Native Ads Advanced

Native Ads Advanced is currently in a limited beta release. If you are interested in participating, reach out to your account manager to discuss the possibility. This feature will be made available to all publishers at the conclusion of the beta.

Native Ads Advanced is a format in which ad assets are presented to users via UI components that are native to the platform. They're shown using the same classes you already use in your storyboards, and can be formatted to match your app's visual design. When an ad loads, your app receives an ad object that contains its assets, and the app (rather than the SDK) is then responsible for displaying them.

There are two system-defined formats for native ads: app install and content. App install ads are represented by GADNativeAppInstallAd, and content ads are represented by GADNativeContentAd. Instances of the classes contain the assets for the native ad.

This guide shows you how to integrate Native Ads Advanced from AdMob into an iOS app.

Prerequisites

Load an ad

Native Advanced ads are loaded via GADAdLoader objects, which send messages to their delegates according to the GADAdLoaderDelegate protocol.

Initialize a GADAdLoader

The following code demonstrates how to initialize a GADAdLoader for an app install ad:

Swift

adLoader = GADAdLoader(adUnitID: "ca-app-pub-3940256099942544/3986624511",
    rootViewController: self,
    adTypes: [ ... ad type constants ... ],
    options: [ ... ad loader options objects ... ])
adLoader.delegate = self

Objective-C

self.adLoader = [[GADAdLoader alloc]
      initWithAdUnitID:@"ca-app-pub-3940256099942544/3986624511"
    rootViewController:rootViewController
               adTypes:@[ ... ad type constants ... ]
               options:@[ ... ad loader options objects ... ]];
self.adLoader.delegate = self;

The adTypes array parameter allows your app to pass in constants that specify which native formats it wants to request. The array should contain one or both of the following constants:

  • kGADAdLoaderAdTypeNativeAppInstall
  • kGADAdLoaderAdTypeNativeContent

Request the ad

Once your GADAdLoader is initialized, call its loadRequest: method to request an ad:

Swift

adLoader.load(GADRequest())

Objective-C

[self.adLoader loadRequest:[GADRequest request]];

The loadRequest: method in GADAdLoader accepts the same GADRequest objects as banners and interstitials. You can use request objects to add targeting information just as you would with other ad types.

A single GADAdLoader can make multiple requests, but only if they're done one at a time. When reusing a GADAdLoader, make sure you wait for each request to finish before calling loadRequest: again to begin the next. If you need to request multiple ads in parallel, you can always use multiple GADAdLoader objects.

GADAdLoaderDelegate protocols

For each ad format you request, the ad loader delegate needs to implement a corresponding protocol:

GADNativeAppInstallAdLoaderDelegate

This protocol includes a message that's sent to the delegate when an app install ad has loaded:

Swift

public func adLoader(_ adLoader: GADAdLoader,
    didReceive nativeAppInstallAd: GADNativeAppInstallAd)

Objective-C

- (void)adLoader:(GADAdLoader *)adLoader
    didReceiveNativeAppInstallAd:(GADNativeAppInstallAd *)nativeAppInstallAd;

GADNativeContentAdLoaderDelegate

This one defines a message sent when a content ad has loaded:

Swift

public func adLoader(_ adLoader: GADAdLoader,
    didReceive nativeContentAd: GADNativeContentAd)

Objective-C

- (void)adLoader:(GADAdLoader *)adLoader
    didReceiveNativeContentAd:(GADNativeContentAd *)nativeContentAd;

Handle a failed request

The above protocols extend the GADAdLoaderDelegate protocol, which defines a message sent when ads fail to load:

Swift

public func adLoader(_ adLoader: GADAdLoader,
    didFailToReceiveAdWithError error: GADRequestError)

Objective-C

- (void)adLoader:(GADAdLoader *)adLoader
    didFailToReceiveAdWithError:(GADRequestError *)error;

You can use the GADRequestError object to determine the cause of the error.

Ad options

The last parameter included in the creation of the GADAdLoader above is an optional array of objects:

Swift

adLoader =
    GADAdLoader(adUnitID: "ca-app-pub-3940256099942544/3986624511",
    rootViewController: self,
    adTypes: [ ... ad type constants ... ],
    options: [ ... ad loader options objects ... ])

Objective-C

self.adLoader = [[GADAdLoader alloc]
      initWithAdUnitID:@"ca-app-pub-3940256099942544/3986624511"
    rootViewController:rootViewController
               adTypes:@[ ... ad type constants ... ]
               options:@[ ... ad loader options objects ... ]];

This optional array holds one or more instances of a GADAdLoaderOptions subclass, objects that an app can use to indicate its preferences for how native ads should be loaded and behave.

