App Privacy Label ExampleSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple has released two announcements for developers today.
  • The alerts have to do with Xcode and the upcoming AppTrackingTransparency launch.

Developers need to make sure their apps are up to date!

Apple has posted a couple of announcements on its Developer website today in order to ensure developers are up to date with how their apps are built.

The company has announced that "starting April 26, 2021, all iPhone and iPad apps submitted to the App Store must be built with Xcode 12 and the iOS 14 SDK or later." Apple Watch apps will need to be built with "Xcode 12 and the watchOS 7 SDK or later."

Make sure your apps make the most of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7. Build your apps with the Xcode 12.5 Release Candidate, update your product pages, and submit them for review.

iPhone and iPad apps. Starting April 26, 2021, all iPhone and iPad apps submitted to the App Store must be built with Xcode 12 and the iOS 14 SDK or later. The iOS SDK provides access to exciting new features like App Clips, Home screen widgets, ARKit, RealityKit, and much more.

Apple Watch apps. Starting April 26, 2021, all watchOS apps submitted to the App Store must be built with Xcode 12 and the watchOS 7 SDK or later. The watchOS 7 SDK lets you create multiple complications for each complication family using new ClockKit APIs, SwiftUI Complications, and Xcode Previews — so users can enjoy your app right on their watch face.

Apple is also warning developers once again that, with the release of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5 next week, apps "must use the AppTrackingTransparency framework to request the user's permission to track them."

With the upcoming public release of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, all apps must use the AppTrackingTransparency framework to request the user's permission to track them or to access their device's advertising identifier. Unless you receive permission from the user to enable tracking, the device's advertising identifier value will be all zeros and you may not track them.

When submitting your app for review, any other form of tracking — for example, by name or email address — must be declared in the product page's App Store Privacy Information section and be performed only if permission is granted through AppTrackingTransparency. You'll also need to include a purpose string in the system prompt to explain why you'd like to track the user, per App Store Review Guideline 5.1.2(i). These requirements apply to all apps starting April 26, 2021. As a reminder, collecting device and usage data with the intent of deriving a unique representation of a user, or fingerprinting, continues to be a violation of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement.

Developers can learn more on the Apple Developer website.

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