Learn about the reasons Singular reports show different numbers of installs than the Apple App Store / Google Play Store downloads.
See also: Data Discrepancies Troubleshooting Guide - a guide for comparing Singular reports to your ad network dashboard.
Discrepancies in App Installs
Singular uses very different methodologies from the Apple App Store or Google Play for counting and reporting app installs. Therefore, you can expect significant discrepancies between app downloads as reported by Apple/Google and app installs as reported by Singular.
Analysis of Differences in Methods
To help you understand why it's difficult to compare app store downloads to Singular installs, we've compiled a list of the major methodological differences:
||Apple App Store Behavior||Google Play Behavior|
|Download vs. app open||Counts an install when the app is first opened.||The stores count an install when the app is downloaded, even though the user may never open the app.|
|Install date||Uses the date on which the app is first opened.||The stores use the date on which the app is downloaded. The user may not open the app until a later date.|
|Timezone||Installs are reported in the customer's timezone.||Installs are reported in different time zones depending on the install event's geographic location.||Installs are reported in the timezone selected for your account.|
|Jailbroken devices (iOS)/ other stores & APKs (Android)
||Installs are tracked from all app stores and sources.||Installs are tracked only for the Apple App Store.||Installs are tracked only for Google Play.|
|User transfers all apps to a new device||Singular recognizes the new device as a new install.||The App Store does not count a new install because the install occurs under the same iTunes account ID as the old install.||Google Play does not count a new install.|
|One user with multiple devices||Installs are tied to the device. If a user installs the app on multiple devices, the install is counted multiple times.||Installs are tied to the user's iTunes account. If a user installs the app on multiple devices, the install is counted only once.|
|Multiple users with one device||Installs are tied to the device. If multiple users install the app on a single device, the install is counted only once.||Installs are tied to the user's iTunes account. If multiple users install the app on a single device, the installs are counted multiple times.|
Note: For Android apps, one way to look at how many installs are coming from APKs is to identify which app version is currently live in the Play Store and then look at a given month to see how many installs came from an older version of your app.
Choice of Metrics in Google Play Console Reports
While comparing discrepancies with the Google Play store, be sure to use the right metric.
If you use Store Listing Performance > Store listing Acquisitions, you may see up to 50% discrepancies with Singular Attribution.
We recommend using Devices > Device acquisition > New devices. This metric shows the number of devices that installed the app for the first time in the past day. This matches the method used by Singular attribution more closely, so the report matches Singular's at ~90%.
Missing Historical Import
If you have recently migrated to Singular, you performed a historical import where your previously existing device IDs were migrated to Singular.
However, if the import was not performed for any reason, you may see more installs in Singular, because Singular counts installs for every first open of the app, even if the app was already opened previously, while the stores will not re-count the installs.
Discrepancies in Revenue
You may see discrepancies in revenue between Singular and the App Store/Play Store for various reasons:
- If you are using Singular's In-App Purchase (IAP) Validation, some revenue events might have been flagged as invalid or fraudulent. See In-App Purchase Validation FAQ.
- If you haven't added your Google Play Store Key, Singular cannot validate purchases using IAP validation, and this may also cause discrepancies.
- While setting up your app in the Settings > Apps page, you may have switched on the Reject IAP Without Receipt toggle. This causes rejection of any purchases where the receipt was not received.