Importing the Mobile Ads SDK with Firebase

The transformation of Firebase into a unified mobile platform brought with it new Gradle artifacts and CocoaPods that mobile developers can use to import the Mobile Ads SDK. With these additions, there are now several alternatives for each platform. Thanks to your feedback, we wanted to share a little more information about which ones we recommend and what libraries they include, so here’s a quick run-down.

Android & Gradle

This is the best way to get the Mobile Ads SDK into your project. With the firebase-ads artifact, you get everything you need to load and display ads from AdMob, DFP, or AdX, plus Firebase Analytics built in. You’ll also be ready to add the client components for any other Firebase services you want to use, like firebase-crash or firebase-config. Unless you have a specific need to use the SDK without Firebase, this is your jam.

If you’d like to see a screencast of how to get up and running with AdMob using firebase-ads, check out this episode of the Firecasts series:


For those not using Firebase, this Gradle artifact contains the Mobile Ads SDK on its own. You’ll get the client code for AdMob, DFP, and AdX, but no Firebase services.


This is the full Google Play services client, also without Firebase. This gives you not only the Mobile Ads SDK, but all the other Google Play services SDKs as well: Maps, Drive, Fit, and so on. Since you’re probably not using every API that Play services offers, it’s better to import them individually. If you need mobile ads and Play games, for example, just include play-services-ads and play-services-games.


The SDK team developed this new Gradle artifact for a very specific use-case. It contains a slimmed-down version of the Mobile Ads SDK designed to work only on devices that have Google Play services installed. If reducing app size is extremely important for you, this can help lessen the impact of the Mobile Ads SDK, but it won’t be able to load and display ads on devices that don’t have Play services. Make sure you’re intimately familiar with your app’s install base before considering this tradeoff, and see the Lite SDK guide for more details.

iOS & CocoaPods

This is the Firebase CocoaPod for AdMob and the Mobile Ads SDK. While it’s labelled as “AdMob,” this pod gives you the iOS client code for DFP and AdX as well. You’ll get everything you need to load and display ads from all three sources, plus Firebase Analytics built in. This CocoaPod is also easy to combine with any other Firebase pods your app needs, like Firebase/Crash and Firebase/Database. For most developers, this is the one you want.

The Firecasts series has an episode that shows how to import AdMob and Firebase into an app using Firebase/AdMob, so check that out for a detailed screencast:


For developers not yet using Firebase, this pod contains just Mobile Ads SDK. You get everything necessary to show ads from AdMob, DFP, and AdX, but no Firebase services.


This is an older, alternate CocoaPod for the Mobile Ads SDK that should no longer be used. Google-Mobile-Ads-SDK is the better choice if you aren’t using Firebase.

More Info

If you’ve got questions about Firebase and the best ways to get started, the Firebase support page also has a bunch of options that can help. If you’ve got technical questions about the Mobile Ads SDK itself, you’re welcome to stop by the SDK support forum.