06 June 2019
Apple made a number of announcements at WWDC 2019 earlier this week with a major focus on iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina. It also announced a few other things but spent relatively less time talking about them. One of those is Sign In With Apple feature that despite having a less screen time caught everyone's attention. It is Apple's answer to third-party sign-in options and now, we have a few more details about the same.
The first most important thing to know is that Apple will make it compulsory to use Sign In With Apple feature for those apps which offer any kind of third-party sign-in option. It means no matter if it is sign-in with Google, Facebook, Twitter or any other platform, there should be Apple's offering if there is even one of them. It will become mandatory once the feature exits the current beta stage and becomes available commercially.
In the guidelines, it has been mentioned that the Sign In With Apple button should be prominent and one should not have to scroll down to see it. The button size should be larger or equal to buttons for other sign-in mediums. Apple also recommends its button to be placed above third-party solutions but it does not seem to be mandatory at least for now.
Apple's reasoning behind offering its own login button is that it wants users to have control over their data and privacy. Currently available options require users to share their personally identifiable data like name, age, gender, email address, and location with the website or app using it. It also helps option providers like Google and Facebook to know that someone has used their method which can be further used for ad targetting.
But with Sign In With Apple, users will be able to sign-in using Face ID/Touch ID depending on the Apple device they own. They can also make use of Apple ID for login purposes. If a user does not want to share their personal email address, Apple will create a unique and random email address for them which will receive all the emails and forward them to the user's own email ID. Since these random addresses will be created for each website/app, a user can simply disable any of them anytime if he does not want to receive any more emails from a particular website or app.
It is worth noting that Apple is not the first one to try the anonymous sign-in option. Facebook and Snapchat have tried their hands at the same thing but none of them received positive adaptation from developers. But since Apple is making it mandatory for apps on its store to use its offering, we might see different results this time around.