Archive for April, 2012

Apple UDID replacement

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

If you are looking to read-up on controversy surrounding Apple’s deprecation of its mobile hardware identifier (UDID), here are two great summaries:

The first one is by Craig Palli, vice president of Client Services & Business Development at Fiksu

Executive Summary:

Understanding the alternatives begins with developing an appreciation for the fact that there is no single substitute for the UDID that fully meets the needs of all constituents: advertisers, publishers (those who show ads), ad networks, and consumers. Though some are hoping for Apple to provide a solution, no such plans have been announced. Therefore an entrepreneurial eco-system has responded with an explosion of competing solutions, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.

Some of these include:

  • HTML Cookie Tracking: This method has excellent ad attribution and privacy characteristics, but requires a quick redirect on the first app launch. Some feel this detracts from the initial user experience.
  • Digital Fingerprinting: This combines anonymous data and statistical techniques to estimate conversions. It’s easy for a developer to implement, but it comes with an error rate that makes it too imprecise for many marketers, especially as it relates to loyal users metrics
  • MAC address: Similar in nature to the UDID, this method uses a hardware based unique ID. It is easy for networks to implement but because, like the UDID, it is a universal identifier, many believe Apple will clamp down here as well. Two groups, ODID and ODIN, have proposed variants of this method.
  • Paste bin methods: These methods store an ID in a segment of the copy/paste bin. OpenUDID and SecureUDID offer similar benefits to cookie tracking, but some view this approach as a misuse of system infrastructure.

To read his full post, click here. 

The second post is by Jim Payne, CEO of Mopub, and you can read it here. 

Both give a good summary of the situation, the challenges, and possible alternatives.