Apple on Monday unveiled iOS 13, which includes a new “Sign in with Apple” feature. While the new feature was hailed by users as offering better privacy while still retaining the convenience of other sign-in options, at least one of the company’s requirements and a suggestion are causing some concern.
Currently, many iOS apps offer the option of a third-party sign-in in lieu of creating a login with the developer. This allows Google, Twitter, and Facebook users to login using their social network credentials to login. This is more convenient than going through the steps of creating an account for the app. However, there are some drawbacks with this approach.
The third-party platform passes your email address to the developer. Sure, you’re asked to approve this, but the login process grinds to a halt if you don’t agree. This also provides information to the social platform about what apps you are using, which is nobody’s business, right?
Apple’s solution provides the convenience of above approach, but gives you the option of either sharing or hiding your real email address with the developer. If you opt to “hide” the email address, Apple creates a one-time-use email address to be used only with that app. It then give the developer that email address. Any emails sent to the address are then forwarded to your real address by Apple.
This allows you to opt-out of emails from that developer by simply deactivating the pseudo email address.
However, concerns about Apple’s approach to things have arisen due to a single requirement Apple asks of developers as well as a “suggestion” it makes to devs.
App developers are required to offer a “Sign in with Apple” option if they offer any other third-party sign-in option. If the developer offers a Facebook, Google, or Twitter login option, they’ll have to provide an Apple option if they want to have their app approved for the App Store. This allows for less flexibility for developers, who currently can pick and choose which sign-in option to consider.
Reuters notes that Apple also makes a “suggestion’ that goes beyond the first requirement.
Apple Inc will ask developers to position a new “Sign on with Apple” button in iPhone and iPad apps above rival buttons from Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc, according to design guidelines released this week.
The move to give Apple prime placement is significant because users often select the default or top option on apps.
The “suggestion” is included in Apple’s “Human Interface Guidelines,” which are not formal requirements to pass App Store review. However, many developers believe that following the guidelines faithfully helps them gain approval.
The Verge suggest Apple may be tempting fate in the face of possible government scrutiny for anti-competitive practices.
It will be interesting to see how Apple’s conditions and “suggestions” for the feature might morph during the beta testing leading up to a fall release of iOS 13.