What Is Sign in with Apple’s Impact on Development?

 With more than 5 billion mobile phones on the market around the globe, mobile security is more important than ever. And the recent announcement from Apple around its Sign in with Apple guidelines brings privacy even more into the spotlight.

It’s no doubt that this feature speaks to the overall demand for customizable login methods with a focus on confidentiality and privacy of personal information, but it’s no small ask for developers responsible for implementing it. By April 2020 every app available in Apple’s vast app store must integrate Sign in with Apple. Although this means increased data safety for consumers, it also will be a big lift or developers.

So what’s an app builder to do? First, understand the challenge at hand. Then, take advantage of the right tools to make your job easier.

Sign in with Apple, at a Glance

According to Apple, Sign in with Apple introduces multiple benefits that will enhance the user experience and the privacy of Apple users. For example, by using Sign in with Apple, users will be able to:

  • Enjoy a frictionless sign-in experience with Touch ID and Face ID to access third-party apps;
  • Hide their real email addresses behind a temporary one that Apple creates on a per-app basis.

Although this announcement is interesting for the multiple benefits it brings for Apple users, integrating Sign in with Apple into already-programmed apps may seem daunting. Not only does it require developers to recode and reconfigure their apps, but it also takes their attention away from their overall mission of getting their apps updated or up and running, to begin with.

Put the ‘I’ Back in ‘Team’

We’re talking, of course, about “identity.” Utilizing the correct tools and platforms can make things such as Sign in with Apple an effortless task for developers, thankfully. Identity management solutions can give you control over your customers’ sign-in experience, and in this case, their social login experience. The best solutions make it easy for your developers to implement things such as Sign in with Apple quickly and is as easy as switching a toggle switch on.

App developers aren’t lone wolves—more often than not, you’re a part of a larger team that operates within an organization with an IT stack, a set of preferred vendors and established partners that help you get your job done. With a change such as Sign in with Apple, it takes a village to integrate the right kinds of changes. Beyond the code is a mindset shift: Apple’s mandate reflects a core value that Apple has espoused for decades: protect the privacy of our users. Similarly, Sign in with Apple is an opportunity for you and your team to revisit what it means to safeguard your users’ identities.

This isn’t just a feel-good endeavor. It’s a forward-thinking mindset. The world of privacy and security is changing around us every moment. The impetus behind GDPR is reflected in the agenda for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Both reflect a new approach to consumer data protection—and authentication is at the heart of it all. Can you ensure that your customers are who they say they are? Those customers will expect that the answer is, “yes.” That requires strategic identity management, diligent authentication design, and vigilant monitoring.

There are 1.4 billion iOS devices in the market. Nearly 2 million apps compete for iOS users’ attention in the app store. And that’s just the Apple ecosystem.

If Apple is the standard-bearer for user privacy protection, other companies won’t be far behind. Legislative and regulatory changes may force the change, but the impetus is real. Consumers have taken a lot of hits in recent years, and they aren’t going to take much more. Make sure your team is ready to deliver on the promise of better identity protection. 

Matias Woloski

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Matias Woloski

Matias Woloski

Matias Woloski is the co-founder and CTO at Auth0, where he builds and manages teams that solve the most complex and large-scale identity use cases for global enterprises. A former co-founder and leader at a boutique software consulting firm, Matias brings a strategic view to the daily challenge of building great software products.

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