Sign in with Apple: What It Is and How It Works

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple in iOS 13 introduced a new Sign in with Apple feature, which is designed to let you create accounts for apps and websites using your Apple ID, so you don't have to give away your personal information.

Sign in with Apple is an alternative to the existing sign in with Google and Facebook options that apps and websites often offer. Apple's version protects your privacy and even lets you mask your email address.

How Sign in with Apple Works

In an app that supports Sign in with Apple, there's a "Continue with Apple" option that you'll see when asked to create an account.


Tapping "Continue with Apple" explains that the feature is designed to let you sign into websites with the Apple ID that you already have. Developers don't see your Apple ID and are only provided with your name and your email address, though there is also an option to hide your email address if desired.

Apps and websites get no personally identifiable information from you. When you use the feature, apps receive a unique identifier that is distinct for each developer, so there's no cross-platform or cross-app tracking available.

With Sign in with Apple, developers and websites have no way of gathering information about you beyond the name that you provide and your email address, unless it's hidden.

Hiding Your Email Address

When using Sign in with Apple, you can provide developers and websites with your email address, or you can use a hidden email address assigned by Apple that will then forward incoming correspondence to your real email address.

If you choose to use your real email address, you can use any email associated with your Apple ID.


If you choose to hide your email address, Apple generates a unique email address that developers and websites can communicate with. Apple deletes messages after delivery or after a short while if undeliverable.

Sign in with Apple Developer Requirements

Apple is requiring all apps that offer sign in with Google, sign in with Facebook, or sign in with Twitter options to also offer Sign in with Apple, but there is an April 2020 deadline, so the feature may not be available in apps right away. Eventually all apps that allow you to sign in with other accounts from Google, Twitter, and Facebook will also be required to offer Sign in with Apple.

Apps are not required to use Sign in with Apple as an option if signing in with a username and password is available, though developers certainly can if they choose to.

Websites aren't required to use Sign in with Apple, but the option is available, and apps that also have websites do have Sign in with Apple implemented.

Where Sign in with Apple Works

Sign in with Apple works on the web and in iOS and Android apps. So if you have a login for an app that also has a website, you can use Sign in with Apple as a log in option in both places.


Using Sign in with Apple on the Web

When you use Sign in with Apple on the web, websites will request your Apple ID to log in, but the entire authentication process is handled by a separate window and done through Apple so the website never sees your Apple ID.


How to Change Your Forwarding Email

If you're signing into an app, Apple uses your default Apple ID email address, but if you're signing into a website, you can change your associated email address for forwarding purposes.


To do so, open up the Settings app, choose your Apple account (your picture) and then select Name, Phone Numbers, and Email.

Biometric Authentication

Apple protects your Sign in with Apple logins with Touch ID, Face ID, and passcode options so no one can sign in to your accounts but you. Biometric options are used where available, such as on iPhones, iPads, and Macs, with passwords used on Macs that don't have biometric authentication options.

Two-Factor Authentication

On the web, all of your Sign in with Apple logins are protected by two-factor authentication, so you will need to confirm with a verified device just like you would when signing into iCloud on a new device. Two-factor authentication is required to use Sign in with Apple.


Managing Your Sign in with Apple Data

Apple maintains an on-device list of all of the apps and websites where you've used Sign in with Apple. Open up the Settings app, tap on your profile, choose Password & Security, and then tap on the "Apps Using Your Apple ID" option.


If you disable Sign in with Apple, the information that was shared with the developer to set up Sign in with Apple will continue to be available to the developer and handled according to the developer's privacy policy.


Privacy

Apple doesn't track what apps you're using or where you have accounts, but Apple says that information about your Apple ID and your device use patterns could be used to help Apple prevent fraud. Developers do not see any data from you that you don't provide.

This is the info Wordpress got about me when signing up for an account with Sign in with Apple. No real info included.​

The first time that you sign into an app or website, Apple shares a "simple numerical score" with the developer to prove that you're a real person. The score is calculated from recent Apple account activity and "abstracted information about your device and usage patterns."

Apple says that it knows if you've enabled Sign in with Apple for an app or a website, but it does not track the apps that you sign in to or when. Apple does not see or retain a history of which apps or websites you sign into or when you use Sign in with Apple, nor do developers receive this information.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about Sign in with Apple, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Article Link: Sign in with Apple: What It Is and How It Works
 
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Duane Martin

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2004
311
549
Calgary, Alberta
"In an app that supports Sign in with Apple" Is the operative here.

