HomeTech GiantsAppleDynamic Island and Live Activities: Apple wants an ad-free zone

Dynamic Island and Live Activities: Apple wants an ad-free zone

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Apps will soon be able to overlay things on iPhone lock screens and the iPhone 14 Pro home screen. According to Apple, advertising should be “avoided”.


Please no spam on the iPhone lock screen and in the Dynamic Island: Before the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple asked iOS developers not to misuse the new “Live Activities” for advertisements. App providers should “avoid” using a live activity to display advertising and promotions, Apple writes in a new version of its user interface design guidelines. The live activities are intended to keep users informed about current events and tasks and therefore only show directly related information.

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Live Activity is a mix of notification and widget that Apple plans to introduce with the next major iOS 16 update. These can be permanently displayed on the lock screen for many hours, on iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max they also appear prominently in the Notch successor “Dynamic Island” and are therefore permanently in view both on the home screen and in apps. In the absence of a Dynamic Island, updates to a live activity appear as a banner notification at the top of the screen for a short time on all other iPhone model lines – just like when new messages arrive.

Apps can decide for themselves what they consider important enough to notify the user of an update. It is also possible for apps to start a live activity themselves – Apple recommends developers, however, offering the user a button to start and end a live activity manually. According to Apple’s guidelines, live ads shouldn’t run for more than eight hours. Users can also revoke permission to view live activity for apps that display annoying ads in this way.

It remains to be seen to what extent Apple will actively counter advertisements in the new format. The use of push notifications for advertising messages was originally clearly forbidden by Apple, but many apps didn’t stick to it in everyday life. In the meantime, Apple has weakened the former ban: Push messages can still be used for advertising and direct marketing if users have “explicitly agreed” and there is an opt-out option. However, some apps are also happy to ignore these specifications.


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