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Independent of the App Store or Google Play, is there a way to track where new downloads or paying customers came from? For example, if an app advertises my app in theirs - is there a way for me to find out which users actually downloaded it? And then pay that app owner a commission?

On the web this is done via a tracking URL which places a cookie on a users machine. If they signup within a designated timeframe, they are 'tracked to' whomever had their affiliate code in the URL they clicked and that person would receive commissions.

How could this be done with native mobile apps, while not violating Apple/Google rules?

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I have no actual knowledge, but I'm pretty sure that your only option is to do it per-click (by providing a tracking URL for the ad in the other app) rather than per-download. –  Bobson Mar 19 '13 at 14:10
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I don't know anything about this, but it looks promising: postaffiliatepro.com/… –  Robert Harvey Mar 19 '13 at 15:47
    
Thanks both. I did some more googling with the additional information from you two and I think I have a rough idea of how I might be able to do it. Basically I would need each side to save the Device ID and then to match them up along with other data (timestamps etc) - this would provide a (somewhat crude) way to verify that appA sent appB userN and for appB to pay a commission to appA. Any holes in that? –  wilfra Mar 19 '13 at 16:07
    
Considering neither of us know anything... :) –  Robert Harvey Mar 19 '13 at 16:15
    
Google analytics SDK for iOS might be of some help. developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/ios. –  user95276 Jun 29 '13 at 20:15

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