Apple is making big, privacy-friendly changes to the way iPhone and iPad apps work–and many developers probably won’t like them. The Information reported today that Apple is taking steps to prevent app developers from accessing data generated by other apps. This data is used to target ads shown to users by major apps like Twitter, as well as tens of thousands of less popular products.
In a tweak to the upcoming iOS 9, apps will no longer be allowed to scan users’ devices to see what apps they have installed. Apple is cracking down on use of an application programming interface (API) called “canopenURL” that apps frequently use to deploy targeted ads. According to The Information’s Amir Efrati, Apple views using the API as “contrary to the iOS security model.”
The move, while beneficial for user privacy, is a blow for many advertisers who used the API to make money off apps. It also has the added benefit of allowing Apple to further control when and where advertising is presented on its devices. Other iOS 9 changes include sharply enhanced ad-blocking capability in the Safari browser.
Google’s Android operating system continues to offer a similar mechanism for ad targeting at the time of writing.
[via The Information]