Glossary
Mobile App Terminology simply explained

SDK: Software Development Kit

In the mobile app industry, a software development kit (SDK) is a piece of software that provides app developers with the tools to add functionality to their app.

Moreover, there are SDKs for mobile platforms that give developers the tools to place ads inside their mobile app or add a tracking solution to monitor an app’s marketing efforts. Software development kits must consider an application’s platform, operating system, and development framework to be compatible.
Key Takeaways:
  • A software development kit is a package of software that lets you add functionality to your application
  • A mobile SDK in particular gives you tools to add functionality – such as ads for monetization and attribution – to your mobile app
  • As a general rule, an SDK is specific to a certain platform

Why Use an SDK?

Without an SDK, app developers would have to build everything from the ground up. SDKs allow developers to add features they may not have access to in-house, or it gives developers a broad range of tools to improve their app’s efficiency. This enhanced efficiency results in a quicker time to market and higher-quality products.

A few of the most common reasons why you should use an SDK include:

  • for collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data
  • for faster integration through prebuilt packages and libraries that speed up the process of integration with the app’s existing stack
  • for managing a product’s integration with other apps while keeping critical functionality secure
  • for efficient development, as app developers don’t have to build everything from scratch

What’s Included in a Software Development Kit?

What comes in an SDK depends on many factors. Typically, they contain features like a compiler, debugger, application programming interfaces (APIs), libraries, documentation, code samples, processes, and guides that developers can use and integrate into their apps.

What Are Some SDK Examples?

SDKs are available for both mobile and web applications. Chances are, you’ll recognize some of the more commonly used ones, such as:

  • Android SDK for Android systems
  • iOS SDK for Apple’s iOS and iPad iOS operating systems
  • Windows 10 SDK to run on Windows operating systems
  • MacOs X SDK for the most recent macOS release at the time of the Xcode release
infographic of software development kit

What Should a Mobile SDK Offer?

If you want your mobile SDK to be used externally, you should ensure that it brings true value to your partners and their developers. When we say “value,” we mean that your software development kit should:

  • be easy to use by external developers
  • include clear documentation to explain how your code works
  • boast great functionality to add value to your partners’ apps
  • be compatible with other SDKs
  • not reduce the quality of a mobile user’s experience while using the app

adjoe’s Playtime SDK & Its Mobile SDK Integration

adjoe has developed a unique Playtime ad unit to help app publishers monetize their users through rewarded advertising. The Playtime SDK is available to Android app developers and is compatible with all major development frameworks including – but not limited to – Java/Kotlin, reactNative, Cordova, Unity, and Adobe AIR. The size of adjoe’s Playtime depends on your app development framework, but the lightweight SDK is between 50 and 300 KB. 

Playtime requires its distribution partners to integrate its SDK to guarantee a personalized and time-based rewards experience. The Playtime SDK has the ability to track the time spent by users in advertisers’ apps. This allows adjoe to reward users in the publisher app’s in-app currency for their time spent playing mobile games.

FAQs About Software Development Kits


What Is an SDK?

“SDK” stands for “software development platform,” which is a set of tools for third-party developers to create applications that use a specific framework or platform.

Why Use SDKs?

Without an SDK, many prebuilt functions would have to be created from scratch. With SDKs, you can not only efficiently create new tools but also simplify the process for everyone involved.

What Is the Difference between API and SDK?

An application programming interface (API) is a set of libraries that form the core of the language that you can work with immediately, while a software development kit (SDK) facilitates the use of an API. Both represent a way for your program to interface with – and control – resources provided by another piece of software.

What Is Included in a Software Development Kit?

SDKs include, among other things, documentation, APIs, code samples, libraries and processes, and developer guides.


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