Apple in June 2020 introduced the latest version of its iOS operating system, iOS 14, which released in Sep 2020. In their announcement, they covered many new exciting additions and changes to the world of apps. While most of the changes do not impact your apps there are a few updates that will require tweaks to all apps running on the MAZ system. These updates are concerning App Store Listings, Approximate Locations, and App Tracking Permissions.
iOS 14 now requires App Store Listings for all apps to include an easy-to-read list of privacy details, across 31 categories, for your users to know what data is collected before they download an app. Also, users will now be able to choose to provide apps with their approximate location rather than their specific location. Apple's recent emphasis on user privacy prompted another change wherein apps will no longer be able to cross-track end-users across the web without consent. Users will be able to see what apps they've granted permission to cross-track them and revoke that permission at any time.
MAZ has implemented the changes for iOS 14 and tvOS 14 updates and your apps are compliant with the new iOS/tvOS 14 guidelines.
Let's discuss the new features in detail:
App Tracking Transparency
With iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, you will need to receive the user’s permission through the AppTrackingTransparency framework to track them or access their device’s advertising identifier. Tracking refers to the act of linking user or device data collected from your app with user or device data collected from other companies’ apps, websites, or offline properties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes. Tracking also refers to sharing user or device data with data brokers.
Examples of tracking include, but are not limited to:
- Displaying targeted advertisements in your app based on user data collected from apps and websites owned by other companies.
- Sharing device location data or email lists with a data broker.
- Sharing a list of emails, advertising IDs, or other IDs with a third-party advertising network that uses that information to retarget those users in other developers’ apps or to find similar users.
- Placing a third-party SDK in your app that combines user data from your app with user data from other developers’ apps to target advertising or measure advertising efficiency, even if you don’t use the SDK for these purposes. For example, using an analytics SDK that repurposes the data it collects from your app to enable targeted advertising in other developers’ apps.
If your MAZ app is already on the Apple App Store and you decide to turn on or turn off ads on the MAZ dashboard, an app update will be required for iOS/tvOS apps to comply with the new guidelines.
After enabling or disabling ads on the MAZ Dashboard, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an app update for your iOS/tvOS app.
Picture in Picture (iOS)
Even when you’re using a phone, with its relatively small screen, being able to watch a video using picture-in-picture (PiP) can be very handy. You can have an app's video playing while you’re checking your Twitter feed, or chat with a friend while watching your live stream in the app. In iOS 14, Apple has now made it possible to use PiP even on your iPhone and not just on iPad — and using it is extremely simple.
As you’re watching a video, just swipe up to your home screen. The video will continue playing as you check your email, answer a text, or do whatever else you need to do. You can even make the video larger or smaller by using a pinch to zoom, or you can swipe it completely out of the way. (It will continue playing, an arrow at the side of the screen will show you where you can swipe it back from.)
If you want to bring the video back to full-screen, just hit the “full screen” icon in the upper-right corner of the video. Close it completely by tapping the “x” in the upper-left corner. MAZ now supports PiP on iOS 14.
Example PiP on iPhone
Approximate Location in iOS 14
As part of Apple's crackdown on the amount of data an app or service can acquire about its users, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 include "Approximate Location" controls, a system that prevents sharing the exact location of an iPhone or iPad.
This new toggle of "Precise Location" is present in the device's settings and it gives the user more control over which apps can access the user's current location, and to what granularity. Before iOS 14, you could grant an app access to your location whilst using the app, or always. However, if location access was allowed, the app would always get an exact coordinate. A lot of apps don’t actually need such precise location information, and iOS 14 offers that flexibility, including asking the user upfront in the permissions dialog.
The user now has the option to disclose the approximate location or precise location. One can also change this preference at any time in Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services. Select the app name and then change the Precise Location switch to on or off, as desired.
With widgets, you get timely information from your favorite apps at a glance.
With iOS 14, you can use widgets on your Home Screen to keep your favorite app at your fingertips. Or you can use widgets from Today View by swiping right from the Home Screen or Lock Screen. Learn how to add a feed in the MAZ dashboard to your iOS widget here.
In order to be compliant with the new iOS/tvOS 14 features, an app update will need to be submitted. Please write to us at email@example.com to request an app update for your iOS/tvOS app.