Do you use Facebook to log into apps on your iPhone? Many people do, because it’s an easy and convenient way to sign in without having to keep creating more usernames and passwords.
Adding to this, the option to use Facebook for Apple device login isn’t always there for users. Many people have quit Facebook altogether, while others have lost trust in the social network.
But as of last year when iOS 13 was introduced, there’s a new way for Apple users to sign into apps without having to create multiple new accounts and passwords: Sign in with Apple.
Until now, the ability to do this had been limited to certain apps. Not anymore–as part of updated App Store guidelines released last week, Apple has made Sign in with Apple mandatory on all apps that use third party or social log in services such as Google sign in, Sign in with Twitter and Facebook Login. The deadline for apps to include the feature is April 30.
What is sign in with Apple and how do I use it?
Using it is simple: Apps or websites that use the feature will include a clear Sign in with Apple button, much like Apple Pay. This means you can both set up and sign into the app or site using your Apple ID.
Once you press the Sign in with Apple button, you will be asked to authenticate yourself, either with your iPhone passcode, or biometrics such as Face ID and Touch ID.
Another very cool thing about Sign in with Apple is, you don’t have to enter your email address if you don’t want to. If you choose the Hide My Email option, Apple will create a random email for you and will still forward all messages relating to the app to your personal email.
The feature is also available on other platforms such as Windows and Android, if the developer has integrated it into their app or service.
In addition, Apple promises: “Sign in with Apple won’t track or profile you as you use your favorite apps and websites, and Apple retains only the information that’s needed to make sure you can sign in and manage your account.”
Why should I use Sign in with Apple, and why is it better than Facebook or Google?
Security and privacy are increasingly important to all users, and that’s why Apple has included this feature alongside many other updates in iOS 13.
“Facebook’s reach also goes way beyond Facebook itself. It has partnerships with a whole host of marketing firms and ad networks so that activities on other sites—including but not limited to logging into a third-party service with your Facebook account—can be combined with your Facebook profile.”
Apple wants to mix security and convenience–one reason why it joined the FIDO Alliance last month with the aim of reducing reliance on passwords and increasing the use of two factor authentication including security keys.
The ease of signing in with Apple focuses on the rare combination of security and convenience, says Jake Moore, cybersecurity expert at ESET. In addition, he says the move is a step forward for privacy.
“We often see large companies offering convenience but in exchange for personal information or tracking data. It seems to me like Apple is taking the opposite stance of its competitors Google and Facebook who offer similar services but for a price–data.”
Security researcher Sean Wright agrees, saying Sign in with Apple can help make people more secure. “As we have seen time and again, weak and re-used passwords remain a big problem today. One possible solution to help combat this is single sign on [such as Sign in with Apple]. This means you only have one password or passcode to remember to access all your sites.”
Sign in with Apple is certainly a useful security tool and I’d encourage you to use it, along with ensuring a strong Apple passcode and two factor authentication where possible.