Analyzing ad library updates in android apps

Authors: Israel J. Mojica Ruiz Meiyappan Nagappan Bram Adams Thorsten Berger Steffen Dienst Ahmed E. Hassan

Venue: IEEESW   IEEE Software, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 74-80, 2016

Year: 2016

Abstract: Because more than 90 percent of mobile apps are free, advertising on them is a key revenue source for their developers. Advertisements are served on apps through embedded specialized code called ad libraries. Unlike with other types of libraries, app developers can't ignore new ad libraries or new versions of embedded ad libraries without risking revenue loss. However, updating ad libraries incurs costs, which can become problematic as these updates become more frequent. Researchers investigated the costs of updating ad libraries and explored the frequency of ad library updates in Android apps. An analysis of numerous versions of Android apps over 12 months showed that almost half underwent ad library updates (an ad library was added, removed, or updated). Moreover, in nearly 14 percent of the app updates with at least one ad library update, no changes to the app's API occurred. This suggests that maintaining the ad libraries entailed substantial additional effort for the developers.

Preprint: PDF


    author = "Israel J. Mojica Ruiz and Meiyappan Nagappan and Bram Adams and Thorsten Berger and Steffen Dienst and Ahmed E. Hassan",
    title = "Analyzing ad library updates in android apps",
    year = "2016",
    pages = "74-80",
    journal = "IEEE Software",
    volume = "33",
    number = "2"

Plain Text:

Israel J. Mojica Ruiz, Meiyappan Nagappan, Bram Adams, Thorsten Berger, Steffen Dienst, and Ahmed E. Hassan, "Analyzing ad library updates in android apps," IEEE Software, pp. 74-80