GADNativeAdImageAdLoaderOptions

GADNativeAdImageAdLoaderOptions contains properties relating to images in Native Advanced ads. Apps can control how a GADAdLoader handles Native Ads Advanced image assets by creating a GADNativeAdImageAdLoaderOptions object, setting its properties (disableImageLoading, preferredImageOrientation, and shouldRequestMultipleImages), and passing it in during initialization.

disableImageLoading

Image assets for ads are returned via instances of GADNativeAdImage, which contains image and imageURL properties. If disableImageLoading is set to false (default), the SDK fetches image assets automatically and populates both the image and the imageURL properties for you. If it's set to true, however, the SDK only populates imageURL, allowing you to download the actual images at your discretion.

preferredImageOrientation

Some creatives have multiple available images to match different device orientations. Apps can request images for a particular orientation by setting this property to one of the orientation constants:

  • GADNativeAdImageAdLoaderOptionsOrientationAny
  • GADNativeAdImageAdLoaderOptionsOrientationLandscape
  • GADNativeAdImageAdLoaderOptionsOrientationPortrait

If you use preferredImageOrientation to specify a preference for landscape or portrait image orientation, the SDK places images matching that orientation first in image asset arrays and place non-matching images after them. Since some ads only have one orientation available, publishers should make sure that their apps can handle both landscape and portrait images.

If this method is not called, the default value of GADNativeAdImageAdLoaderOptionsOrientationAny is used.

shouldRequestMultipleImages

Some image assets contain a series of images rather than just one. By setting this value to true, your app indicates that it's prepared to display all the images for any assets that have more than one. By setting it to false (default) your app instructs the SDK to provide just the first image for any assets that contain a series.

If no GADAdLoaderOptions objects are passed in when initializing a GADAdLoader, the default value for each option is used.

GADNativeAdViewOptions

GADNativeAdViewAdOptions objects are used to indicate preferences for how native ad views should represent ads. They have a single property: preferredAdChoicesPosition.

This property indicates in which corner of the ad view the AdChoices attribution icon should appear. The possible values for this property are:

  • GADAdChoicesPositionTopRightCorner
  • GADAdChoicesPositionTopLeftCorner
  • GADAdChoicesPositionBottomRightCorner
  • GADAdChoicesPositionBottomLeftCorner

GADVideoOptions

GADVideoOptions objects are used to indicate how native video assets should be displayed. They offer a single property: startMuted.

This boolean indicates whether video assets should begin playback in a muted state. The default value is true.

Always test with test ads

The sample code above contains an ad unit ID and you're free to request ads with it. It's been specially configured to return test ads rather than production ads for every request, which makes it safe to use.

However, once you register an app in the AdMob UI and create your own ad unit IDs for use in your app, you'll need to explicitly configure your device as a test device when you're developing. This is extremely important. Testing with real ads (even if you never tap on them) is against AdMob policy and can cause your account to be suspended. See Test Ads for information on how you can make sure you always get test ads when developing.

When to request ads

Applications displaying Native Advanced ads are free to request them in advance of when they'll actually be displayed. In many cases, this is the recommended practice. An app displaying a list of items with ads mixed in, for example, can load ads for the whole list, knowing that some are shown only after the user scrolls the view and some may not be displayed at all.

While prefetching ads is a great technique, it's important that publishers not keep old ads around forever without displaying them. Any native ad objects that have been held without display for longer than an hour should be discarded and replaced with new ads from a new request.

Display an ad

When an ad loads, your app receives an ad object via one of the GADAdLoaderDelegate protocol messages. Your app is then responsible for displaying the ad (though it doesn't necessarily have to do so immediately). To make displaying system-defined ad formats easier, the SDK offers some useful resources.

The ad view classes

For each of the system-defined formats, there is a corresponding "ad view" class: GADNativeAppInstallAdView for app install ads, and GADNativeContentAdView for content ads. These ad view classes are UIViews that publishers should use to display ads of the corresponding format. A single GADNativeAppInstallAdView, for example, can display a single instance of a GADNativeAppInstallAd. Each of the UIViews used to display that ad's assets should be children of that GADNativeAppInstallAdView object.

If you were displaying an app install ad in a UITableView, for example, the view hierarchy for one of the cells might look like this:

The ad view classes also provide IBOutlets used to register the view used for each individual asset, and a method to register the GADNativeAd object itself. Registering the views in this way allows the SDK to automatically handle tasks such as:

  • Recording clicks.
  • Recording impressions (when the first pixel is visible on the screen).
  • Displaying the AdChoices overlay.

