Apple advises developers to stop accessing UDIDs, start supporting Retina and 16x9 by May 1

Apple advises developers that app submissions need to stop accessing UDIDs, star supporting Retina and 16x9 by May 1

Apple has posted two new entries to their developer news page, the first warning developers they need to stop tracking people via UDID, and the second warning them they have to start supporting the double density Retina display, and 16x9 iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5 dip-lays, by May 1.

Using Identifiers in Your Apps

Starting May 1, the App Store will no longer accept new apps or app updates that access UDIDs. Please update your apps and servers to associate users with the Vendor or Advertising identifiers introduced in iOS 6. You can find more details in the UIDevice Class Reference.

Make Your Apps Look Great on the Retina Display and iPhone 5

Starting May 1, new apps and app updates submitted to the App Store must be built for iOS devices with Retina display and iPhone apps must also support the 4-inch display on iPhone 5. Learn about preparing your apps by reviewing the iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

Since features like 16x9 support require iOS 6, that also means iOS devices that don't support iOS 6 likely won't be compatible with new and updated apps. That includes the original iPad and iPhone and iPhone 3G. While Apple has provided excellent support for older devices over the years, especially compared to some of their competition, that's certain to rankle customers still on those older devices.

But, the platform has to move forward.

Any developers want to weigh in on the matter?

Source: Apple developer news

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple advises developers to stop accessing UDIDs, start supporting Retina and 16x9 by May 1


As an iPhone 5 user this is great news. Forcing developers to update apps for the 4" display is a good move. But it definitely hurts people who are on old devices.

While some might gripe, Apple has largely done right with developers here. UDID access was deprecated as of the iOS 5 SDK, so developers have had plenty of advance warning this would be removed and restructure accordingly. The relatively short notice for requiring 16x9 support and retina assets is a teeny bit irksome, since to my knowledge Apple has not issued any official earlier warnings, but most devs should have been planning this way for a year, and, if they have not, well, those are the risks you take in a curated App Store.

As for mandatory Retina support, it's about damn time. The first Retina iPhone, the 4, was released in June 2010. And updating your app to handle both 3:2 and 16:9 screens isn't all that hard. (Unless your app has a whole bunch of custom frame-filling graphics.)

Is this an indication that app developers don't care about making quality apps for iOS anymore?

I'm not sure I follow your logic there.

Are you saying that this rule shouldn't be needed, as all apps should already be 16:9?
Even if most are, this rule gives a nudge to the stragglers.

They mean that Apps must be optimized for the iPhone 5 screen. While you can't see it on your iphone 4(neither can I, I use iphone4 too) if an app isn't optimized, it will have black bars (gaps) on top and bottom of the app.Apple doesn't like this

I agree. I don't think the 16x9 is going to be an issue on older devices. The UDID? Could be as the new authentication method appears to be iOS6 (and greater) only.

I think some folks are misunderstanding the 16x9 comment. What Apple is telling developers is that their apps have to support that display option, not that it should FORCE to 16x9.

Apps supporting retina and the 16:9 ratio will still work on older devices, I recently released an app that runs on iOS 5.1 or greater that still uses 16:9 ratios on iPhone 5 with retina on iPhone 4/4S and supports old display on 3GS, just set the 'minimum required ios version' in your apps config file :)