This week WWDC 2019, Apple unveiled its own and perhaps overdue single sign-on (SSO) service. Sign in with Apple was pretty much seen as the company throwing shade at Google and Facebook over their own SSOs. It seems, however, that Apple is doing more than giving users a more privacy-respecting alternative. It will, in fact, requires some app developers to give users that option if they’re already doing Facebook or Google logins anyway.
This requirement makes sense since Sign in with Apple’s core reason for existing is to protect Apple users from potentially leaking out their private information to third-parties. And by third-parties, Apple usually means Facebook and Google, not out of spite but because those are the two most common SSO’s that apps offer.
According to the revised App Store Review Guidelines, if apps offer either one of those two, they will also have to offer Sign in with Apple. If the apps only require a username and password of their own, they can proceed as normal. Users, however, may wish they did offer Sign in with Apple instead.
More than just the ease of signing in with Face ID or Touch ID, Apple’s SSO tries to prevent information from going out where it shouldn’t. It can even create a random semi-throwaway email when signing up for apps and services so those apps won’t even know your real email. Apple will be the one to forward those to your account.
Sign in with Apple goes into beta this summer but the requirement won’t take effect until the service is commercially available. Of course, app developers will have to do the work to add the new sign-in experience and it remains to be seen how much it will affect apps.