Third-party SDKs or software development kits are the easiest and most efficient way to increase the functionality of your app and integrate features that enhance both the user experience and the app’s performance. According to a report by SafeDK, apps used an average of 17.8 SDKs in 2017.
Aside from your app’s core value, there are a number of additional layers of functionality you need to offer, to create a wholesome experience. You need extensions like social media integration, analytics, advertising, testing, feedback and a ton of other features. Fortunately for developers, there are hundreds of extremely useful and well-made SDKs available for iOS apps, that with just a few lines of code, seamlessly become a part of your app and allow you to stretch your app’s boundaries, accommodating some stunning experiences.
So here are the top 10 third-party SDKs you should consider integrating into your next iOS app:
1. Firebase (from Google)
The core of Firebase is largely focused on high-caliber quantitative mobile analytics, providing you with in-depth data from user segmentation to app crashes, ad-spend ROI and user behavior. Adding to the analytics is Firebase’s integration with Google Adwords and a number of other Google developer tools, giving you a far-reaching control over your app’s situation.
Further enhancing the efficacy of mobile app analytics, Flurry comes with an arsenal of features. It is currently integrated with as many as 900,000 applications around the world and gives you access to wide ranging data about your users, user segmentation, ad spend and a whole lot more. What’s better is it’s very convenient interface that allows you to create up to 10 custom dashboards right on its 1 standard dashboard, which means that you can monitor up to 10 different apps in one place.
If you are looking to answer the ‘why’ of analytics, behind the ‘what’, you can use a qualitative analytics SDK such as Appsee. In addition to just giving you usage data, Appsee also provides you a number of ways to understand why the users are taking certain actions. Appsee’s touch heatmaps, user flows, real-time analytics and crash symbolication help not only gauge the app’s performance but fix the problem areas and improve their UI/UX.
Of all the various problems that can hurt an app, the most damaging one is definitely crashes. The probability of a user coming back to your diminishes with every crash, and hence you need a sturdy defense against these things. Crashlytics is a great SDK to integrate in your app, as it helps dramatically reduce crashes by giving you minutely detailed crash reports that will tell you about every related factor such as device battery status, proximity sensor, charge in progress, wifi connection and even phone orientation. It then collates data to give you clear insights that may help isolate the reasons of the crash and fix them. It provides real time processing and alerts as well as sends friendly reminders to remind you of problems that await solutions.
When you need a bug reporting solution that also provides in-app feedback along with screenshots, screen recordings and other support you may require to understand and fix bugs faster, you can opt for Instabug. This particular SDK has tremendous uses in the beta testing phase too when your beta testers can take a screenshot and draw on it to show exactly where they encountered a problem. Once the app goes live, Instabug also helps you provide quality in-app support where you can assist users without them having to leave your app. From annotated screenshots to view hierarchy, screen recordings and user profiles, Instabug has it all.
Talking about beta testing, there are SDKs that help make your beta tests more useful and effective. TestFairy is one that takes screen-recordings of the specific tests, so you know clearly, exactly what was tested and what happened during that test. TestFairy records any crashes or bugs and reports them, and also allows testers to do the same by simply shaking their phones. In short, it is a complete beta testing SDK that also acts as a great tool for collecting user feedback.
If you’re thinking A/B testing, you definitely need to Optimizely SDK. With its arsenal of features that offers A/B testing tools for both mobile web and mobile apps. Optimizely is an easy to use, code-free visual editor that allows you to make immediate visual changes to any feature you are A/B testing, and roll them out instantly without having to go through app store approvals, which we all know can be a dreary process. To make things even better, Optimizely also offers advanced tools like geo-targeting and behavioral targeting.
8. Facebook Mobile
Having a Facebook SDK seems like an obvious choice for pretty much every app today. Enabling social login reduces friction, allowing sharing on Facebook increases engagement and the number of tools Facebook offers that make developers’ lives easier is just enthralling. So definitely consider integrating the Facebook SDK in your iOS app, and get access to deep linking from social feed, and a bevy of other functionalities.
A good advertising SDK might well be the backbone of your app’s revenue model. Chartboost is one of the top app monetization SDKs for iOS apps that focuses mainly on gaming apps, and is used by some of the top gaming apps. The great thing about Chartboost is that it effectively optimizes the advertising in a way that respects the user’s play time, keeping ads strictly non-intrusive. It uses mobile video and interstitial ads and makes them feel like a natural extension of the game, so the app experience isn’t affected by advertising. Chartboost provides cross promotion ads, game-ad network and a direct deals marketplace.
AppLift lets you maximize the results of your app marketing campaign. From launching your app to promoting it, running campaigns, acquisition to even retargeting, AppLift has tools for it all. It provides advanced data integration and extended targeting along with audience management capabilities giving you a complete suite of tools to take control of your marketing campaigns. With its platform DataLift 360, AppLift allows you to access all major mobile inventories across the world, so that you can grow and retain quality users.
So those are 10 of the top SDKs used by top iOS apps. Depending on what kind of functionality you wish to add in your app, you can pick your favorites out of these. Of course, there are hundreds of SDKs out there and it can be overwhelming to pick one. But when in doubt, go with the best. From advertizing and analytics to testing and in-app feedback, this list has it all, to make your app development even more powerful.