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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today released a series of updates aimed at app developers, letting them know about upcoming requirements related to iOS 14.5, the newest version of iOS 14 that's set to be released next week.

nba-tracking-prompt-joeblue.jpg

Starting on Monday, April 26, all iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch apps submitted to the App Store must be built on the Xcode 12 and iOS 14 SDK or later, which means that new apps will no longer be able to use older SDK options.

With the launch of iOS 14.5, Apple is requiring all developers to adhere to its App Tracking Transparency rules that will require them to get express permission to track users across apps with the iPhone's advertising identifier.

Apple says that apps must start using the AppTrackingTransparency framework on Monday, April 26, 2021.
With the upcoming public release of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, all apps must use the AppTrackingTransparency framework to request the user's permission to track them or to access their device's advertising identifier. Unless you receive permission from the user to enable tracking, the device's advertising identifier value will be all zeros and you may not track them.

When submitting your app for review, any other form of tracking -- for example, by name or email address -- must be declared in the product page's App Store Privacy Information section and be performed only if permission is granted through AppTrackingTransparency. You'll also need to include a purpose string in the system prompt to explain why you'd like to track the user, per App Store Review Guideline 5.1.2(i). These requirements apply to all apps starting April 26, 2021.
The April 26, 2021 deadline suggests that iOS 14.5 will either be released on that date or the day after. Apple today released the iOS 14.5 release candidate in preparation for the launch, so the update is nearly ready to go.

Apple today also released release candidate versions of iPadOS 14.5, macOS Big Sur 11.3, tvOS 14.5, and watchOS 7.4, all of which we're expecting to see early next week.

Article Link: Apps Must Adhere to App Tracking Transparency Rules and Be Built With iOS 14 SDK Starting April 26
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,782
11,808
Florida, USA
I'm not a developer, so I'm curious about how this works. Does this mean only brand new apps must use the iOS 14 SDK? Or are updates to old apps also required to use it? I can see it being a pain for a developer to move to the new SDK to fix a minor bug, for example.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,990
9,028
I'm a rolling stone.
I'm not a developer, so I'm curious about how this works. Does this mean only brand new apps must use the iOS 14 SDK? Or are updates to old apps also required to use it? I can see it being a pain for a developer to move to the new SDK to fix a minor bug, for example.
New Apps and Updates for existing apps.
 
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SWAON

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2017
381
532
Europe
I'm on 14.4.2 and I already disable all apps of tracking.. After 14.5 I wonder how many apps will comply or will be removed or try to breach it. No fun times for the devs, apparently.
 
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Mountain/\Ash

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2006
8
0
Sydney, Australia
I expect that we are going to see nearly every app start requiring you to have an account (and/or signing in) to use it... which is going to have worse "privacy" end result - you will be tracked at a "verified" account level (which adds more value to the tracked data) and this will be linked to your account across devices.
 
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thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,661
2,034
Pennsylvania
I'm not a developer, so I'm curious about how this works. Does this mean only brand new apps must use the iOS 14 SDK? Or are updates to old apps also required to use it? I can see it being a pain for a developer to move to the new SDK to fix a minor bug, for example.
Updates for old apps will require xcode 12, and it's about a big of a pain in the rear end as you'd expect. My employeer is dependent on a 3rd party SDK that only works with xcode 11. The update that works with xcode 12, removes other features. So we need to re-implement the removed features so that we can update to xcode 12...

It's not 100% Apple's fault, but at the same time Apple certainly isn't like Microsoft in this regard, where you can still submit apps made with Visual Studio 2017 for Windows Phone.
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
I expect that we are going to see nearly every app start requiring you to have an account (and/or signing in) to use it... which is going to have worse "privacy" end result - you will be tracked at a "verified" account level (which adds more value to the tracked data) and this will be linked to your account across devices.
If an app doesn't offer SIWA, I don't use it. Others would be wise to do the same.
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
28,215
35,426
In the middle of several books.
Updates for old apps will require xcode 12, and it's about a big of a pain in the rear end as you'd expect. My employeer is dependent on a 3rd party SDK that only works with xcode 11. The update that works with xcode 12, removes other features. So we need to re-implement the removed features so that we can update to xcode 12...

It's not 100% Apple's fault, but at the same time Apple certainly isn't like Microsoft in this regard, where you can still submit apps made with Visual Studio 2017 for Windows Phone.
Apple has given a warning about 14.5 to developers for a good while now. Developers need to get their proverbial ducks in a row before the deadline.
 
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icanhazmac

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2018
887
2,756
I expect that we are going to see nearly every app start requiring you to have an account (and/or signing in) to use it... which is going to have worse "privacy" end result - you will be tracked at a "verified" account level (which adds more value to the tracked data) and this will be linked to your account across devices.

Pretty simple solution.... don't use the app.

Worst case scenario, make a fake email address and use fake credentials. Not a good solution but better than making it easy for the scumbags.

