TL;DR: Google updated its Google Play policies and we updated the AppBrain SDK to be fully compliant with the policies. Apps with older SDK versions need to upgrade to version 16.00 or later before June 28.

(Edit: the enforcement date was originally May 29th, but we discussed with Google to extend this to June 28th)

On April 16th, Google updated its Google Play policies and among many changes it added more restrictions on apps violating user’s privacy, or being able to do so. …

On December 10th, Google sent out emails “[Action Required] Switch to the Play Referrer API by March 1, 2020” to many Android developers. The AppBrain SDK could be the cause, as the SDK tracks referrals and shows them in the Analytics part of our dashboard.

Short summary: what should I do?

  • Upgrade your app to a recent version of the AppBrain SDK to keep the referral analytics working. Any version released since July 2019 correctly uses the new API if available. Make sure your Gradle dependency does not include ‘@aar’ as discussed in our integration guide.
  • If you take no action, and your apps are using a SDK version from before July, the referral analytics on the AppBrain dashboard will stop working in March 2020.
    The warning from Google is *not* a policy warning and your app is not at risk to be taken down because of this. Your earnings from the AppBrain SDK are also not affected by this. …

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I have been exploring Java tools to perform easy data analysis of big datasets, since our production systems at are Java-based.

Data frames are popular tools for Data Science in R and Python (through pandas). A good data frame implementation makes it easy to import data, filter and map it, calculate new columns, create aggregations, and more.

I chose three Java open source dataframe libraries from Github: tablesaw, joinery, and morpheus (I also shortly looked at datavec, but couldn’t make it do what I wanted, more on that later). …

Researching phone market shares became easier today: AppBrain now shows country distributions for popular Android devices.

Let’s take the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 as examples which are available at and

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These devices both have a global market share of a little above 1%, but the country distribution is quite different, with the S8 being popular in Western countries and the Xiaomi dominating in Asia.

Our device pages show the active countries and break down the top 10 versus other countries for free. The full data for every device can be purchased for $100 in CSV format. …

Wouldn’t it be great if you could change when your app shows ads without relaunching it?

Let’s say your app’s installs skyrocket and you want to quickly change which ads are being shown when. Mediation platforms can optimize which ads are shown, but not when they are shown.

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AppBrain Automatic Interstitials let you control when your app shows interstitials from the AppBrain dashboard

Today we’re adding automatic interstitials to AppBrain Monetize. Two types of events can trigger an automatic interstitial: returning to the app and starting an activity. On our dashboard, you can control whether these automatic interstitials are enabled.

User-returns-to-app interstitial increases revenue

An automatic interstitial can be triggered when a user returns to your app after flipping to another app. Because most users use the app switcher to flip between apps instead of exiting apps with the back button, the potential revenue of an exit interstitial has become limited. …

Do you ever wish you could target your CPI campaigns more precisely at users who will engage with your app? Or that you can get impressions specifically for users who are more likely to make in-app payments, for instance users on tablets?

This is now possible with AppBrain’s CPI boost rules. CPI boost rules let you change the CPI bid of your AppBrain Promote campaign for specific users, and put your money exactly where it matters most to you.

How do the CPI boost rules work?

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You can increase or decrease the CPI (cost per install) bid in your campaign settings for specific types of users. This increase or decrease applies to your original bid for each country in the selected campaign.

For instance: If you bid $1 for an install of your app, a CPI boost of 25% will result in a bid of $1.25 for the defined types of users. A CPI decrease of -50% would result in a CPI bid of $0.50.

There are four different types of users for which you can increase or decrease your CPI…

AppBrain Monetize is a great way to earn money with your Android app by offering your users free apps to install. We’re rolling out server-side mediation, which increases the monetization potential of the AppBrain SDK.

We identified that not all users are a good fit for our app-install ads (also called cost-per-install (CPI) ads). …

Google has released an updated version of the Google Play policy. The most impactful change is that incentivized installs are now forbidden:

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Source:, emphasis ours

If you’re still promoting your app with incentivized installs, now is the time to stop and look at non-incentivized installs. AppBrain Promote is one of the many platforms that you can use.

This change, and others, don’t impact the AppBrain SDK. The AppBrain monetize service is still 100% Google Play compliant.

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Promoting your app at AppBrain has become cheaper for many countries in the world. It is time to set up your new campaign!

Today, we have adjusted the minimum CPI bid prices for over 150 countries around the world.

For 144 countries the minimum CPI bid has gone down. For many of these countries we found that $0.20 per install was not competitive and therefore we lowered the price to $0.15 or $0.10. This means that for the same budget you can now get up to twice the amount of installs in countries like India, Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Ecuador, Algeria, Venezuela and Iraq. This is a great way to boost your organic Google Play ranking worldwide.

For 10 popular markets in Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia, we had to raise the minimum CPI bid. The existing lower minimum bids gave the impression that you could get many installs cheaply. It often resulted in a disappointingly low amount of impressions and installs because competing bids were a lot higher.

Please be aware that for campaigns that are already running, we will raise the bids for these 10 countries automatically. All other bids remain as before in your campaign. Our bidding system will always charge you the best possible price for these countries, even if you bid higher. You will notice that for many countries the installs will be more towards the minimum price instead of your existing higher bid. You can still change these bids in your AppBrain Dashboard if you like.

Be aware that the minimum price is often not the average CPI bid price. For some countries you have to bid higher to get a good volume of impressions and installs. Check the full overview of all the current average CPI bids per country.

In the coming months we will continue to evaluate the minimum CPI bids to make sure you get the best value for money when you promote your app.

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Getting the right value out of app promotion campaigns is hard! External attribution platforms can help, as they provide you with deep insights about the value of the users you’re acquiring. As an AppBrain Promote user you can now also use this powerful technique, as we integrated the most used platforms into AppBrain Promote. Specifically, you can now use Adjust, AppsFlyer, Apsalar and Kochava to track installs of your campaign.

Are you not using any of these platforms, but want to use something different? No problem!
You can use the “AppBrain (with clickthrough URL)” option. Any clickthrough URL that ends up at the Google Play detail page of your app can be used.

This new feature is available on the campaign dashboard under the “Advanced” link. Here you can choose your install attribution option. Please be aware that you first have to integrate the SDK of the external partners, otherwise it is not possible to track the installs and your campaign will stop.

You can read more on the install attribution resource page. …


Mathijs Vogelzang

Building the top Android CPI network, AppTornado, AppBrain, Swiss Codemonkey

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