Apple To Release New And Improved Device Tracking Tool For Developers [Report]


iOS 8 is Apple's most privacy-conscious mobile OS yet.
Apple is working on a better tracking solution for its developers.

Following the privacy fiasco surrounding iOS user tracking and Apple’s deprecation of the UDID, a report today says that the company is planning to release a new tool for developers that aids in tracking app users. According to The Wall Street Journal, the software tool’s “new anonymous identifier is likely to rely on a sequence of numbers that isn’t tied to a specific device.”

Apple Inc. is planning to release a new way for mobile app developers to track who uses their software, according to people briefed on Apple’s plans, the company’s latest attempt to balance developers’ appetite for targeting data with consumers’ unease over how it is used.

The new tool, which could be detailed in the coming weeks, aims to better protect user privacy than existing approaches, these people said.

As we explained in our in-depth UDID feature, mobile advertisers and developers are scrambling to find a new tracking solution for iOS. When Apple buckled under privacy concerns and announced that developers had to stop using UDIDs to track users, a dozen or more solutions started popping up to try and fill the void.

Because the UDID is basically the only completely unique, unchangeable identifier for an iOS device, it’s very hard to replicate its functionality. Here’s to hoping that Apple has figured out something better with this new tool.

The report doesn’t specifically say that Apple will unveil the new tracking tool at WWDC next week. This type of thing sounds like something Apple could just push out quietly, so we wouldn’t be surprised to not see it mentioned at the conference. It will be interesting, however, to see if Apple addresses recent iOS privacy concerns from the stage.

Source: The Wall Street Journal