Apple recently released the new iPhone 7 and the iOS 10 operating system. With greatly enhanced lock screen and messenger capabilities, opening Siri to third-party applications and laying a foundation for smart home connectivity, iOS 10 boasts some impressive additions to the iPhone user experience. At first glance, there aren't any game-changers for iOS app publishers.
However, when it comes to in-app advertising, publishers should pay close attention to the following changes introduced by iOS 10: Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) and App Transport Security (ATS).
Limit Ad Tracking
When activated by the user, LAT limits the amount of information passed by the device during an ad request. While this option was present in previous iOS versions, the update to iOS 10 most notably zeroes out the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). It should be noted that this only happens when LAT is user-activated; the default setting for LAT is ‘off’.
An IDFA value of '0000' means that ads cannot be targeted by geography or audience profile. While it does not block ads from being delivered, frequency capping is disabled for internal systems like ad servers.
In our new iOS 10 SDK, Smaato has included a solution to attribute those "blank-IDFA" users internally. After updating to the new version of our SDK, frequency capping will continue to work as expected, while still respecting Apple's privacy rules.
App Transport Security
In another change, all iOS apps need to be fully ATS-compliant upon submission to the App Store by January 1st, 2017. This security measure requires that all app-to-server connections must be encrypted. For details, you can visit Apple's Security page for developers.
For all publishers looking to reach ATS compliance ahead of time, our new SDK provides you with that solution. However, we recommend that publishers verify and test ATS compliance of their entire app and third-party components (other SDKs, and so on) to avoid potential performance issues.