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If you’re wondering how complicated it is to deploy an Android mobile game or app, you should check out the latest report from SafeDK, an analytics firm that keeps track of software development kits (SDKs).

SafeDK keeps track of SDKs because of what that says about what’s hot or essential in building mobile apps. More and more app publishers are using these third-party tools, which perform functions such as adding a social layer to an app or tracking analytics.

The average number of SDKs used per app is 17.6, according to the October survey, compared to 15.6 in the company’s previous report on SDKs in April. The most popular SDKs have to do with simplifying processes for developers. The most popular, in order, are analytics, advertising, social, payments, location information, and crash reporting. Developers use these SDKs to offload their own development teams so they can focus on app essentials.

SafeDK shows which app SDKs are the most popular.

Above: SafeDK shows which app SDKs are the most popular.

Image Credit: SafeDK

With so many interesting changes and trends in the SDK universe, SafeDK said it felt a need to do a new quarterly report. It has a database of more than 700 SDKs coming from data in more than 115,000 free apps that were featured in Google Play’s top charts.

SafeDK said that nearly 9 percent of Android apps are actively using at least one package of Firebase, the new mega-SDK introduced by Google in May. And Android Pay is now the leading payment SDK on Android.

Firebase Crash Reporting SDK is fast becoming a fierce competitor to Twitter’s Crashlytics. AppLovin also became a stronger ad network SDK, causing MoPub to drop from the top five ranks.

Crash reporting is one of only a handful of categories that have actually grown in strength. It has surpassed rewarded videos as the sixth most popular category. Attribution declined as a category since the last report, but the company explains that has more to do with the kind of apps in its sample pool.


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