iOS 14 SDK Upgrade Guide

This guide describes Braze-related changes introduced in iOS 14 and the required upgrade steps for your Braze iOS SDK integration.

For a complete list of new iOS 14 updates announced this year at WWDC, see Apple’s iOS 14 Preview.

Summary of iOS 14 breaking changes

  • Geofences are no longer supported by iOS for users who choose the new approximate location permission.
  • Customers using the “Last Known Location” targeting features are required to upgrade their Braze iOS SDK to at least v3.26.1 for compatibility with approximate location permission.
  • IDFA collection now requires a permission prompt. Failure to update your IDFA collection code will result in a blank value as if a user declined to provide this permission.
  • Based on our testing, Apple may no longer display the provisional authorization dialog, and will instead set users as “authorized” as soon as the app requests provisional authorization. Learn More
  • Apps targeting iOS 14 / Xcode 12 for beta releases can use our iOS 14 Beta release, and our official iOS 14 release after Apple’s “Golden Master” release.

Upgrade Summary

There are three necessary upgrades that may be required to continue using Braze features on iOS.

Location Targeting

Customers who are using the Most Recent Location targeting features must upgrade to at least iOS SDK v3.26.1 which contains updates related to the new Approximate Location feature in iOS 14.

Even though your app might not target iOS 14, your end users may upgrade their devices which adds this new location accuracy option. Apps that do not upgrade to iOS SDK v3.26.1+ will not be able to reliably collect location attributes when users provide their approximate location on iOS 14 devices.

iOS 14 + Xcode 12

We have released Beta versions of our upcoming iOS 14 / Xcode 12 compatible SDK. Customers who release Beta versions of their iOS apps with iOS 14 support are encouraged to use Braze’s iOS 14 Beta SDK version which includes Xcode 12 compatibility and support for new iOS 14 APIs.

We will continue to release updates and fixes to future beta releases as Apple continues to release newer versions of iOS 14 beta. If you experience any issues or questions related to our iOS 14 compatibility or beta release, please open a new Github Issue.

Our official iOS 14 compatible SDK will be released shortly after Apple’s final iOS 14 beta is released, known as the “Golden Master” release.

Push Authorization

Based on our testing (as of iOS 14 Beta 4), Apple no longer displays the provisional authorization dialog which lets users choose to “keep” or “turn off” push notifications sent when provisionally authorized. Learn More.

IDFA permissions

Once users upgrade to iOS 14, apps that collect the IDFA advertising ID must use the new iOS 14 APIs to prompt users for IDFA permission. Failure to update your code will result in a blank IDFA value (00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000), similar to a user declining this new prompt.

iOS 14 Behavior Changes

Approximate Location Permission

Precise Location

Overview

When requesting location permission, users will now have a choice to provide their precise location (previous behavior), or the new approximate location. Approximate location will return a larger radius in which the user is located, instead of their exact coordinates.

Geofences

Geofences, which previously relied on precise location permission, are no longer recorded by apps that have obtained the new approximate location permission. While no updates are required for your Braze SDK integration, you may need to adjust your location-based marketing strategy for campaigns that rely on geofences.

Location Targeting

To continue to collect users’ last known location when approximate location is granted, your app will need to upgrade to at least v3.26.1 of the Braze iOS SDK. Keep in mind that the location will be less precise, and based on our testing has been upwards of 12,000 meters (7+ miles). When using the last known location targeting options in the Braze Dashboard, be sure to increase the location’s radius to account for new approximate locations (we recommend at least a 1 mile/1.6km radius).

Apps that do not upgrade their Braze iOS SDK to at least v3.26.1 will no longer be able to use location tracking when approximate location is granted on iOS 14 devices.

Users who have already granted location access will continue to provide precise location after upgrading.

For more information on Approximate Location, see Apple’s What’s New In Location WWDC Video.

IDFA and App Tracking Transparency

Overview

IDFA (Identity for Advertisers) is an identifier provided by Apple used by advertising and attribution partners for cross-device tracking and is tied to an individual’s Apple ID.

Beginning in iOS 14, a new permission prompt (launched by the new AppTrackingTransparency framework) will require explicit user consent to access the IDFA. This permission to “track you across apps and websites owned by other companies” will be requested similarly to how you’d prompt users to request their location.

If a user does not accept the prompt then a blank IDFA value (00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000) will be returned, and your app will not be allowed to prompt the user again.

Changes to Braze IDFA collection

App Clip

  1. Braze will continue to allow apps to provide a user’s IDFA value to the Braze SDK

  2. The ABK_ENABLE_IDFA_COLLECTION macro, which would conditionally compile in optional automatic IDFA collection, will be removed in our iOS 14 release.

  3. If your app has used IDFA or IDFV as your Braze External ID, we strongly recommend migrating away from these identifiers in favor of a UUID. For more information on migrating External IDs, see our new External ID Migration API Endpoint.

Read more from Apple about their Privacy Updates and the new App Tracking Transparency framework.

Push Authorization

Based on our current testing of iOS 14 Beta 4 (August 5), Apple has made changes to the Provisional Push authorization flow which was introduced in 2018 (iOS 12).

After your app requests provisional push authorization, you are able to send push notifications to users which will appear quietly in their notification center.

In iOS 13, this push notification would included two options: to “Keep” receiving push, prominently or quietly, or to “Turn Off” push for the app. After the user makes this decision, the authorization status would be either “authorized” or “denied”.

In iOS 14, users are directly granted a state of “authorized” after your app requests provisional push authorization. You will still be able to send push notifications quietly to the notification center. However, this push will no longer include the two options to “Keep” or “Turn Off”. For users to elect to receive prominent notifications, your app will need to request authorization using the native push prompt dialog or direct users to your app’s settings page where a user would manually allow push.

Once this change is finalized and documented by Apple, we recommend updating your message targeting options which our use Provisionally Authorized on iOS filter as users will no longer be reported as “provisionally” authorized in iOS 14. As users upgrade to iOS 14, the filter will lose effect over time. We’ll continue to monitor and update this guide accordingly.

iOS 14 New Features

App Privacy and Data Collection Overview

The App Store’s new App Privacy feature will disclose to users what personal information an app collects and how it may track users across other apps and websites. Apple has stated, “Privacy information on the App Store will be coming in an iOS 14 update later this year”.

Braze will continue to monitor this new feature announcement to help you understand how your usage of Braze may be disclosed in the App Privacy summary.

To learn more about this feature, see Apple’s Privacy and Data Use.

App Clips

Overview

App Clip

An App clip is a small part of your app that can be quickly accessed without installation by visiting a URL or scanning a QR code.

This feature gives users quicker access to sample your app, with an opportunity to either upgrade to the full app experience or auto-delete after a period of inactivity.

To learn more about App Clips, see Apple’s App Clip Documentation

Braze Support

For customers interested in using Braze within App Clips, please contact your Braze Success Team or Support Team.

We will be releasing support and documentation in the near future.

Widgets

Overview

For customers interested in using Braze within Widgets, please contact your Braze Success Team or Support Team.

We will be releasing support and documentation in the near future.

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