Google restarts updates for most of its biggest iOS apps

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Google appears to be rolling out updates for some of its services on iOS devices after a delay of several months following wrangles over privacy.

The company has released updates for services including Gmail, Meet, Sheets, Docs, Calendar and Tasks for the first time since December 2020, leaving users without some of the most important new additions and features.

However not all Google apps on iOS have been updated, with Chrome and Google Drive among a selection of services that haven't seen any upgrades in months.

Privacy labels

Many of the new updates appear to be minor fixes and improvements, Engadget notes, with the exception of Tasks, which now supports widgets on iOS 14.

However the delay, and the lack of other updates for core services such as Chrome and Drive still suggests that Google is still not yet ready to comply with Apple’s new App Store Privacy Labels policy. 

Apple revealed the new rules last year, with all third-party developers now needing to declare a "privacy label" discussing how their apps collect data from users, and how this data is used. 

The new rules apply to any new apps or app updates submitted to the App Store since December 2020, and look to help the company be more transparent with its users concerning how apps collect and utilise their data.

"The App Store now helps users better understand an app’s privacy practices before they download the app on any Apple platform," Apple's developer website says

"On each app’s product page, users can learn about some of the data types the app may collect, and whether that data is linked to them or used to track them. You’ll need to provide information about your app’s privacy practices, including the practices of third-party partners whose code you integrate into your app, in App Store Connect. This information is required to submit new apps and app updates to the App Store."

Google has a significant number of apps on the iOS ecosystem and compiling each one's privacy information will take time. It has been suggested that Apple may simply be showing Google a little leeway, giving the firm some extra time to get its privacy labels ready.

Via Engadget

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.