What is an Android ID?
The definition of Android ID
All smartphones and tablets are identified by a unique device ID. The Android unique device ID is called the Android Advertising ID (AAID). It’s an anonymized string of numbers and letters generated for the device upon initial setup. None of the user’s personal information is included in an Android ID. Any app installed and launched can retrieve the advertising ID that Android devices possess.
The Android unique device ID is a combination of 8 digits followed by a dash and then three sets of 4 digits. It uses all lowercase letters.
Here is an example of what an advertising ID on Android looks like:
Note: The Android device ID is not to be confused with the Google Play Store ID as this is the package name of an app registered on the Google Play Store and is not linked to a device.
What is an Android ID used for?
Advertising networks utilize the Android Advertising ID as the primary identifier by which they can deliver targeted and retargeted ads. The Android device ID lets advertisers monitor ad engagement as well as conversions.
This means advertisers can see views and clicks of ads as well as when a user subsequently installs an app, makes a purchase, or signs up for a service. AAIDs enable advertisers to know which ads, creatives, and channels are most effective. Additionally, advertisers use them to track user behavior and interests.
However, Android users have the option to opt-out of ad personalization. Following the industry push for increased user permissions transparency spearheaded by the rollout of iOS 14.5, Google released Android 12 in 2021. Since this update, users who have toggled on Limited Ad Tracking (LAT) will have their AAID zeroed out, preventing advertisers from accessing device-level data. This prevents advertisers from acquiring the AAID.
How do I find my Android ID?
Finding an Android ID is simple.
- Open your device’s Settings app or Google settings app (depending on device).
- Go to Services.
- Select Ads.
The AAID will be listed at the bottom of the screen. Here users can reset their ID, opt-out of ad personalization, and delete their advertising ID.
Android IDs and Adjust
Since the release of Android 12, Adjust does not use the Android Advertising ID for the attribution of LAT users/those who have opted out of personalized ads. Instead, we use Google Play Install Referrer to deterministically attribute conversions through Google Play. Similar to the AAID, the referrer is a unique ID for tracking a click to install and provides attribution conversion for Android-specific devices.
Adjust also generates internal IDs in addition to the Android Advertising ID to build a more consistent user profile. The Adjust device identifier is only available to clients after the Adjust backend has tracked an install via our SDK. These generated IDs have additional rules that further protect users' privacy.
Bottom line—Adjust offers robust mobile attribution analytics to app developers catering to Android devices, iOS devices, or both. Read more about Adjust’s attribution methods.