Google Finally Discusses iOS 14 App Store Changes

Posted on January 27, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Google, iOS, Mobile with 12 Comments

In a post aimed at its advertising customers, Google explains how Apple’s new app store privacy requirements will impact their businesses. And the firm finally addresses how it plans to handle the changes in its own apps.

“Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy will require developers to ask for permission when they use certain information from other companies’ apps and websites for advertising purposes, even if they already have user consent,” Google’s Christophe Combette explains. “Google is helping our community prepare, as we know that developers and advertisers in the iOS ecosystem are still figuring out how to adapt.”

Google is apparently among those companies still figuring out how to adapt. A report emerged in early January that the firm hadn’t updated any of its apps on iOS in over a month because of this change. Since then, Google has updated some key apps on iOS—including Chrome, Maps, News, Photos, YouTube Music, and others—it still isn’t providing any privacy details in its app listings as required by Apple. Those details now have to be provided before the apps can be updated again.

“When Apple’s policy goes into effect, we will no longer use information (such as IDFA [Identifier for Advertisers]) that falls under ATT for the handful of our iOS apps that currently use it for advertising purposes,” Combette says. “As such, we will not show the ATT prompt on those apps, in line with Apple’s guidance. We are working hard to understand and comply with Apple’s guidelines for all of our apps in the App Store. As our iOS apps are updated with new features or bug fixes, you’ll see updates to our app page listings that include the new App Privacy Details.”

As for Google’s customers, Google cautions that they may see “a significant impact to their Google ad revenue on iOS after Apple’s ATT policies take effect.” But it has little in the way of real-world advice about overcoming that issue. You know, beyond maybe just being a better corporate citizen, I guess.

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