Apps Must Adhere to App Tracking Transparency Rules and Be Built With iOS 14 SDK Starting April 26
Apple today released a series of updates aimed at app developers, letting them know about upcoming requirements related to iOS 14.5, the newest version of iOS 14 that's set to be released next week.
Starting on Monday, April 26, all iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch apps submitted to the App Store must be built on the Xcode 12 and iOS 14 SDK or later, which means that new apps will no longer be able to use older SDK options.
With the launch of iOS 14.5, Apple is requiring all developers to adhere to its App Tracking Transparency rules that will require them to get express permission to track users across apps with the iPhone's advertising identifier.
Apple says that apps must start using the AppTrackingTransparency framework on Monday, April 26, 2021.
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.
The April 26, 2021 deadline suggests that iOS 14.5 will either be released on that date or the day after. Apple today released the iOS 14.5 release candidate in preparation for the launch, so the update is nearly ready to go.
Apple today also released release candidate versions of iPadOS 14.5, macOS Big Sur 11.3, tvOS 14.5, and watchOS 7.4, all of which we're expecting to see early next week.