AppMetrica Blog

Referrer-based tracking on iOS. Accurate attribution for all kinds of sources

AppMetrica SDK 2.40 brings much more accurate install tracking for iOS. Unique Referrer-based Tracking technology allows to engage non-heuristics matching instead of fingerprinting.

Read more about how AppMetrica tracking works.

How it works

With iOS 9 update third-party developers have got an access to WebKit.framework through which they can embed native Safari browser in their apps. Built-in Safari uses the same Cookie Storage as the original Thus, we are able to gain access to Cookie Storage from third-party applications. Client-side logic is based on the use of Cookie Storage. URL Schemes are used to send a referrer from Safari to the app.

How exactly AppMetrica uses it in the attribution process?

  1. Downloading cookie-referrer when opening the tracking URL.
  2. In addition to the cookie client receives a response that opens the App Store (or the application itself, if it is already installed).
  3. Wnen opening the app for the first time Safari runs in background requesting deeplink from the server and at the same time inserting cookie into request with referrer which was added earlier.
  4. Safari getting deeplink with referrer parameter, opens it and thereby passing control to the application.

How  to use this in your app?

Very simple. Update the SDK to the latest version (2.40+) and implement 2 methods into the app:

enableTrackingWithURLScheme //registering the URL Scheme
handleOpenURL //processing redirect to the application

Find out more in our docs.

Referrer-based tracking technology is activated when clicking on the tracking link from Safari browser (if the device runs on iOS 9 or higher).

Some statistics

By the way, over the past week the share of visits from iOS 9.0+ among all the iOS users was counting 83%, including visits from Safari, which were about 91%.