The Mystery of the Disappearing UDID
by Marco Tabini TidBITS22 Aug 2011
Every release of iOS comes with a healthy share of new features, updates, tweaks, and the inevitable accusation that Apple is up to no good.
Case in point, TechCrunch broke the news  last week that the latest beta of iOS 5 begins to phase out developer functionality that can be used to track individual devices.
The rest of the Mac punditry machine quickly piled on, accusing Apple of trying to shut competitors out of the iPhone market and claiming that developers will no longer be able to provide users with services like scoreboards, personalized accounts, and goodness knows what else.
There seems to be general agreement, therefore, that this change (which Apple, true to form, made in the latest beta with little fanfare) is a Big Deal. There's also a lot of confusion, however, on exactly what a UDID is, what it does, and why it is being discontinued.