· 4 min read

Product Update: How GameAnalytics is Getting Ready for the iOS 14.5 Release

The iOS 14.5 release is just around the corner. Here’s what you should know and how to prepare before it’s live.

With the upcoming iOS 14.5 release, Apple will enforce its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework related to IDFA changes. This means publishers and developers will now need to display a prompt (‘enable ad tracking’) to their mobile users asking for their permission to collect their device identifier, IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers). Until now, this was an ‘opt-out’ model for users – meaning unless the player actively disabled sharing their IDFA in their device settings, then developers could still track this.

You need to update your SDK

Last year we updated our SDKs, so make sure yours are up to date too. You can do that here. You’ll find more information about this below.

But for now, keep reading to learn how we’re preparing for these upcoming changes and any other next steps you need to take. Let’s get to it!

How we track players

Let’s start with a quick recap on how we’ve been tracking players and what changed.

We determine and create a unique identifier for each device that sends data to GameAnalytics. We call it the GameAnalytics User ID. We usually take this value from a device identifier. But when it’s not available, we generate a random User ID on an app install and then assign it to the device. Before our SDK update, this identifier used was IDFA for iOS, you can read more about it here.

How are we prepared for Apple’s changes?

In September last year, we updated our SDKs to keep collecting IDFA where it’s available, but we no longer use it as the main identifier associated with a user. Instead, we primarily use the Identifier for Vendors (IDFV). We’ve explained these changes in one of our product updates here. But in short, this is more reliable and efficient for user tracking, given Apple’s new update.

We rolled out our backend changes last year. All to make sure this transition is smooth for you and the impact of iOS 14 changes is minimal on your games’ reporting.

Will there be any impact on reporting of the key game metrics?

We’ve made it so our SDKs will work with iOS 14 changes with little to no impact. When iOS 14.5 is expected to be released, here’s what will happen:

  • For games that have been exclusively using our updated SDK, we expect no impact on their reporting.
  • For other games, while we expect the transition to be quite smooth without any impact, there might be some minor and brief changes seen on certain game metrics when Apple makes its release. You may observe temporary bumps in your GameAnalytics dashboard, however, they will stabilize quickly. This will rarely happen, for example, when some players return to your game after a long time.

What can you do to prepare?

If you haven’t already, we recommend you update your games with our latest SDKs as soon as possible (iOS SDK v4.3.0+ and Unity SDK v6.3.1+)

Also, we recently added support for more tracking related to IDFA in our latest SDKs. To be specific, we’ve added the ability for GameAnalytics to collect the status of your players’ consent on the ATT popup in your games to share their IDFA.

To make sure you’re efficiently tracking the user’s consent state in the SDK, we recommend that you display the ATT prompt before GameAnalytics SDK is initialized. Head to our docs to learn more about it (iOS and Unity).

With the upcoming release, there’s a pretty clear concern among all publishers and developers: with a decrease in user consent rate, will there be an impact on their advertising activities?

Which is why we’re working on enabling the reporting of consent status in the GameAnalytics tool.

Here’s what’s coming soon:

  • A new dimension reflecting a user’s response to the consent popup. It can have four statuses:
    1. notDetermined – No ATT dialog was presented to the user, therefore the user made no active choice about sharing their IDFA. This status also includes user devices where LAT was turned on in earlier iOS versions. (IDFA shared/not shared accordingly)
    2. denied – The user chose via ATT to not be tracked by the app (IDFA not shared)
    3. allowed – The user chose via ATT to allow tracking (IDFA shared)
    4. restricted – Access to IDFA sharing is blocked without any end-user input (IDFA not shared)

Update your SDK

That’s it for today’s product update. Make sure you update your SDKs before the iOS 14.5 release. Any questions? Just reach out to our friendly support team. Till next time!

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