Google drops UDID support with latest AdMob SDK for iOS

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In an update to its AdMob software development kit for iOS, Google finished the process of deprecating UDID access in accordance with Apple's privacy policies, completing the transition that began over six months ago.

The move, announced on Monday in a post to the Google Ads Developer blog (via The Next Web), comes just weeks ahead of Apple's mandated May 1 deadline for developers to update their apps, calling for the deprecation of all assets accessing unique device identifier (UDID) information. The company announced in March that it would begin rejection iOS App Store submissions and update that leverage the data.

All cellular devices have a UDID, making the identifier a useful tool for advertisers seeking highly detailed data to be used toward ad targeting. However, privacy concerns, including an iOS location tracking kerfuffle in 2012, prompted Apple to begin cutting off access to the data. At the time, advertising agencies claimed the restriction would lead to a revenue hit of 24 percent less

Over one year has passed since the company reportedly started initial App Store rejections of software using the identifiers, with blanket refusals expected to start on May 1. Apple first announced plans to remove UDID access in August 2011, saying developers would see tighter restrictions once iOS 5 launched later that year.

In addition to the UDID changes, version 6.4.0 of the Google AdMob SDK contains a number of bug fixes and enhancements:

Today we’re releasing version 6.4.0 of the Google AdMob SDK for iOS developers. In addition to the maintenance and bug fixes listed below, this version of the SDK completes the transition away from UDID, which began with version 6.2, in compliance with relevant Apple policies.

  • There are a number of maintenance updates and bug fixes including:
  • No longer accesses the UDID
  • Fix for GADInterstitial crash that occurs when app is running in the background
  • Fix for GADMRAIDInterceptor threading crash
  • Renaming symbols to prevent duplicate symbol errors
  • Support for receiving test ads when using AdMob through mediation
  • Test ads are only available on devices running iOS 6 and above

AdMob, which was purchased by Google for $750 million in 2009, is a leader in mobile advertising and its service is used in many iOS apps. Apple was said to have met with the firm prior to Google's offer, and ultimately acquired Quattro Wireless which was later rolled into iAd.