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Top 5 iOS SDKs in 2021

Top 5 iOS SDKs in 2021

If you want to develop iOS apps, you may be wondering about app development best practices. Since most mobile apps are currently built on a framework of SDKs, or software development kits, and mobile operating systems are always being updated, it's worth refreshing your knowledge from time to time. That's why we've compiled this list of the most popular SDKs being used by iOS developers in 2021. Feel free to compare them to the top SDKs around this time last year and see how the mobile landscape has changed. (You can also go here to learn more about SDKs in general.)

1. Google AdMob

Consistently popular and still holding steady in the #1 spot since last year, Google AdMob is not only the most popular Monetization SDK, but is the top SDK in the entire iOS app market
AdMob is currently installed in 134,004 apps. As of December 2020, it was installed in 128,427 apps, so adoption has risen 4% in the last six months. AdMob is currently used by 63% of the top 200 iOS apps, including apps like Adobe Acrobat, Indeed Job Search, LinkedIn, and Mercari. It holds an 82% overall market share for iOS Monetization SDKs. It's slightly less than May 2020's 85% market share, but that could be due to an increase in the total number of apps in the App Store overall; this SDK still dominates the top spot, with no signs of slowing down. 

2. Firebase

Firebase is a mobile and web app development platform that provides developers with tools and services to develop high-quality apps, grow their user base, and earn profit. App Platform SDKs are a broad category, and tend to include both specific utility tools and comprehensive dev environments, in order to help developers build mobile apps from scratch. 
Firebase is consistently among the top SDKs for this category; brands that currently rely on the platform include YouTube, Waze, Walmart, Wish, and Capital One. Already popular with Android developers, Firebase has enjoyed a whopping 17% increase in iOS installs since December 2020, rapidly gaining Apple developer adoption in the last six months. It currently powers 64,129 iOS apps and holds a 58% share of the market share for overall App Platform SDKs.

3. Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides insight on app usage, user engagement, and cross-network attribution. It is trusted by well-known app brands, such as TikTok, Venmo, Pandora, DoorDash, and YouTube, representing social media, streaming entertainment, and e-commerce market segments. Google Analytics installs increased 10% in the last six months, and it is now is currently used in 86,812 iOS apps, holding 57% of the Analytics SDK market. 
It appears in half of the top 200 iOS apps - more than all other competitors combined - making it the top mobile analytics SDK for iOS apps in 2021.

4. Facebook

The Facebook SDK provides the easiest way to track success of App Ads, implement powerful sharing, or let people log into an app with Facebook. Among other tools, this SDK provides anonymized audience insight about the people interacting with the app through a Facebook protocol known as Aggregated Event Measurement, which is compliant with SKAdNetwork for iOS 14. Facebook SDK adoption rose 3% since December 2020, and is currently installed in 91,378 iOS apps, holding 72% of the "Social SDK" market share for Apple products.

5. Facebook Share Kit

The Facebook Share Kit iOS SDK is a way to let people bring content from your website or mobile app to Facebook. Sharing is triggered when someone clicks a social plugin like the Share or Send button. This launches the corresponding Share or Message dialog, facilitated by the Facebook Share Kit SDK.

According to Facebook: "In past versions of the SDK for iOS, your app had to check for a native, installed Facebook app before it could open the Share Dialog. If the person didn't have the app installed, you had to provide your own code to call a fallback dialog. Now the SDK automatically checks for the native Facebook app. If it isn't installed, the SDK switches people to their default browser and opens the Feed Dialog."

Facebook Share Kit is currently installed in 45,267 iOS apps - rising 5% in the last six months - and holds 36% of the Social SDK market. It is found in 86 of the top 200 iOS apps.

Follow SDK Market Trends For A Competitive Advantage

We hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into the most popular SDKs iOS app developers are currently using. By reviewing this list and following our periodic iOS SDK updates, you can become familiar with best practices in mobile app development over time.

If you don't want to wait for our free website updates, or if you want to track specific SDKs in your market segment, you can sign up with MightySignal to get real-time SDK updates via email, Slack, or SMS. Use our SDK intelligence to streamline your own app dev process or discover marketing opportunities.

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