Tracking install sources for Android apps

Have you ever wanted to have a better idea of what’s the best source of your app installs? There’s information around the web on how to do it, but spread out over various sites, so I decided to write this post to consolidate the information.

Starting with Android 1.6, the Android Market’s emits a broadcast Intent named com.android.vending.INSTALL_REFERRER whenever certain parameters are added to the market url. Note that web version of the Market also passes these parameters to your devices upon install. Since the parameters need to follow the Google Analytics referral link format, Google provides a simple tool for generating these urls, or you could use a copy of my shared Google spreadsheet that I use to keep track of all my campaigns. Here’s a description for the important parameters:

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“Incorrect AVA format” when creating a signing key

incorrectAVAHave you ever run into the error “Incorrect AVA format” when trying to sign an Android APK with a new key? It turns out this useless error more than likely means that you have used some illegal character in the signing data. In my case, I had used a comma in the company name which isn’t allowed for some reason. Just remove any extra characters and you should be good to go!

 

EDIT: Great comment below from Adam M Dutko:

Put a \ before the commas and it will work. Here is an example: OU=Test Company\, LLC

Back on track

tracksFlickr photo by _fLeMmA_

It has been a long couple of months from before Thanksgiving straight through Christmas and New Years and I was very busy during those times. I didn’t get a whole lot done on anything Android related, including working much on my first app to be published to the Android Market, titled Grandma Jong.

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Presenting tomorrow at BarCamp DC 3

Barcamp DC photo by jgarberI’m really excited about attending the third local BarCamp in DC tomorrow! Yep, we’re already on our third one here locally (not to mention all the others happening in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area). I’m planning on co-presenting on Android development with Zvi Band. I’ll be showing a simple graphical app with animation and touch screen input.

I’m also using this opportunity to launch the first in a series of articles on Android development, gradually improving this simple app into something useable in a real app involving animations and graphics. Stay tuned, I’ll be posting the first article here sometime next week.