Apple Ends UDID Use, Requires iPhone 5 Support
In successive notes to developers yesterday, Apple finally banned once and for all the use of UDID in applications and its App Store. The company stated that beginning May 1, the App Store will no longer accept new apps or app updates that access UDID. Apple is asking that all developers update their identification system by using either the vendor or advertising identifiers that the company introduced months ago with iOS 6.
Apple had been warning for the past year that it was going to eliminate the use of UDIDs from the App Store entirely, but it had been slow and haphazard in implementing the new policy. The UDID came under fire last year because it allowed developers to match a specific device to a user. Apple’s new iPhone advertiser identifier is designed to keep the user anonymous and satisfy privacy worries.
At the same time Apple also announced that as of May 1 all new apps and app updates submitted to the app store had to support both the retina display as well as the larger 4-inch displays introduced in the iPhone 5 last fall. A number of applications and games in the App Store continue to use the smaller screen dimensions of previous generations of iPhones. These apps appear essentially letterboxed on the iPhone 5.
With these two new policies for developers, Apple appears to be enforcing standardization with an eye toward competing against Android’s notorious fragmentation. Apple often likes to boast that a high share of its users upgrade to the latest version of the iPhone and iPad operating systems when they are available, and how this gives developers a much more coherent hardware and software target in the competing operating systems from Google.