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Mobile app acquisition

Acquisition links with unique tracking codes can be generated in Adobe Mobile services. When a user downloads and runs an app from the App store after clicking on the generated link, the SDK automatically collects and sends the acquisition data to Adobe Mobile services.

New Adobe Experience Platform Mobile SDK Release

Looking for information and documentation related to the Adobe Experience Platform Mobile SDK? Click here for our latest documentation.

As of September 2018, we released a new, major version of the SDK. These new Adobe Experience Platform Mobile SDKs are configurable through Experience Platform Launch.

Important: To use Acquisition, you must have SDK version 4.1 or later.

Acquisition links must be created in Adobe Mobile services. For more information, see Acquisition.

In SDK versions 4.18.0 and later:

Starting on March 1, 2020, Google is deprecating the install_referrer intent broadcast mechanism. For more information, see Still Using InstallBroadcast? Switch to the Play Referrer API by March 1, 2020. To continue collecting install referrer information from the Google Play store, update your application to use SDK version 4.18.0 or newer.

With the deprecation, instead of creating a BroadcastReceiver, you need to collect the install referrer URL from a new Google API and pass the resulting URL to the SDK.

  1. Add the Google Play Install Referrer package to your gradle file's dependencies:

    implementation ''

  2. To retrieve the referrer URL from the Install Referrer API, complete the steps in Getting the install referrer.

  3. Pass the referrer URL to the SDK:


Important: To avoid unnecessary API calls in your app, Google recommends that you only invoke the API once immediately after install.

To decide the best way to use the Google Play Install Referrer APIs in your app, see Google's documentation. Here is an example of how to use the Adobe SDK with the Google Play Install Referrer APIs:

void handleGooglePlayReferrer() {
    // Google recommends only calling this API the first time you need it:

    // Store a boolean in SharedPreferences to ensure we only call it once.
    final SharedPreferences prefs = getSharedPreferences("acquisition", 0);
    if (prefs != null) {
        if (prefs.getBoolean("referrerHasBeenProcessed", false)) {

    final InstallReferrerClient referrerClient = InstallReferrerClient.newBuilder(getApplicationContext()).build();
    referrerClient.startConnection(new InstallReferrerStateListener() {
        private boolean complete = false;

        public void onInstallReferrerSetupFinished(int responseCode) {
            switch (responseCode) {
                case InstallReferrerClient.InstallReferrerResponse.OK:
                    // connection is established
                    try {
                        final ReferrerDetails details = referrerClient.getInstallReferrer();                        

                        // pass the install referrer url to the SDK

                    } catch (final RemoteException ex) {
                        Log.w("Acquisition - RemoteException while retrieving referrer information (%s)", ex.getLocalizedMessage() == null ? "unknown" : ex.getLocalizedMessage());
                    } finally {
                case InstallReferrerClient.InstallReferrerResponse.FEATURE_NOT_SUPPORTED:
                case InstallReferrerClient.InstallReferrerResponse.SERVICE_UNAVAILABLE:
                    // API not available in the Play Store app - nothing to do here

        public void onInstallReferrerServiceDisconnected() {
            if (!complete) {
                // something went wrong trying to get a connection, try again

        void complete() {
            complete = true;
            SharedPreferences.Editor editor = getSharedPreferences("acquisition", 0).edit();
            editor.putBoolean("referrerHasBeenProcessed", true);

In SDK versions 4.13.1 and later:

If you cannot use the acquisition links that are created in Adobe Mobile Services, the acquisition data can still be collected and sent by the SDK by using Google Play Acquisition.

To collect acquisition data from a standard Google Play Acquisition campaign:

  • Use the standard Google Play Store acquisition method.

    Custom acquisition data can be used with the standard Google Play Acquisition key value pairs.

  • When the user downloads and runs an app as the result of a Google Play store acquisition, the data from the referrer will be collected and sent to Adobe Mobile Services.

    • The data is stored and available in the AdobeDataCallback instance that was registered earlier with the SDK.

      For more information, see Configuration Methods.

    • The MobileDataEvent.MOBILE_EVENT_ACQUISITION_INSTALL or the MobileDataEvent.MOBILE_EVENT_ACQUISITION_LAUNCH event type are used.

    • Custom keys that were part of the acquisition data from Google Play will be name-spaced with " a.acquisition.custom."

If you are using the Acquisition links that were created on Adobe Mobile Services, add custom data to the acquisition link by completing the following tasks:

  1. Prefix an acquisition variable with " adb".

    When the SDK receives the acquisition data from Adobe Mobile Services at the first launch, the data is stored and is available in the AdobeDataCallback instance that was registered earlier with the SDK. For more information, see Configuration Methods.

  2. The MobileDataEvent.MOBILE_EVENT_ACQUISITION_INSTALL or the MobileDataEvent.MOBILE_EVENT_ACQUISITION_LAUNCH event type will be used.

  3. The custom data keys are prefixed with "a.acquisition.custom."

Tip: If you are sending data to multiple report suites, use the acquisition data from the app that is associated with the first report suite in your list of report suite IDs.

The updates in this section enable the SDK to send acquisition data from an acquisition link.

Tracking mobile acquisition

  1. Add the library to your project and implement lifecycle.

    For more information, see Add the SDK and Config File to your IntelliJ IDEA or Eclipse Project in Core implementation and lifecycle.

  2. Import the library:

  3. Implement the BroadcastReceiver for the referrer:

    package;  // replace with your app package name
    import android.content.BroadcastReceiver;
    import android.content.Context;
    import android.content.Intent;
    public class GPBroadcastReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver {
      public void onReceive(Context c, Intent i) {, i);
  4. Update AndroidManifest.xml to enable the BroadcastReceiver that was created in the previous step:

    <receiver android:name="" android:exported="true">
      <action android:name="" />
  5. Verify that the ADBMobileConfig.json file contains the required acquisition settings:

    "acquisition": {
       "server": "",
       "appid": "0652024f-adcd-49f9-9bd7-2552a4565d2f"
    "analytics": {
      "referrerTimeout": 5,

    Important: If you are sending data to multiple report suites, use the acquisition settings (acquisition server and appid) from the app that is associated with the first report suite in your list of report suite IDs.

    The acquisition settings are generated by Adobe Mobile services and should not be changed. For more information about how to download a customized ADBMobileConfig.json file with the acquisition settings pre-configured, see Before You Start.

After these settings are enabled, after the initial launch of the app, acquisition data is sent automatically with the initial lifecycle call.

Caution: referrerTimeout must be set to a value higher than 0 to enable app acquisition.