June 11, 2013
At its WWDC keynote address yesterday, Apple highlighted a great many new features it has readied for iOS 7. Unsurprisingly, given its limited time on stage, it couldn't help but leave out other new features of iOS 7 in its presentation. Rest assured that we here at AppAdvice are set to feature them as we learn more about them. As it happens, I'm here to tell you about one of them: improved privacy in iOS 7. Specifically, I'm referring to improved privacy as it relates to the way developers learn customer patterns and mine personal data for marketing purposes. After Unique Device Identifier (UDID) access was deprecated by Apple over a year ago, many advertisers began using the device media access control (MAC) address instead to track installs, usage, and other parameters. Indeed, this was no better than pulling the UDID, but it turned out to be an easy workaround for advertisers. Well, we are now hearing that as of iOS 7, this is no longer possible. In particular, iOS will no longer return the user's MAC address in its new version as it had done in all its previous versions. Of course, advertisers can still use iOS' Advertising Identifier, which Apple introduced in iOS 6 as replacement for UDID access following UDID leaks and privacy issues. But users can easily turn off or reset this method of ad tracking via the iOS Settings app. The developer beta of iOS 7 was already released by Apple yesterday. But the final version is expected for public release this fall. Stay tuned to AppAdvice as we give you more information about some of the most promising features of iOS 7.