The AdChoices overlay

An AdChoices overlay is added to each ad view by the SDK. Leave space in your preferred corner of your native ad view for the automatically inserted AdChoices logo. Also, it's important that the AdChoices overlay be easily seen, so choose background colors and images appropriately. For more information on the overlay's appearance and function, see Guidelines for programmatic native ads using native styles.

Code example

Let's take a look at how to display Native Advanced ads using views loaded dynamically from xib files. This can be a very useful approach when using GADAdLoaders configured to request multiple formats.

Lay out UIViews in the xib file

The first step is to lay out the UIViews for displaying native ad assets. You can do this in the Interface Builder as you would when creating any other xib file. Here's an example layout for an app install ad:

And here's an example layout for a content ad:

Note the Custom Class value at the top right of both of the images. It's set to GADNativeAppInstallAdView and GADNativeContentAdView. These are the ad view classes that are used to display a GADNativeAppInstallAd and a GADNativeContentAd. For system-defined formats, use the ad view class that matches the ad format you intend the layout to show.

Once the views are in place and you've assigned the correct ad view class to the layout, link the ad view's asset outlets to the UIViews you've created. Here's how you might link the ad view's asset outlets to the UIViews created for an app install ad:

And here's how you might link the ad view's asset outlets to the UIViews created for a content ad:

In the outlet panel, the outlets in GADNativeAppInstallAdView and GADNativeContentAdView have been linked to the UIViews laid out in the Interface Builder. This lets the SDK know which UIView displays which asset. It's also important to remember that these outlets represent the views that are clickable in the ad.

Display the ad

Once the layout is complete and the outlets are linked, the last step is to add code to your app that displays an ad once it has loaded. Here's a method to display an app install ad in the view defined above:

Swift

// Mark: - GADNativeAppInstallAdLoaderDelegate

func adLoader(_ adLoader: GADAdLoader,
    didReceive nativeAppInstallAd: GADNativeAppInstallAd) {
  // Create and place the ad in the view hierarchy.
  let appInstallAdView = Bundle.main.loadNibNamed("NativeAppInstallAdView", owner: nil,
      options: nil)?.first as! GADNativeAppInstallAdView
  // TODO: Make sure to add the GADNativeAppInstallAdView to the view hierarchy.

  // Associate the app install ad view with the app install ad object. This is required to make
  // the ad clickable.
  appInstallAdView.nativeAppInstallAd = nativeAppInstallAd

  // Populate the app install ad view with the app install ad assets.
  // Some assets are guaranteed to be present in every app install ad.
  (appInstallAdView.headlineView as! UILabel).text = nativeAppInstallAd.headline
  (appInstallAdView.iconView as! UIImageView).image = nativeAppInstallAd.icon?.image
  (appInstallAdView.bodyView as! UILabel).text = nativeAppInstallAd.body
  (appInstallAdView.imageView as! UIImageView).image =
      (nativeAppInstallAd.images?.first as! GADNativeAdImage).image
  (appInstallAdView.callToActionView as! UIButton).setTitle(
      nativeAppInstallAd.callToAction, for: UIControlState.normal)

  // Other assets are not, however, and should be checked first.
  let starRatingView = appInstallAdView.starRatingView
  if let starRating = nativeAppInstallAd.starRating {
    (starRatingView as! UIImageView).image = imageOfStarsFromStarRating(starRating)
    starRatingView?.isHidden = false
  } else {
    starRatingView?.isHidden = true
  }

  let storeView = appInstallAdView.storeView
  if let store = nativeAppInstallAd.store {
    (storeView as! UILabel).text = store
    storeView?.isHidden = false
  } else {
    storeView?.isHidden = true
  }

  let priceView = appInstallAdView.priceView
  if let price = nativeAppInstallAd.price {
    (priceView as! UILabel).text = price
    priceView?.isHidden = false
  } else {
    priceView?.isHidden = true
  }

  // In order for the SDK to process touch events properly, user interaction should be disabled on
  // all views associated with the GADNativeAppInstallAdView. Since UIButton has
  // userInteractionEnabled set to true by default, views of this type must explicitly set
  // userInteractionEnabled to false.
  (appInstallAdView.callToActionView as! UIButton).isUserInteractionEnabled = false
}

Objective-C

#pragma mark GADNativeAppInstallAdLoaderDelegate implementation

- (void)adLoader:(GADAdLoader *)adLoader
    didReceiveNativeAppInstallAd:(GADNativeAppInstallAd *)nativeAppInstallAd {
  // Create and place ad in view hierarchy.
  GADNativeAppInstallAdView *appInstallAdView =
      [[[NSBundle mainBundle] loadNibNamed:@"NativeAppInstallAdView"
                                     owner:nil
                                   options:nil] firstObject];
  // TODO: Make sure to add the GADNativeAppInstallAdView to the view hierarchy.

