The rollout of iOS 9 is expected to come this Fall and will introduce a new privacy feature called App Transport Security (ATS) to enforce best practices in secure connections between an app and its back end. This change may need your action if you are developing with the Google Mobile Ads SDK and building an app against the iOS 9 SDK.
We recommend using HTTPS exclusively if you’re developing a new app. If you’re working on an existing app, we suggest using HTTPS as much as possible and creating a plan to migrate the rest of your app toward ATS compliance.
All iOS 9 devices running apps built with Xcode 7 that don’t disable ATS will be affected by this change. The following log message appears when a non-ATS compliant app attempts to serve an ad via HTTP on iOS 9:
“App Transport Security has blocked a cleartext HTTP (http://) resource load since it is insecure. Temporary exceptions can be configured via your app’s Info.plist file.”
While Google remains committed to industry-wide adoption of HTTPS, there isn’t always full compliance on third party ad networks and custom creative code served via our systems. To ensure ads continue to serve on iOS9 devices for developers transitioning to HTTPS, the recommended short term fix is to add an exception that allows HTTP requests to succeed and non-secure content to load successfully.
Publishers can add an exception to their Info.plist to allow any insecure connection:
<key>NSAppTransportSecurity</key> <dict> <key>NSAllowsArbitraryLoads</key> <true/> </dict>
If you have any questions regarding these changes, feel free to contact us through our forum.
Update (8/27/2015): We've received important feedback about this post and wanted to clarify a few points. We wrote this because developers asked us about resources available to them for the upcoming iOS 9 release, and we wanted to outline some options. To be clear, developers should only consider disabling ATS if other approaches to comply with ATS standards are unsuccessful. Apple has provided a tech note describing different approaches, including the ability to selectively enable ATS for a list of provided HTTPS sites.
We’ve strongly advocated for HTTPS protection for many years and we continue to roll it out across our products.