UPDATE: 6:15 p.m. ET
And so speaketh Apple. Sort of.
In a brief blog post published on Tuesday, Apple appears to finally share a specific date for AppTrackingTransparency enforcement: April 26.
In the post, Apple notes that its ATT framework will be required for all apps beginning with the upcoming public release of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5.
Sounds simple enough.
But those hoping for clarity have come to the wrong place. As Alex Bauer, head of product marketing at Branch, pointed out, it's still not obvious from the way Apple has phrased its post whether April 26 applies to ATT enforcement overall or only to a revision to the requirements for its privacy nutrition labels.
Regardless, though, it looks like next week will be the week, even though it's unclear exactly which day.
And thank goodness, because we were starting to lose it. See below.
Apple shared transparent and unambiguous information on Tuesday about exactly when it plans to release iOS 14.5 and begin enforcing its ATT framework.
Buried in the very last sentence at the bottom of a press release about its new AirTags product (sorry, Tile Mate), Apple mentions, seemingly offhandedly, that the accessory, which helps people locate lost items, requires a connection with devices that run iOS 14.5 or later.
“These software updates,” Apple blandly notes in its release, “will be available starting next week.
Desperate for crumbs, the mobile ad tech community immediately seized on that mite of information and deduced that ATT enforcement will begin next week, because Apple has said in the past that ATT enforcement will start when iOS 14.5 comes out of beta.
To be fair, “next week” is more specific than “early spring,” which is when Apple told developers to expect iOS 14.5 to be released, but we still don’t have an exact day.
To figure that out, it’s time to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes.
In addition to AirTags and a bunch of other shiny hardware, Apple also announced at its event on Tuesday that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in the color purple starting on April 30. Both of these devices feature iOS 14.5.
Does that mean that iOS 14.5 is coming out on April 30, which is next Friday – as in, NEXT WEEK?
Honestly, who knows.
But there are two things that we do:
- IOS 14.5 is dropping sometime next week …
- … and right now, thankfully, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.