iOS Mobile Advertising: Where does it go after UDID?

It’s official. Apple has started rejecting apps that use the UDID (Unique Device Identifier). It certainly wasn’t a surprise – we all knew it was coming after Apple announced last fall they would be deprecating the function due to privacy concerns. Apps using the UDID can still make it through approval by jumping through the appropriate hoops, but the end is surely in sight.

The UDID became critical to mobile advertising and monetization over the last few years. If Apple no longer supports it, how is a developer supposed to use advertising and track installations?

Due to the silence from Apple on suggested alternatives, mobile advertising companies have begun making changes to support the same function as the UDID, while meeting the privacy concerns. Some have developed their own approach, while others have simply incorporated a range of the more popular alternatives. Here are three companies offering iOS SDKs to support mobile advertising and their approach to replacing UDID.

  • Adfonic – Last week Adfonic announced it released an SDK that gives developers options for UDID alternatives. The SDK is compliant with IAB’s MRAID (Interactive Advertising Bureau Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions). It also supports OpenUDID and ODIN-1.
  • AppRedeem - Not content with what the industry was doing about the UDID, AppRedeem set about developing its own alternative. It is called ODID (Organizational Specific Device Identifier) and uses a system that prevents anyone except the owner’s organization from determining who the device belongs to. With some of the biggest names in the industry as customers (Groupon, Disney, Priceline), AppRedeem is hoping that its solution can be adopted as an industry standard.
  • Smaato - Also announced last week is Smaato’s SDK that supports ODID and OpenUDID. Smaato is a founding member of the ODIN working group, and is actively participating in finding a solution for the developer community.

    That’s at least three new methods for replace UDID that are receiving support: ODID, ODIN, and OpenUDID. For the moment all of them are considered compliant by Apple. Will one win out over the others? Time, and Apple, will tell.