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Mobile Monday: App Tracking Transparency Rules Will Now Be Enforced, iOS 14.5 Will Be Released This Week

Posted Apr 25, 2021

The time has finally come! After almost a year since its announcement, Apple will now require apps to receive permission from users to track them. In their event last week, Apple announced AppTrackingTransparency will be enforced starting today and iOS 14.5 will be released sometime this week. They also announced new iOS 14.5 features for Apple Maps and unlocking an iPhone with a mask on. For more details, read this week’s Mobile Monday!

iOS 14.5 Set to Be Released This Week and AppTrackingTransparency Will Be Enforced

During their Spring Loaded event last week, Apple announced a series of updates aimed at app developers, including upcoming requirements related to iOS 14.5, the newest version of iOS 14 that’s set to be released this week. Starting today (April 26), Apple says that apps are now required to use the AppTrackingTransparency framework. With the launch of iOS 14.5 this week, Apple will enforce App Tracking Transparency rules and developers will have to get express permission to track users across apps with the iPhone’s advertising identifier.

According to their News and Updates site, Apple says that 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. The company gave additional requirements regarding ATT and submitting apps for review:

“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.”

New iOS 14.5 Features include Apple Watch iPhone Unlocking and Crowdsourcing in Apple Maps

The Spring Loaded event also revealed that iOS 14.5’s new features, including the ability for iPhone users who are wearing an Apple Watch to unlock the iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask. An unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch can be used as a secondary authentication method for iPhones. While an unlocked Apple Watch can be paired with Face ID to unlock without a passcode, it will not be able to authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases. Those actions will still require Face ID to do a facial scan or a passcode.

iOS 14.5 updates also include crowdsourcing for accidents and points of interest on Apple Maps. The Waze-like crowdsourcing feature can be used to report accidents, hazards, and speed checks along a route in the Maps app. This is available directly on the ‌iPhone‌ and in CarPlay. To “Report an Issue,” users can tap on the info button in the upper right corner of the Maps which will now display options to report an accident, hazard, or speed check. For more iOS 14.5 features, check out MacRumors’ recap.

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