Virtually anyone can publish an application or game onto the Play Store these days. Some people think the work ends there and that their product will either succeed or fail based on luck. However, there’s a lot of work that goes into managing and marketing applications after they have been approved in the Play Store if you want them to succeed. Google has just introduced the Google Play Referrer API as a tool that can help developers track and measure application installs easily and securely.
A lot of the traffic monitoring and analysis that web developers have been doing for decades can help application developers as well. One key tool that analytic services tend to offer is a way to find out how people found out about your product. Knowing this type of information allows the developer to cater the content directly to that type of user which in turn can help to improve the user experience. Google’s new Google Play Referrer API aims to offer this analytics solution for those who want to learn more about the people installing their applications.
Some application developers rely on app measurement companies and ad networks who offer ad attribution solutions based on referral data. So it’s vital to know accurate install referral data for correctly attributing app installs, as well as discounting fraudulent attempts for install credit. This is where the Google Play Referrer API comes into the mix as it offers a reliable way to securely retrieve install referral content.
Application developers who end up using this new API will have access to precise information straight from the Play Store including the referrer URL of the installed package, the timestamp (in seconds) of when the referrer click happened, and the timestamp (again in seconds) of when the installation began. Developers who feel they would benefit from this new API can starting using it right now. Just be aware that this new API requires the device to have the Play Store app from version 8.3.73 and later.
Source: Android Developers Blog