Apple today seeded the first betas of new iOS and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, a week after releasing the iOS 14.4 update with bug fixes and feature updates.
iOS 14.5 is the update where Apple will begin enforcing its App Tracking Transparency privacy feature, which will require app developers to ask for and receive a user’s permission to access their random advertising identifier (known as the IDFA) to track user activity across apps and websites.
Going forward, when an app wants to access the IDFA, users will see a prompt with options to “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App Not to Track.” These features have already been implemented in iOS 14 and they are available to developers, but with iOS 14.5, they will be required rather than voluntary.
Selecting “Ask App Not to Track” will prevent the app’s developer from accessing the user’s IDFA, and developers will also have to respect the user’s tracking preference and refrain from using other methods to track users. Disobeying this rule could cause an app to face removal from the App Store. Tracking preferences can be managed by going to Settings > Privacy > Tracking.
There’s no word yet on what else might be included in the iOS 14.5 update, but it likely focuses on performance improvements and bug fixes for issues that weren’t able to be addressed in the iOS 14.4 release. When we’ve downloaded the update and found what’s new, we’ll add an update to this article.
Apple has said iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will be released to the public in the early spring.