While it waits to find out whether its $750 million acquisition by Google will be cleared by regulators, AdMob isn't standing still. The mobile ad network Tuesday released new and updated tools for developers, advertisers and publishers across the iPhone, Android and other platforms.
Specifically, AdMob rolled out updated software development kits (SDKs) for the iPhone and Android phones. Enhancements to the former include the ability for developers to change the refresh rate and formatting of ads without resubmitting an app for approval.
The upgraded Android SDK, meanwhile, extends rich media ads to the Google operating system, including expandable units and multi-panel banner ads. A new SDK for Flash Lite (the mobile version of Flash), allows developers to run cost-per-click text ads on mobile sites or apps.
AdMob also introduced a new "adaptive" mobile ad unit that allows banners to remain the same size as users navigate around a site not optimized for the mobile Web. The format essentially substitutes a mobile-tailored ad for a PC-based ad that nearly disappears on a mobile screen.
"This new AdMob unit is intended to address that problem. Most publishers probably are just unaware of the lost opportunity when users access their sites (or Flash ads) through a mobile browser and see those tiny PC ads," noted Greg Sterling, a senior analyst at Opus Research in a blog post on the new AdMob products.
On the publisher side, new offerings include a new customizable dashboard, a reporting API so developers can build their own tools and dashboards, and controls that let developers dynamically control the display and format of the ads in their applications.
The company also released the results of a recent survey indicating that cross-platform development is taking off in 2010. Nearly one-third (31%) of developers in the AdMob network are working across multiple mobile platforms today, and almost half (47 percent) said they plan to develop more than one platform in the next six months, according to the study.
Furthermore, more than 70% of iPhone developers plan to develop for Android over the next six months, and almost half of Android developers (48%) plan to do so for the iPhone. Nearly half (49%) have begun to develop in mobile only within the last year, and 58% are building mobile sites.
In a blog post Tuesday, AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui emphasized that the mobile world is becoming more splintered as handset makers, carriers and others roll out their own platforms to compete with Apple and Google. "Each large player is trying to attract developers to their platforms, and in many ways the developer community at large is in a more pivotal position than it ever has been," he wrote.
AdMob aims to benefit by monetizing across mobile operating systems and devices as widely as possible. As of January, the iPhone and Android-based devices accounted for 86% of its smartphone ad requests, with BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile and other mobile platforms rounding out the balance. Overall, AdMob says it serves ads across more than 15,000 mobile sites and apps.