Ex: I bought a Doom game on Steam, the maker, Bethesda, required an account to play the game, I promptly requested a refund from Steam and listed the need for an account as my reason for wanting the refund. If we all do this companies will change their ways.
 
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Le0M

macrumors regular
Aug 13, 2020
201
405
I'm dying in anticipation for this privacy feature...!
And I hope it'll come too Macs too.
 
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Populus

macrumors 68020
Aug 24, 2012
2,047
2,345
Valencia, Spain.
I don’t understand why Microsoft knows who am I even after deleting all their apps. I updated to iPadOS 14.4.2, and after reinstalling the first Microsoft app, it asked me if I wanted to use an old email account I was using before. I didn’t want Microsoft to link my device to those accounts, so I don’t know why they keep track of which accounts have been used previously on my device. All of this, with different apps (e.g. I installed Microsoft To Do on iPadOS 13.7, I deleted this and other apps, then after the update I downloaded Office and it asked me if I wanted to use that previous email account. Where is Microsoft taking all this info from???)
 
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fidelisoris

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2019
25
18
New Hampshire, USA
It's not 100% Apple's fault, but at the same time Apple certainly isn't like Microsoft in this regard, where you can still submit apps made with Visual Studio 2017 for Windows Phone.

As a .NET engineer, I really wish Microsoft would push for the same level of expectations, but I know they won't. Windows users and software developers will whine about being forced into costly redesigns which will involve old software ceasing to work, and new software coming with a price tag to offset that cost. Simply look at the Microsoft Store to see the adoption rate isn't great.

But that also continues the age-long DLL hell and system slowdown-over-time that has plagued Windows forever. In this scenario, Microsoft can't seem to win. Hell, pouring through "current" MSDN APIs still show text like "This function kept for compatibility with 16-bit Windows applications"

Lazy software engineering is too common and too easy. At least iOS still has a chance to keep itself from spaghetti hell.
 
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fidelisoris

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2019
25
18
New Hampshire, USA
Pretty simple solution.... don't use the app.

Worst case scenario, make a fake email address and use fake credentials. Not a good solution but better than making it easy for the scumbags.

Ex: I bought a Doom game on Steam, the maker, Bethesda, required an account to play the game, I promptly requested a refund from Steam and listed the need for an account as my reason for wanting the refund. If we all do this companies will change their ways.

Or use Login with Apple, which I believe was supposed to be required of any app that demands a login account, and adds a layer of anonymity to your login. (Not sure if that requirement was relaxed or delayed)
 
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fidelisoris

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2019
25
18
New Hampshire, USA
I don’t understand why Microsoft knows who am I even after deleting all their apps. I updated to iPadOS 14.4.2, and after reinstalling the first Microsoft app, it asked me if I wanted to use an old email account I was using before. I didn’t want Microsoft to link my device to those accounts, so I don’t know why they keep track of which accounts have been used previously on my device. All of this, with different apps (e.g. I installed Microsoft To Do on iPadOS 13.7, I deleted this and other apps, then after the update I downloaded Office and it asked me if I wanted to use that previous email account. Where is Microsoft taking all this info from???)
Same Apple ID? If so, that's how.
 
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iStorm

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2012
266
337
cuz none of them have been using the new SDK yet
I'm on iOS 14.4.2 (never used the beta program), and I've gotten this prompt for a few apps already. I can even go to Settings->Privacy->Tracking to see those apps I've opted out of. I know I'm not the only one that experienced this either.

I'm confused why this is a "new" thing coming in 14.5. What's different or changing in 14.5 compared to now? Is it just that all apps will be required to show this prompt in 14.5 (but could show it now if they want to)?
 
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BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,327
4,641
Good. Let’s hope Apple’s leadership has the balls to standup to Facebook and China.

I’m not opimistic.
 
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CubeHacker

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2003
1,203
167
I'm on iOS 14.4.2 (never used the beta program), and I've gotten this prompt for a few apps already. I can even go to Settings->Privacy->Tracking to see those apps I've opted out of. I know I'm not the only one that experienced this either.

I'm confused why this is a "new" thing coming in 14.5. What's different or changing in 14.5 compared to now? Is it just that all apps will be required to show this prompt in 14.5 (but could show it now if they want to)?

Curious about this myself. Waiting to see others chime in.
 
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Sid777

macrumors regular
May 16, 2016
151
83
I'm on iOS 14.4.2 (never used the beta program), and I've gotten this prompt for a few apps already. I can even go to Settings->Privacy->Tracking to see those apps I've opted out of. I know I'm not the only one that experienced this either.

I'm confused why this is a "new" thing coming in 14.5. What's different or changing in 14.5 compared to now? Is it just that all apps will be required to show this prompt in 14.5 (but could show it now if they want to)?
Until 14.4.2 it was optional for devs to implement ATT, from 14.5 it will be mandatory.
 
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