What you need to know
- Sign in with Apple will be required in many apps as of June 30.
- Any app offering third-party login-services like Google and Facebook must include Apple's alternative.
- But AnyList won't. And it's even removing the option to use Facebook, too.
As of June 30, Apple requires all apps that offer third-party sign-in services, like Google and Facebook, must also offer the option of Sign in with Apple, too. But in a lengthy blog post, the developers of grocery list app AnyList have announced that it won't be getting the feature. And what's more, it's killing support for Facebook's sign-in service, too. Why? They're glad you asked!
The answer to that simple question comes in a lengthy blog post that picks apart Sign in with Apple and, indeed, most other third-party sign-in solutions. Some of the reasons are valid as well, although some come down to developer time and effort requirements that perhaps aren't available. More on that in a moment.
A couple of the problems outlined seem to stem from the fact that AnyList uses email addresses to differentiate accounts and Apple offers users the chance to obfuscate them. Which is a privacy thing, of course. But it'll complicate things for AnyList.
Right. Here goes.
This, I find interesting. I don't know anything about how the AnyList back end works – obviously enough! – but if this is indeed the case then that's a pretty big flaw with Sign in with Apple. I'd assumed there was some kind of identifier that could be used to associate people with their accounts that could get around this – especially for developers. Devs, is there not? Anyway, moving on.
There is, of course, support for Sign in with Apple on Android and Apple has that information in its developer kit. And as 9to5Mac points out, the implementation is very similar to that of the web (opens in new tab). But the difficulty in getting hold of accounts if a user ditches iOS is a possible issue, although they can still sign into their Apple ID on the web, presumably.
Again, that's true. But there are other ways to link accounts and such than people sharing email addresses like it's 1999. Could one of those be implemented? And this is the point I mentioned I'd get back to earlier.
I get the impression that there's a lot of frustration behind this long blog post from AnyList's developers and honestly, much of it is justified – especially if Apple doesn't have the back end support I mentioned earlier. But there are ways around some of the limitations as well. Should AnyList need to follow them? No. And it won't be doing because it's pulling support for Facebook. Today's rule change won't impact Anylist whatsoever. So, really, what's this all about?
Sign in with Apple was announced during WWDC back in June of 2019. We're now a whole year on and Sign in with Apple shouldn't be a surprise to any developer at this point. The developers of AnyList are too good for this to have crept up on them.
I'm not a developer and I've never played one on TV – though I would if asked! – and I don't know how things at AnyList work. But it just seems to me that Sign in with Apple doesn't fit the infrastructure and mechanisms in place for AnyList and that's fine. It would likely take plenty of work to get things to a place where supporting Sign in with Apple is feasible and that isn't something they're willing or able to do which, again, is fine.
I just don't know where the blog post – or the need to go on the offensive – came from.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
Get the best of iMore in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to iMore. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.