Specifically, iOS 14 — the latest update to the mobile operating system on Apple devices — will give users the option to hide their devices’ Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) number from apps. This isn’t going to go down well with advertisers, of course, but if targeted ads are your biggest smartphone bugbear, this is great news.
Your IDFA is a unique identification number attached to your device. Advertisers use this to track the ways you use your phone and then deliver targeted ads in the apps you use, based on your activity.
Thanks to iOS 14, apps will need to ask for your permission the first time you open the program, before they collect your data, deliver personalized ads and track your activity. This gives you much greater control over how apps can track you and share your data with ad networks.
It doesn’t mean you won’t still see ads, but it makes it more difficult for apps and advertisers to gather your personal information. (It’s likely that advertisers will promise to give users “more relevant ads” to get them to opt-in to IDAF tracking, says Lifehacker, but remember that this is still entirely your decision.)
In Settings, you’ll be able to see which apps you’ve given permission to track you, and you can change your preferences at any time.
The update will also let users add widgets to their home screen. “Picture in Picture” is another exciting development — this allows you to keep watching videos or continue your FaceTime call while using another app.
And you’ll be able to pin up to nine of your most important conversations to the top of your conversation list so you can access them easily.
These are welcome options for Apple users. Bring on iOS 14!