences. When we’re handling the backend of attributing users correctly according to their opt-in status, you can focus on building better opt-in optimizations - like adding messaging before the opt-in message, or showing the prompt at moments where users can see the value of opting in.

Finally, our internal UX and UA experts are hard at work to help you shape opt-in flows to maximize adoption. Be on the lookout for our workshops and roundtables that are coming very soon.

SKAdNetwork support

The SKAdNetwork is Apple’s attribution framework that allows marketers to connect installs and conversion events to ad networks. We see it as a secondary aggregated data pipeline for advertisers. This is because the solution has several limitations, such as:

  • There is no user-level identification or granular campaign data available
  • It only supports up to 100 campaigns
  • Data is reported with a 24 hour delay minimum (sometimes longer, depending on conversion values and user behavior)
  • Re-engagement is not factored into SKAdNetwork attributions
  • Conversion values are limited to 6 bits and can only increase, which makes it more complicated to develop algorithms that produce insightful optimization
  • Apple only verifies the install, not the conversion events
  • Networks must own the attribution data callbacks
  • Conditional and deferred deeplinking are not supported

However, SKAdNetwork signals can be used for aggregated attribution data, which Adjust will aggregate for you from all of your advertising partners. This includes both install and conversion value data, which allows you to get an overall idea of your campaign performance. Some highlights include:

  • Conversion value flexibility: Instead of having to encode conversion values yourself, you can update conversion values with SKAdNetwork directly from the Adjust dashboard. You’ll have full flexibility to take existing Adjust in-app events - such as in-app purchases, log-ins, level-ups, and more - and map them to requisite conversion values that we will send back to our SDK.
  • Accurate and validated aggregated data: All SKAdNetwork installs are verified before they’re reported, so you can use our SKAdNetwork data as a source of truth when measuring installs on a campaign level.
  • Customized SKAdNetwork Dashboard: We’ll also provide a customizable SKAdNetwork dashboard timed to coincide with the release of iOS 14. You’ll be able to visualize and analyze your SKAdNetwork data in order to properly measure performance such as installs, engagements, ROI, and more.

We know that SKAdNetwork can be confusing, so we’d like to reassure clients that we will always be available to help you understand how to maximize the value you get from your SKAdNetwork data. We also understand this is an ongoing process, so we’ll continue to hold roundtables and maintain open communication lines as we navigate the new regulations together.

Is the SDK update all I have to do?

Updating your Adjust SDK will minimize disruption to your marketing operations once iOS 14 is released this September. It also saves precious time and effort from building these frameworks manually. Ultimately, we want to preserve business as usual for our clients as much as we can - by encouraging practices that maximize IDFA opt-in and maintaining attribution accuracy on an aggregated level. Of course, there are some other things you can do to prepare for iOS 14:

  • Evaluate where you may have IDFA dependencies across your internal analytics

As iOS 14 approaches, you should find out where your internal analytics and processes depend on IDFA collection. It’s best to do this now, while we still have a few more weeks until iOS 14 launches.

If you do find a lot of IDFA dependencies, don’t worry. You can use our Adjust ID (ADID) or your own internal IDs to act as analytics identifiers that your BI system may require.

  • Design an alternative approach to get users to opt-in

As mentioned in our previous post, app marketers have the freedom to build their own processes and flows around user opt-in. If you’re an app that relies on ad revenue, you can pre-empt Apple’s opt-in pop-up with your own internal pop-ups that explain why you need users to opt-in. Once you get their soft agreement (let’s say a button that says “Ok, I’d like to be served personalized ads”), you can then show the ATT pop-up where the user will have a much higher chance to opt-in.

This is very important, because you can only show the opt-in pop once (although you can deeplink users to the settings menu, and users can be shown the pop up again if they uninstall and reinstall your app). We’re working on several resources with our UX experts on how to build the best opt-in flows, so keep an eye on the blog or sign up for our newsletter to learn more.

  • Stay connected with us by participating in our iOS roundtables, or set up a consultation call with our experts

It’s one thing to get prepared for iOS 14, but the next step is to find further success once iOS 14 is released. We are working hard to find out the best ways to operate in this new normal, and will be organizing a series of roundtables, workshops, and webinars that will share every bit of knowledge that we have to you. We’ll also soon start scheduling consultations with our UX and Data Science experts with our customers. Interested in speaking to them yourself? Just reach out to your Adjust contact and we’ll set one up for you.

Here to help

There are many questions surrounding the new iOS 14 update, especially when it comes to mobile measurement on iOS. We’re here to make sure your campaigns don’t skip a beat, and help you navigate how to run mobile marketing after iOS 14’s release.

For further reading, we’ve already released our Complete guide to mobile app monetization on iOS 14 and our CTO Paul H. Müller has given his tips on How to get your company ready for iOS 14.

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