Contrary to reports, Google is not delaying updates to its iOS app because it does not want to follow Apple’s recently announced App Store privacy label policy. The new policy, part of the company’s larger privacy push, requires developers to explain how data from App Store users are collected and used to track them. ClearTips confirmed that Google is not taking any stand against the label. It is, in fact, preparing to roll out the privacy label in its oversized iOS app catalog as soon as this week or next.
ClearTips today saw the situation with Google’s apps following a story by Fast Company that speculated that Google may be slowing when it releases iOS app updates as it prepares to be transparent about the data it collects from its users was not. The report said that “not even one” Google’s apps were updated from December 7, 2020 – coincidentally, just one day before Apple’s new privacy label requirements applied to the App Store.
It went on to suggest a deadline from late December to early December when many of Google’s iOS apps were updated, another indication that Google was going to squeeze in some last updates before the app privacy label deadline Was trying
However, there are some problems with speculation.
For starters, Google did indeed update two of its apps after the deadline – but those updates did not include privacy labels.
Google Slides, a slideshow presentation app and one of Google’s most important apps in the productivity space, was updated on December 14, 2020. And Socratic, a homework helper and number 7 free app in the education category, was updated by Google. 15 December (We tested this data using a sensor tower, as Google’s iOS catalog is near 100 iPhone apps!)
While it may seem that Google is breaking Apple’s new rules, we should also be careful about reading too much into the update timing. A slowdown in the December app update by any stretch is not uncommon. Nor is it suspicious to see changes to the app pushed to the public in the weeks before Christmas and New Year as Apple’s App Store closes during the holidays. This year, The App Store closed for its annual break from December 23 to December 27, 2020.
And like other large companies, Google goes on a code freeze at the end of December in early January, so that employees are not on vacation to cause major issues with their products and services.
Google is also not the only major app publisher, which has delayed the immediate embrace of the app privacy label. For example, Amazon and Pintrest have not updated with the privacy label until the time of writing.
Of course, there is no one to say that the app privacy label is not a concern for Google, as its primary business is advertising. In fact, they are being taken quite seriously – with executing meetings to participate in the discussion, that sort of thing.
Apple may have given Google some leeway on the matter, it seems, because it allowed Google’s apps to be updated after the deadline without presenting privacy label information. (However, small developers probably won’t be made, who have worked to appease deadlines though.)
A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company confirmed plans to add a privacy label to its app catalog. He also confirmed that the label is expected to debut as early as this week or next week, although an exact date is not yet available.