Tracking pre-installed apps with the Install Referrer API

Pre-install tracking lets you track campaigns on Android mobile devices that have your app added to them while being manufactured. 

Here you'll learn about the different ways you can set up pre-install tracking for your app with Adjust.

Set up pre-install tracking with the Install Referrer API

To use this feature, you first need to download and set up the Adjust SDK for your platform. Follow the instructions linked below to get started.

⚙️  Android 4.12 (or newer)

To set up the Install Referrer API in the Adjust SDK, follow the steps outlined in the page below:

📖 Preinstalled apps.

Set up pre-install tracking with the Adjust Store and Pre-install Tracker tool

Adjust has developed a small ruby command line that allows you to quickly generate duplicate APKs with custom, pre-assigned tracker tokens. These can be written directly into the Adjust SDK. Once configured, the SDK then reports the first app opens with the corresponding preset tracker token, which is used to attribute your users. 

To get started with the pre-install tracker tool, follow the steps in our Github developer guide. For more information on using the tool, read our step-by-step guide

Set up pre-install tracking with the install_referrer intent

Adjust does not recommend using this method.

As of March 2020, Google deprecated the install_referrer intent and this method became invalid.

Support the Adjust Broadcast Receiver

Configure the Adjust SDK’s broadcast receiver to receive the install_referrer intent. The intent passes key information to Adjust for categorizing your attribution data. If your pre-install configures their intent correctly, it should fire at app install.

You can register multiple broadcast receivers to listen to the same install_referrer

Set up your pre-install campaign tracker URLs
  1. Create and customize your Adjust tracker URLs
  2. Include the two required parameters: your utm_source (either adjust_preinstall or adjust_store) and the Adjust tracker token in your URLs
  3. Copy your Adjust tracker token and share it/them with your pre-install partner

Example: https://app.adjust/com/abc123?utm_source=adjust_preinstall

In the above example, abc123 is the tracker token (tokens are six or seven characters long).

Once you've shared your tracker tokens with your pre-install partner and they've implemented the install_referrer, we can receive install information and begin attributing your data.