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UDID access coming to an end with iOS5?

08-23-2011, 10:54 PM
#1
👮 Spam Police 🚓 [Original Poster]
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,899
UDID access coming to an end with iOS5?

http://venturebeat.com/2011/08/23/ios-5-udid-privacy/

Quote:
With the launch of the most recent iOS 5 beta release, Apple is now instructing third-party developers to stop using the unique device identifier (UDID) in iOS devices, which is often used to track user behavior.

The change will disrupt business for many app developers, especially for mobile ad networks and companies like Tapjoy that rely upon UDID access heavily, but it could mean the end of major privacy concerns for Apple.

It’s also a good thing for users, since they will now have to opt-in to be tracked by developers. Unlike cookies, which are used on web browsers to track user activity, Apple’s device IDs are permanent, and users can’t block their transmission to third parties.

The latest iOS 5 documentation states that Apple will be deprecating UDID access for developers, according to a report from TechCrunch last week, and it now recommends that developers create unique identifiers specific to their apps. By deprecating the feature, Apple won’t be removing it enirely in iOS 5, but it’s fair warning to developers that they won’t be able to rely on it for much longer. Apple has historically discouraged developers from relying too heavily on UDIDs, so the change could just be seen as Apple being firmer with its preexisting stance.

We’ve asked several major iOS developers about the change, but we’ve yet to receive a response from any of them. Either they’re still figuring out how they’ll approach a UDID-less world, or they’re staying mum to avoid Apple’s wrath. Apple also hasn’t yet responded to further details about the change.

At the moment, it’s unclear if Apple will still be able to access UDIDs for its own services like iAds and Game Center. That would certainly give Apple a major advantage over third-party developers, as it can track UDIDs without waiting for users to register within apps. But it’s also the sort of feature disparity that could spark an antitrust investigation by regulators.

Apple could avoid many privacy headaches by killing off UDID access entirely. The company was sued last year by a Los Angeles man specifically because UDIDs were so easily accessible by apps, and a long-running Wall Street Journal feature revealed that many apps are sharing UDIDs, along with other personal information, without users’ knowledge.

But losing access to the feature will be a major blow to developers, since it will mean they will have to start their user tracking records from scratch. And for companies like Tapjoy and Flurry, which rely heavily on UDIDs to track and promote apps, it could mean a significant change is in order. Tapjoy CEO Mihir Shah recently railed against Apple’s restrictions on pay-per-action advertising at our MobileBeat conference in July.

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08-23-2011, 10:56 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Area 51
Posts: 2,855
TestFlight = solution for all devs for beta testing?

List of Games I've Beta Tested
Follow me on Twitter: @Jdragoon19

08-23-2011, 11:12 PM
#3
Doctor of Game of the Week-ology
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
Posts: 7,681
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdragoon19 View Post
TestFlight = solution for all devs for beta testing?
Yep, agreed!
08-23-2011, 11:45 PM
#4
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,737
I was glad when I read the article. I'm sure there will be a few things that we (the iDevice users) will find a bit more inconvenient, but I'm willing to guess that a huge majority of the UDID use is for advertising/marketing/profiling purposes.
08-23-2011, 11:50 PM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdragoon19 View Post
TestFlight = solution for all devs for beta testing?
Testflight is very easy to use - but doesn't registering your device that way use your UDID? I thought it was just an easier way to register and give a list to the devs.
08-24-2011, 12:06 AM
#6
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by New England Gamer View Post
Testflight is very easy to use - but doesn't registering your device that way use your UDID? I thought it was just an easier way to register and give a list to the devs.
I believe this is correct. In TestFlight, the apps still need to go through the same UDID signing process as manually giving a developer your UDID, as far as I know.

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08-24-2011, 02:57 AM
#7
Hope this'll be the end of tap joy. However I'm worrying about test flight, too. I'm pretty curious how this works out.
08-24-2011, 06:52 AM
#8
Joined: May 2011
Location: Finland
Posts: 8,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by AN.momo View Post
Hope this'll be the end of tap joy. However I'm worrying about test flight, too. I'm pretty curious how this works out.
Well you sign up as either a dev or tester, not sure if you can be both, I think you can tho. Then send devs your testflight email if it's closed and they'll send you invitation to beta test if you're picked to test it, sometimes it's public and dev sends link to place where you can apply, not sure if you get there automatically or not from public link cause I got in every time with the public link. Anyway then you receive email whenever new build is out, you click the link on your device and you will need to register your device which is basically installing a profile which you can see on General Setting, then you can install any build. Easy

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