Why would apps support a feature that hides your email ?
The app would not KNOW they are not receiving your real email address and using the address provided they would still be able to communicate with you. They just wouldn't be able to sell your real email address to a 3rd party. So if that was their plan, I could imagine why they wouldn't want "Sign in with Apple", but I believe it is an equally valid argument that is why you don't want to give these companies your real email address.
 

So@So@So

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2019
1
3
I think Sign in with Apple is a step in the wrong direction. While I consider Apple to be a good company I don't:

1. want any company to know what services I am using
2. want to place my login credentials in an internet service
3. make a single point (this Apple service) a so prominent target to be attacked

Since there are already (better) alternatives like FIDO2 (see Heise Security) that replace passwords with a pair of public/private encryption keys - even with the possibility to store the private key in a password manager app, I don't like this service at all.
Maybe it was driven by the intend to bind customers to the platform, what is understandable but not so good in the end.
 

wolfshades

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2007
404
504
Toronto, Ontario Canada
"In an app that supports Sign in with Apple" Is the operative here.

Why would apps support a feature that hides your email ?
The article noted that when you choose to hide your email, Apple will supply a fake one, which when used will forward emails to your real email address. So as far as that other system is concerned, you provided your email.
 
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RollTide1017

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2009
239
88
Montgomery, AL
I'm Lost.....What if I already have a Wordpress account? How can I move to Sign with Apple.
If you already have a Wordpress account then they already have your info so, just sign in like you always have.

Otherwise, you'll have to create a new account to use Sign In With Apple.

I did try it with my current Wordpress account (since it already uses the same email as my Apple ID), a message appears saying "a wordpress account already exists using this email, please sign in with your wordpress password." (or something similar, I forget exactly) (This was in the iOS app, not the web.)
 

Peace

macrumors Core
Apr 1, 2005
19,467
3,832
Space--The ONLY Frontier
The article noted that when you choose to hide your email, Apple will supply a fake one, which when used will forward emails to your real email address. So as far as that other system is concerned, you provided your email.
Did you miss the part that says "In an app that supports Sign in with Apple" ?
 

Aston441

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,287
1,783
I suspect this has come about because a few higher up Apple execs are sick of being tracked too
 

Heineken

Suspended
Jan 27, 2018
1,167
2,137
I think Sign in with Apple is a step in the wrong direction. While I consider Apple to be a good company I don't:

1. want any company to know what services I am using
2. want to place my login credentials in an internet service
3. make a single point (this Apple service) a so prominent target to be attacked

Since there are already (better) alternatives like FIDO2 (see Heise Security) that replace passwords with a pair of public/private encryption keys - even with the possibility to store the private key in a password manager app, I don't like this service at all.
Maybe it was driven by the intend to bind customers to the platform, what is understandable but not so good in the end.
Read the article.
 

techpr

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2008
510
346
San Juan, PR
If you already have a Wordpress account then they already have your info so, just sign in like you always have.

Otherwise, you'll have to create a new account to use Sign In With Apple.

I did try it with my current Wordpress account (since it already uses the same email as my Apple ID), a message appears saying "a wordpress account already exists using this email, please sign in with your wordpress password." (or something similar, I forget exactly) (This was in the iOS app, not the web.)
I think I got it. Login with my Wordpress Account and under Security
Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 2.58.20 PM.png

and Social Login.... Linked the Apple ID

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 2.56.26 PM.png


Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 2.57.21 PM.png


Now I can Sign with Apple on my current Wordpress Account.
 

macfacts

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2012
3,504
4,132
Cybertron
I suspect you’re lying again, as usual.

You should seriously consider a username change, because I don’t recall you ever posting anything factual.


This is a fantastic feature by Apple to allow secure and anonymous sign-in to websites.
It is great you are using the honour system to believe in apples promise to not track you but based on the described process, apple has all the pieces to track you. For most other people, they need more than a promise.
 
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ovo6

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2015
787
404
Is this similar to logging in on iCloud.com , can I use Face ID to log in after signing up
 

WBRacing

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
1,108
2,417
UK
I suspect you’re lying again, as usual.

You should seriously consider a username change, because I don’t recall you ever posting anything factual.


This is a fantastic feature by Apple to allow secure and anonymous sign-in to websites.
So you're saying that they are lying about the fact that are suspecting something? You might not like what they have to say, but it's a bit of a leap to think you do know what they are thinking.
 
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RollTide1017

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2009
239
88
Montgomery, AL