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08-21-2011, 11:18 PM #1
UDID Could Be No More for iDevices in iOS 5
Apple is doing away with the Unique Device Identifier for iOS devices.
Developers aren't going to be happy.
For those who are unfamiliar with the UDID, it is a number unique to each iOS device, and up until now has been the standard way for developers to keep track of and identify users. Countless applications, games, and mobile networks use the UDID, and abandoning it may render developers historical user data useless forcing them to start over.
Developers will be forced to come up with their own UDIDs specific to each user. Whether or not Apple will stop using the UDID is unknown, but according TechCrunch, one mobile industry CEO doesn't see Apple abandoning UDIDs, which of course will give them an "extremely lopsided" advantage identifying users for their iAds, Game Center, and other services.
A number of developers have weighed in on the topic and haven't seen a reason to stop using UDIDs as an identifier. The language used in the copy, specifically "Deprecated in iOS 5", doesn't mean the UDIDs will be eliminated, but that Apple is suggesting developers start using a new way of identifying users. Deprecated features and APIs tend to stick around for a long time before being removed allowing developers to figure something out before the building collapses.
However, if Apple does in fact force developers to rely on a different form of user identification, expect there to be a unified and very loud and very displeased voice against the decision. Chris Bader-Wechseler, a product manager at Google, summed up the problems this move could cause, as well as a possible solution, rather nicely.
Apple always advised strongly against using UDIDs as a unique identifier in an application that stores user information. I hope that Apple will provide an alternative way to uniquely identify users. Otherwise, it will be a major problem for any app that has user accounts, as it will become impossible to react to abusive behavior. I imagine they will provide another way to retrieve an unique identifier, perhaps through iCloud or another proprietary channel. - Wechseler
Deprecated in iOS 5.0
An alphanumeric string unique to each device based on various hardware details. (read-only) (Deprecated in iOS 5.0. Instead, create a unique identifier specific to your app.)
08-22-2011, 05:17 AM #2
I don't trust that photo.
It is from iTunes 9.
08-22-2011, 05:35 AM #3
08-22-2011, 06:29 AM #4
The developers should sue. :P
08-22-2011, 06:32 AM #5
It will be a pain but I can see Apple pushing for developers to use more iOS features to track users other than UDID. Game center, local data stores, and even cloud accounts would be good ways to allow a user to login and then track their user data.
08-22-2011, 06:43 AM #6
Guys, just because Apple put the UDID function as in the deprecated state doesn't mean that its going to be gone rid of, it simply means that its not recommended as use from developers and that there is going to be a better ALTERNATIVE in the near future. I use many methods in my applications that were deprecated in Leopard, but they still work on the Lion build. It simply doesn't seem as Apple's demeanor to dispose of the -uniqueIdentifier for iOS builds.
08-22-2011, 08:10 AM #7
Why can't they just use MAC Addresses or something. MAC Addresses are all unique
08-22-2011, 08:29 AM #8
08-22-2011, 10:03 AM #9
08-22-2011, 10:03 AM #10
Two questions: How old is this picture? and Would they do this just to piss off jailbreak devs?
08-22-2011, 11:47 AM #11
Whoa. I took that screenshot. The cursor gave it away, which made me look closer. The screenshot is part of a guide I made on a now-defunct forum, a copy of which is on my blog. Maybe that's how the image came to be here. Still weird though.