One of the features that Apple said was awesome for iOS 13 and iPadOS is “Sign in with Apple”. This feature is aimed at security for Apple device users. No more giving your email to shady companies that are going to sell it to the world so you now get random ads for toilet paper and socks with penguins on them.
That sounds great on so many levels but it neglects the dark side of this feature…more Apple lock in.
Nerds have heard of oAuth. That’s where you could use your Twitter login to create an account with some other application. I thought it was great at first, no more random accounts all over the internet I can use my single Twitter login for everything.
The truth is, I once thought Facebook was a decent company. I used them as the oAuth provider for some of my accounts. The trouble is that now we all know Facebook is a terrible company. They’ve likely taken all the data from any account I let them have access to and used it to build a profile of me.
Now that I’ve closed my Facebook account these other outside accounts are behind many hoops I’ll have to jump if I want to get access to them. That’s where Sign in with Apple is going to get us, locked in to Apple more than we are1.
Apple is going to require you add this sign in as an option for your accounts. Yes you can offer other options, but many people are going to pick the Apple option and then if they ever want to move away from Apple they’ll realize they’re locked in.
I’m not interested in helping build the silo bigger with thicker walls so it’s even harder to get out into the open web.
Yes, it’s going to make marketing harder, but we’ve heard words like “digital marketing apocalypse” before and it hasn’t happened. I don’t think that it’s going to happen here either, marketing is just going to be a bit harder than grab all your data and send you ads for penguin socks.
- I’m already trying to get out of software lock in. ↩