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Mobile Monday: Apple says App Tracking Transparency to Launch in ‘Early Spring’, Among Us and Hypercasual Titles Lead the Top Game Downloads

Posted Jan 31, 2021

January 28 is known as Data Privacy Day in an effort to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. Apple commemorated the day giving an update on the much anticipated App Tracking Transparency feature which is now set to be enabled in early spring. Meanwhile, hypercasual games and Among Us, in particular, lead the top mobile games by downloads.Get all the details on these news stories in this week’s Mobile Monday !

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Feature Will Be Enabled in Early Spring

In honor of Data Privacy Day this week, Apple announced in a press release that their long-awaited App Tracking Transparency feature will launch in early spring with the upcoming release of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14. It was first announced at their WWDC event in June that app developers would have to ask users for permission in order to track and share their IDFA identifier for cross-property ad targeting purposes. App Tracking Transparency was originally going to be launched with iOS 14 launched in the fall of 2020 but Apple delayed the tracking restrictions until 2021, saying it wanted to give developers more time to make the necessary changes.

Apple also released a new report named A Day in the Life of Your Data, which illustrates “how companies track user data across websites and apps.” The report also includes new details on Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature in the form of a FAQ page. Below are some highlights from the report:

  • App developers cannot require you to permit tracking in order to use the app’s full capabilities.
  • If you select “Ask App not to Track,” the developer will not be able to access the system advertising identifier (IDFA), which is often used to track.
  • If we learn that a developer is tracking users who ask not to be tracked, we will require that they update their practices to respect your choice, or their app may be rejected from the App Store.

Hypercasual Game Adoption Took Off During Stay-at-Home Orders

Easy-to-play games gained massive popularity amid COVID-19. Sensor Tower’s recent report, Mobile App Industry Trends 2021, highlighted hypercasual games as the continued hot trend in mobile gaming. Titles in the genre surpassed 10 billion installs in 2020 with the top 1,000 titles in the genre collectively growing 45% year-over-year. Although hypercasual games saw a decrease in adoption in Q4 2020, the genre is still expected to have a solid year in 2021 if ad tracking related headwinds are diminished. Demand for this category is remaining strong, with the top ten titles accumulating 80 million downloads in the first two weeks of 2021.

Among Us topped the list of mobile game downloads during both Q3 and Q4 2020. After its release in March 2020, Join Clash 3D ranked as the second most downloaded game in Q4. Additionally, core titles including Genshin Impact are driving consumer spend. While hypercasual games monetize using in-game advertising, the fact that midcore games have the potential to attract more users by adding modes aimed at beginning players shouldn’t be overlooked.

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