(April 2022) Google Play Services Updates


In 2021, Google announced an upcoming update to the Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) feature. If users choose to "Opt out of ad personalization" on their Google device, the Google Advertising ID will be zeroed out (similar to the behavior of IDFA before iOS 14).

This Google Play Services update is taking effect for all Android devices with Google Play, starting April 1st, 2022.

In preparation for these changes, Google has introduced a new identifier, the App Set ID (ASID), that can be used by advertisers for measurement purposes when the advertising ID is not available. The App Set ID is shared by all apps on the same device published by the same app developer. Additionally starting Android 13, advertisers are required to declare permissions in the AndroidManifest file to collect the Google Advertising ID.


What is the impact of the new changes on advertisers' data?

According to our data, only 2% of Android users turn on Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) (see our blog post). Combined with the very gradual rollout of the updates through April 1st, 2022, this means that the drop in the number of installs that can be tracked using the Google Advertising ID will be minimal and gradual.

However, we recommend adopting the App Set ID, the new alternative identifier, as soon as possible. Singular's latest SDK and the S2S API both support the App Set ID.

What is the impact on attribution for devices with Limited Ad Tracking turned on?

There is no impact: the Google Play Referrer mechanism, which is the preferred attribution method for Android devices, is not changed and will continue to be used to attribute devices when possible, whether Limited Ad Tracking is on or off.

If a device has LAT turned on and the Google Play Referrer can't be used (for example, in view-through campaigns), Singular will continue to use probabilistic attribution instead. 

Does Singular use the App Set ID for attribution?

No, Singular cannot use the App Set ID for attribution, as it is not allowed by Google Play Policy.  For installs where the Google Advertising ID is not available, Singular will continue to rely on the Google Play Install Referrer. The App Set ID will be used to measure unique installs and to facilitate integrations with data partners.

What is Singular doing to prepare for the changes?

Singular has released an updated Android SDK (12.0.0) that supports the new App Set ID and updated the S2S API accordingly.

What can advertisers do to prepare?

For advertisers who have implemented the Singular SDK for Android: make sure you are using the latest Android SDK.

For advertisers who use Singular's S2S integration: we recommend updating your integration to pass the App Set ID (see instructions).

In addition, for advertisers ingesting user-level data through Singular Data Destinations (ETL), after updating your SDK/S2S integration, make sure you handle the App Set ID in your data model.

If your app is targeting Android 13 or above, be sure to update your app’s AndroidManifest to allow any SDKs/app to continue collecting the Advertising ID. Our Android SDK documentation and S2S documentation has been updated to reflect this new Google requirement as well:

<uses-permission android:name="com.google.android.gms.permission.AD_ID" />

Note: As of March 2022, Google delayed the AndroidManifest requirements from Android 12 to 13, to allow app developers more time to make changes.