Plan your mobile implementation

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Planning the implementation of the Pendo mobile SDK helps your team accurately capture all of the visitor and account metadata you need to get an understanding of your users in your product.

Visit the Pendo Academy for a video on planning your mobile implementation.

Before you get started

To implement the Pendo SDK, you need a Pendo subscription, a plan for sending data to Pendo, and an engineering resource to install the Pendo mobile SDK.

We highly recommend that you communicate with your developers as early as possible to coordinate your needs so that you have a quick and successful implementation. We have developer documentation that provides the details that engineers need to successfully install the Pendo SDK on your mobile application:

We recommend that you use the Pendo Installation Workbook to share the information you need to complete the installation with your team members.

How it works

The Pendo SDK (software development kit) for mobile applications provides developers with tools to instrument their apps and collect data on user interactions, feature usage, and other relevant metrics. This data can then be analyzed within the Pendo platform to gain insights into user behavior and make data-driven decisions to improve the mobile app's user experience. 

Mobile developers add the SDK to your app, initialize Pendo when your app loads, and identify the visitor when you're ready to collect data and display guides.

The Pendo mobile SDK provides codeless, retroactive analytics across all of your app versions, as well as lightbox (in-app message), tooltips, and multi-step walkthrough guides built with Pendo's Visual Design Studio.

The integration takes three lines of code.

  • Mobile Pendo SDKs start collecting analytics after a successful install. This allows Pendo to automatically track any user action in your app, providing insights without prior app tagging (retroactive analytics).
  • Analytics and Guides are agnostic to app versions, allowing you to make updates without needing to change the way Pendo tracks user interactions on mobile apps.
  • Utilize multi-app paths and funnels to track users throughout their product journey on mobile and web.

With Pendo for Mobile, you can create a connected digital experience across your mobile and web product portfolio. You can:

  • Analyze how your users interact with your solution in all settings
  • Understand how users move across platforms
  • Harness insights throughout the product journey
  • Tailor in-app guidance based on the user’s device

Prepare for implementation

To prepare for installation and configuration:

1. Review security and privacy policies

Detailed overviews of our policies and practices are available in the following articles. You can also contact a Pendo representative to discuss your security requirements.

2. Review supported mobile frameworks

A mobile framework is a set of tools and pre-made code that engineers use to build mobile apps more efficiently. A framework provides a fundamental structure to support the development of applications for a specific environment. Before starting the installation process, you must review the frameworks Pendo currently supports for codeless analytics and frameworks that support Track Events only.

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For more information, see Supported mobile frameworks and OS versions.

3. Choose IDs and metadata

Choose the IDs and metadata that you would like to be associated with the visitors and accounts in your application. Talk to your developers about the values that are available. You should have a Visitor ID and Account ID naming convention and a list of other metadata you want to capture.

You can add additional metadata after the installation but you should avoid changing the Visitor and Account ID setup in the initial implementation.

Important: If you already have the web application installed, it's important for visitors and accounts to have the same Visitor ID and Account ID across both mobile and web apps.

If you're uncomfortable sharing personally identifiable information (PII), such as email and account name, Pendo only needs a unique identifier for each user in your application to work effectively. This can be a randomly generated value that is anonymous to Pendo. For more information about how we use PII, see Data collection and compliance.

3. Send instructions to your developers

Your developers must install the Pendo SDK. The Pendo Mobile SDK is added to your app code and initialized when you're ready to identify the visitor. Before installation, consider the following requirements for the installation:

  • App Key. The code used within the mobile SDK during installation to authenticate and collect data from your application. The API key identifies data sent to Pendo to be associated with the specific application within the parent subscription. The app key is provided for each application to channel the data from the app to Pendo and launch guides.
  • Scheme ID. The unique identifier used within the Mobile SDK during installation to connect the Visual Design Studio with your mobile application. This enables pairing the application when tagging pages/features and previewing guides.
  • Anonymous Visitors. If you want to capture users before they log into your application and are unidentified, you will want to adjust where the startSession call is made.

4. Plan the installation of any hybrid apps

Hybrid apps can contain both mobile and web components (e.g. WebViews) to load web pages inside an app.

Pendo supports the following types of hybrid apps:

  • Single application using web technologies with a web app key.
  • Mobile application including webview components, using both a mobile app key and web app key.
  • Multi-mobile-framework application using a mobile app key.

Important: Despite the subscription being unified over the web and mobile applications, it is important to ensure Visitor IDs, Account IDs, and Metadata keys and values are the same across installations to avoid incoherent user journeys.

For more information, see Use Pendo with hybrid apps.

6. Plan your Exclude and Include list

Mobile doesn't have the concept of environments. It’s recommended to append your Visitor or Account IDs with lower environment data (ie vistor123-staging, visitor123-development, etc). You can append your lower environment data with something like staging dev, which can help you to collect data, create a quick segment to test with and then easily exclude anybody who's in that lower environment data. This should not be done in production if it doesn’t match what you are passing in other applications, like a web product.

For more information, see Exclude list.

Next steps after implementation

After your developers have installed and configured Pendo, you should:

1. Verify the installation

Together with the developer that installed the SDK, you must verify the installation.

To do this:

  1. In Pendo, go to Settings > Subscription settings in the left-side menu.
  2. In the Applications tab, select your app.
  3. In the Install Settings tab, select Start Verification.

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  4. After you receive all four green check marks, tag one page by launching the designer and selecting the mobile app you are testing to validate that you can tag Features and are seeing the expected number of clicks/views on the Page and Features.

2. Invite users

After you've verified that Pendo is recording your data, you can start to invite other internal users to help set up your subscription. Internal users can have different roles with their own sets of permissions. This allows you to give internal users the access they need whilst also protecting your subscription settings.

To add users to your subscription:

  1. In Pendo, go to Settings > Users in the left-side menu. 
  2. Select + Add User in the top-right of the page.
  3. Enter the user's details and choose their permissions. For more information, see the Roles and Permissions Overview.
  4. Select Add User in the bottom-right corner of the page.

The following people can benefit from having access to Pendo:

  • Product can use Pendo to get the insights they need to deliver products that users love.
  • Design can use Pendo to help design guide templates and themes for content creators.
  • Engineers can use Pendo to help tag Features and Pages.
  • Customer Success or Support can use Pendo analytics to find patterns in user behavior.
  • Professional Services can use Pendo to build onboarding Guides.
  • Cross-functional Content Creators can use Pendo to build guides for all of their internal or external in-app engagement campaigns.

3. Get started

After Pendo is installed, you have access to Pendo's data visualization, engagement, and adoption tools. We recommend starting in each of the following areas to build a foundation for your Pendo subscription that will give you room to grow as you use Pendo to learn about your users, drive adoption, and build the products they love.

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