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Apple reminds app developers to adhere to its new App Tracking Transparency rules ahead of iOS 14.5 rollout

Apple has released the guidelines for app developers to follow for its upcoming version of the iOS. The guidelines will be put to effect starting April 26.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | April 21, 2021 | Updated 18:33 IST
(Image: Unsplash/ William Hook)

Highlights

  • Starting April 26, all apps submitted to App Store should be built on the Xcode 12 and ?iOS 14? SDK or later.
  • The guidelines will have to be followed for all apps made for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
  • The update will require apps to ask for express permission from iOS users to track their activities.

Apple is about to roll out a serious iOS update for iPhone users next week. Before introducing the iOS 14.5, Apple has now released guidelines for app developers that highlight the requirements for the upcoming iOS.

As clear in the requirements, all apps submitted to the App Store on April 26 and after will have to adhere to the App Tracking Transparency rules. This means that the apps will have to take express permission from iOS users to track their location or activities across all apps.

For this, all the apps submitted after the date should be built on the Xcode 12 and iOS 14 SDK or later. Any new app using older SDK options will not be accepted on the App Store. The update will be necessary for all apps made for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Apple says that app developers will have to mention any form of tracking done by their app on the App Store Privacy Information section of the product page. They will also have to specify the reason for the tracking function and the purpose for which the data will be used. The app will then be reviewed and be allowed to perform the function only post permission by AppTrackingTransparency.

Of course, this is not the only criteria for any app to be listed on the App Store. This, however, comes as a major update that has been in discussions for quite a long now. The update has been the reason for a major tiff between Apple and social media giant Facebook.

The new rules by Apple restrict data collection by apps overall user activities performed on an iPhone. Apps tend to collect data from several user activities on the phone and not just when they are being used. They then use this data for targeted advertisements to users across platforms.

With the new check-in place, apps will not be able to do so, and this means an almost certain loss in revenue generated from the targeted advertising segment.

Several companies operating on iOS, with Facebook being the loudest voice among them, opposed the changes proposed by Apple. Facebook even ran full-length newspaper advertisements against the upcoming iOS update.

Regardless, Apple has stuck to its decision to enhance privacy levels for iPhone users and is now closer than ever to roll out the iOS update. Stay tuned to this space to know everything new that the iOS 14.5 brings to iPhones next week.

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