  // Associate the app install ad view with the app install ad object. This is required to make the
  // ad clickable.
  appInstallAdView.nativeAppInstallAd = nativeAppInstallAd;

  // Populate the app install ad view with the app install ad assets.
  // Some assets are guaranteed to be present in every app install ad.
  ((UILabel *)appInstallAdView.headlineView).text = nativeAppInstallAd.headline;
  ((UIImageView *)appInstallAdView.iconView).image = nativeAppInstallAd.icon.image;
  ((UILabel *)appInstallAdView.bodyView).text = nativeAppInstallAd.body;
  ((UIImageView *)appInstallAdView.imageView).image =
      ((GADNativeAdImage *)[nativeAppInstallAd.images firstObject]).image;
  [((UIButton *)appInstallAdView.callToActionView)setTitle:nativeAppInstallAd.callToAction
                                                  forState:UIControlStateNormal];

  // Other assets are not, however, and should be checked first.
  if (nativeAppInstallAd.starRating) {
    ((UIImageView *)appInstallAdView.starRatingView).image =
        [self imageForStars:nativeAppInstallAd.starRating];
    appInstallAdView.starRatingView.hidden = NO;
  } else {
    appInstallAdView.starRatingView.hidden = YES;
  }

  if (nativeAppInstallAd.store) {
    ((UILabel *)appInstallAdView.storeView).text = nativeAppInstallAd.store;
    appInstallAdView.storeView.hidden = NO;
  } else {
    appInstallAdView.storeView.hidden = YES;
  }

  if (nativeAppInstallAd.price) {
    ((UILabel *)appInstallAdView.priceView).text = nativeAppInstallAd.price;
    appInstallAdView.priceView.hidden = NO;
  } else {
    appInstallAdView.priceView.hidden = YES;
  }

  // In order for the SDK to process touch events properly, user interaction should be disabled on
  // all views associated with the GADNativeAppInstallAdView. Since UIButton has
  // userInteractionEnabled set to YES by default, views of this type must explicitly set
  // userInteractionEnabled to NO.
  appInstallAdView.callToActionView.userInteractionEnabled = NO;
}

And here's a method to display a content ad in the view defined above:

Swift

// Mark: - GADNativeContentAdLoaderDelegate

func adLoader(_ adLoader: GADAdLoader,
    didReceive nativeContentAd: GADNativeContentAd) {
  // Create and place the ad in the view hierarchy.
  let contentAdView = Bundle.main.loadNibNamed(
      "NativeContentAdView", owner: nil, options: nil)?.first as! GADNativeContentAdView
  // TODO: Make sure to add the GADNativeContentAdView to the view hierarchy.

  // Associate the content ad view with the content ad object. This is required to make the ad
  // clickable.
  contentAdView.nativeContentAd = nativeContentAd

  // Populate the content ad view with the content ad assets.
  // Some assets are guaranteed to be present in every content ad.
  (contentAdView.headlineView as! UILabel).text = nativeContentAd.headline
  (contentAdView.bodyView as! UILabel).text = nativeContentAd.body
  (contentAdView.imageView as! UIImageView).image =
      (nativeContentAd.images?.first as! GADNativeAdImage).image
  (contentAdView.advertiserView as! UILabel).text = nativeContentAd.advertiser
  (contentAdView.callToActionView as! UIButton).setTitle(
      nativeContentAd.callToAction, for: UIControlState.normal)

  // Other assets are not, however, and should be checked first.
  let logoView = contentAdView.logoView
  if let logoImage = nativeContentAd.logo?.image {
    (logoView as! UIImageView).image = logoImage
    logoView?.isHidden = false
  } else {
    logoView?.isHidden = true
  }

  // In order for the SDK to process touch events properly, user interaction should be disabled on
  // all views associated with the GADNativeContentAdView. Since UIButton has userInteractionEnabled
  // set to true by default, views of this type must explicitly set userInteractionEnabled to false.
  (contentAdView.callToActionView as! UIButton).isUserInteractionEnabled = false
}

Objective-C

#pragma mark GADNativeContentAdLoaderDelegate implementation

- (void)adLoader:(GADAdLoader *)adLoader
    didReceiveNativeContentAd:(GADNativeContentAd *)nativeContentAd {
  // Create and place ad in view hierarchy.
  GADNativeContentAdView *contentAdView =
      [[[NSBundle mainBundle] loadNibNamed:@"NativeContentAdView"
                                     owner:nil
                                   options:nil] firstObject];
  // TODO: Make sure to add the GADNativeContentAdView to the view hierarchy.

