Sign in With Apple - Guide for App Owners
Apple has announced a new sign-in feature called “Sign In with Apple.” This new feature will allow users to sign in to apps and websites using their Apple ID rather than creating a separate username and password.
Here’s what you need to know about how Sign In with Apple will work for app owners.
What is Sign in with Apple
Sign In with Apple works similarly to how current users set up two-factor authentication sign-in. When users select Sign In with Apple, they will be prompted for their password and a six-digit verification code. Unlike other sign-in methods, this code is either sent to a device associated with the account or sent as a push notification.
The first time a user signs into your app using Sign In with Apple, you’ll have an opportunity to prompt them to save their credentials, so future logins become easier - without requiring security codes or generating new tokens. If preferred, you can also choose not to generate those alerts at all.
Don’t worry about any of that, though: iOS will handle most of the heavy lifting on your app’s behalf by default.
What does Sign In with Apple mean for users?
Apple made it clear that they approach sign-in and user security with a holistic approach: your Apple ID’s security is their priority. They want to increase convenience without sacrificing security, or vice versa.
For this reason, some users may consider Sign In with Apple as an alternative login method for their apps - not as a replacement to existing methods. These users will appreciate how easy it is to use their already-existing credentials, especially those who have already set up two-factor authentication.
Many users will likely be thrilled by the idea of never having to type out long usernames and passwords again – but keep in mind that having two different forms of login may be preferable for power users.
What does Sign In with Apple mean for app owners?
According to our initial estimates, the launch of Sign In with Apple has a relatively small impact on the overall number of logged-in sessions within your app. Many users are already using their Apple IDs to authenticate into apps via Facebook or Google - so the benefits are limited.
For this reason, it doesn’t make sense to leave out 2-factor authentication if you’re concerned about security breaches to your login store. Having at least one additional verification method (e.g., text message) can help protect against hijackings and credential stuffing, which we’ve written about in-depth in our past blog posts.
Last but not least, Apple is positioning Sign In with Apple as an alternative login method for existing apps - not a replacement to other existing methods like Facebook or Google login. It’s also worth noting that they’re encouraging developers to keep the latest version of iOS on all devices running your app up-to-date to ensure compatibility with new sign-in integrations that will be introduced over time. This may help reduce support requests for login issues down the road.
Is Sign in with Apple mandatory for App Owners
No, Apple does not require developers to use Sign In with Apple (when we do not use social login). It’s worth reiterating that this feature should be considered an alternative login method rather than a replacement for existing methods. If you’d like, you can choose to disable it completely or show a reminder message instead of automatically signing in users - but don’t assume that your users will mind having their data auto-populated without their permission.
When you need to implement Sign-in with Apple
Sign In with Apple is mandatory for app owners if they use another social login like Google or Facebook. In this scenario, the user needs to have iOS 11 on their devices to sign in.
Will there be any impact on my current integration?
It shouldn’t have any effect if other supported authentication providers are used in the app, but keep in mind there may be some potential impact if your app can already auto-fill user credentials using watchOS or macOS.
This is because Sign In with Apple works similarly to how those AutoFill methods do. So you will need to unify those login flows if AutoFill is enabled.
The good news: Apple has provided a few different workflows that developers can choose from in the App Store Connect documentation.
Will I be able to provide custom branding?
Yes, but only for certain prompting and alert styles. While we’re still investigating other options, at least one way of providing custom branding for Sign In with Apple is by using Accessibility Customization (e.g., Guided Access or VoiceOver).
This may seem like it would prevent users from adding additional authentication factors without removing the customization. However, it’s important to note that this workaround should not prevent users from requiring 2-factor authentication via SMS
How to implement Sign-in with Apple in your app
To implement Sign In with Apple, you’ll need to add the following entitlement to your project:
This entitlement will be used to verify that a user’s email is associated with an Apple ID and needs access to use this App Store feature.
It can be added by going into “Capabilities” within Xcode and searching for it under Associated Domains. This entitlement is required from version 11.0 of the iOS SDK through 12.0 (inclusive).
If you need help adding Sign In with Apple to your app, please contact us for assistance.
Sign In with Apple is available now on iOS 12 and can be enabled through iTunes Connect.
New users who set up two-factor authentication using their Apple ID will be prompted to use Sign In with Apple.
If you’re concerned with security breaches, we suggest adding at least one additional verification method (e.g., text message), which can help protect against hijackings and credential stuffing.
Sign In with Apple is positioned as an alternative login method for existing apps and not a replacement to other existing methods like Facebook or Google login.
For more information about Sign In with Apple, please visit: https://developer.apple.com/sign-in-with-apple/
If you need help adding Sign In with Apple to your app, please contact us for assistance. Our experts will be happy to help you!
Thank you for reading,
Radek from Duomly