In a previous blog post I’ve written (Mobile SDKs: Use with Caution), I mentioned the potential risks related with integrating Mobile SDKs into your mobile app. ‘SDKs’ as in these off-the-shelf 3rd party tools that app developers integrate into their mobile app for advertising, payment, analytics, social and many other functions. We all know that SDKs are a necessity in the mobile development process, but not all app publishers are aware of how these SDKs can affect the app’s performance, stability, battery consumption, security and privacy.
After going through an extensive analysis of a tens of thousands of apps and hundreds of different SDKs, we realized that there are 2 major domains of problems when using 3rd party SDKs. Both are crucial:
- Security and Privacy – SDKs may contain viruses, malwares, backdoors or, most commonly, piggy-bag your app permissions to access your users’ private data.
- User Experience – SDKs may contain bugs, consume a great deal of battery power and data, crash your app, slow down your app, and so forth.
During the last few months, we all read about major SDKs-related issues: apps that were banned from the stores because of a specific SDK that violated Apple or Google regulations, an ad-network SDK which displayed ads that were incompatible with the app’s ‘spirit’ (e-cigarette commercial in a kids app, someone?), marshmellow incompatibility of SDKs in an app that was supposed to be compatible… and the list goes on and on.
Basically, app developers must all ask themselves the following, ASAP:
That’s exactly what led us to establish SafeDK. I focused my entire career on mobile development, and like everyone else, I constantly implemented SDKs the messy way… It took me a while, but I finally realized I was out of control, using so many SDKs. But I sure wasn’t going to work on all these SDKs’ functionalities in-house, so I created SafeDK to provide an optimal and elegant solution to this dilemma. This is simply what we say: Implement as many SDKs as you want, in order to create a wonderful app in the shortest time-to-market possible, but use SafeDK to maintain transparency and control over the SDKs code.