  // Associate the content ad view with the content ad object. This is required to make the ad
  // clickable.
  contentAdView.nativeContentAd = nativeContentAd;

  // Populate the content ad view with the content ad assets.
  // Some assets are guaranteed to be present in every content ad.
  ((UILabel *)contentAdView.headlineView).text = nativeContentAd.headline;
  ((UILabel *)contentAdView.bodyView).text = nativeContentAd.body;
  ((UIImageView *)contentAdView.imageView).image =
      ((GADNativeAdImage *)[nativeContentAd.images firstObject]).image;
  ((UILabel *)contentAdView.advertiserView).text = nativeContentAd.advertiser;
  [((UIButton *)contentAdView.callToActionView)setTitle:nativeContentAd.callToAction
                                               forState:UIControlStateNormal];

  // Other assets are not, however, and should be checked first.
  if (nativeContentAd.logo && nativeContentAd.logo.image) {
    ((UIImageView *)contentAdView.logoView).image = nativeContentAd.logo.image;
    contentAdView.logoView.hidden = NO;
  } else {
    contentAdView.logoView.hidden = YES;
  }

  // In order for the SDK to process touch events properly, user interaction should be disabled on
  // all views associated with the GADNativeContentAdView. Since UIButton has userInteractionEnabled
  // set to YES by default, views of this type must explicitly set userInteractionEnabled to NO.
  contentAdView.callToActionView.userInteractionEnabled = NO;
}

As you can see, the code examples above disable user interaction for the UIButton that displays the call to action. If you use UIButtons to display native ad assets, you also need to disable their user interaction so that the Google Mobile Ads SDK can properly receive and process UI events. Because of this extra step, it's frequently best to avoid UIButtons entirely and use UILabel and UIImageView instead.

Native video

In addition to images, text, and numbers, some native ads contain video assets. Not every ad will have one and apps are not required to display videos when they're included with an ad.

GADMediaView

Video assets are displayed to users via GADMediaView. This is a UIView that can be defined in a nib file or constructed dynamically. It should be placed within the view hierarchy of a GADNativeAdView, as with any other asset view.

Unlike other asset views, however, apps do not need to manually populate a GADMediaView with its asset. The SDK handles this automatically as follows:

  • If a video asset is available, it is buffered and starts playing inside the GADMediaView.
  • If the ad does not contain a video asset, the first image asset is downloaded and placed inside the GADMediaView instead.

While apps that don't intend to display video assets aren't required to include a GADMediaView in their layouts, it's recommended that they do.

GADVideoController

The GADVideoController class is used to retrieve information about video assets. GADNativeAppInstallAd and GADNativeContentAd both offer a videoController property that exposes the GADVideoController for each ad:

Swift

let vc1 = myAppInstallAd.videoController
let vc2 = myContentAd.videoController

Objective-C

GADVideoController *vc1 = myAppInstallAd.videoController
GADVideoController *vc2 = myContentAd.videoController

This property is never nil, even when the ad doesn't contain a video asset.

GADVideoController offers the following methods for querying video state:

  • hasVideoContent - True if the ad includes a video asset, false otherwise.
  • aspectRatio - The aspect ratio of the video (width/height) or zero (if no video asset is present).

Apps can also set a GADViewControllerDelegate for the GADViewController to be notified of events in the lifecycle of a video asset. GADViewControllerDelegate offers a single optional message, videoControllerDidEndVideoPlayback, which is sent when a video completes playback.

Here's an example of GADViewControllerDelegate in action:

Swift

class ViewController: UIViewController, GADNativeAppInstallAdLoaderDelegate,
    GADVideoControllerDelegate

  func adLoader(_ adLoader: GADAdLoader, didReceive nativeAppInstallAd:
                GADNativeAppInstallAd) {
    ...
    nativeAppInstallAd.videController.delegate = self
    ...
  }

  ...
  func videoControllerDidEndVideoPlayback(_ videoController: Any!) {
    // Here apps can take action knowing video playback is finished.
    // This is handy for things like unmuting audio, and so on.
  }
}

Objective-C

@interface ViewController () 

- (void)adLoader:(GADAdLoader *)adLoader
    didReceiveNativeAppInstallAd:(GADNativeAppInstallAd) *)nativeAppInstallAd {
  ...
  nativeAppInstallAd.videoController.delegate = self;
  ...
}

...

- (void)videoControllerDidEndVideoPlayback:(GADVideoController *)videoController {
  // Here apps can take action knowing video playback is finished.
  // This is handy for things like unmuting audio, and so on.
}

@end

Additional resources

Samples

Codelab

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