SDK is an acronym that crops up at many product development meetings, but relatively few of us know what it really means, and why it’s so important for mobile app marketing. Find out more about this hidden secret of the mobile app development world to learn how you could be taking full advantage of the benefits of an SDK for your business.
What does SDK mean?
The acronym SDK relates to software development. Quite simply, it stands for software development kit. These kits are incredibly common in the app development industry, as they give developers a helping hand when it comes to integration with their own app creations.
Developers rely heavily on software development kits. Good SDKs provide all that professional developers need to create finely tuned integrations that enhance the app experience for their users. SDKs commonly include documentation, code samples, advice on processes, guides and libraries of data and other information.
SDK are usually dedicated to specific programming languages, or designed to be used with certain platforms. App creators therefore release different SDKs for different uses, such as specific iOS SDKs or SDKs for Android.
What makes a good SDK?
An SDK should be designed to help those who may have had no previous interaction with your team, or your company. It needs to be user-friendly, easy to understand and as detailed as possible.
The best SDKs are those that make life simple for anyone who needs to use them. They’ll always include all the functionality that developers need, and be kitted out with the full range of documentation that others may be looking for.
Good SDKs are made to work well with other SDKs, and they won’t hamper devices by draining batteries or using up huge amounts of data storage.
The difference between SDK and API
An SDK is similar to an API, but there are key differences between the two. The acronym API stands for Application Protocol Interface. These have long been used to enable apps to communicate with one another, facilitating integration in a similar way to an SDK. But software development kits go one step further than standard APIs.
While an API takes information and shares it between two apps, an SDK gives far more power to developers. With an SDK, developers have all the information they need to build an app that communicates seamlessly with other platforms. Typical SDKs contain several APIs to make this possible, so an API is just one tool amongst the many that are available in the average software development kit.
Advantages of SDKs for marketers
There are many advantages of SDKs which will appeal to marketing professionals. The kits make it easier for development teams to create quality apps that integrate flawlessly. So marketers can get apps launched and in the hands of their customers quicker than their competitors, thereby capturing a greater market share.
There are cost savings to be made by using direct SDKs, as any development time required is dramatically reduced. Using SDKs can also impact the performance of an app, making it less likely that an app will crash unexpectedly. And that impacts the rating of the app in the app store, which is paramount to its overall success level.
SDKs can even ensure better security features. This is of course another key concern for users, and it tends to make a real difference to the numbers of users who are prepared to download an app to their device and trust it with their personal information.