New Apple requirements for iOS apps

Feb 1, 2016

Last week, we sent out an email about some new requirements from Apple for iOS apps concerning IPv6 networking. This post will provide information about how these upcoming changes affect you and your station.

What is IPv6?

IPv6 is a more modern form of network access that will allow the Internet to scale for decades to come. IPv6 has existed for some time now, and Apple announced at their WWDC 2015 conference that they would start requiring all iOS9 apps to support IPv6 networking some time in early 2016.

How does this affect my station?

The requirements from Apple mandate changes in two areas:

1. App changes:

If your station has an iPhone/iPad mobile add that uses networking to access remote content (like pulling in text stories and images from your website or API, or connecting to your live audio stream), it will need to be updated to use IPv6 networking code. NPR has already made the changes on its end that are necessary for the NPR iPhone /iPad apps to meet Apple's standards. We suggest contacting the vendor who created your app to confirm that they are taking the steps necessary to ensure that your app will continue to work once these changes are in place.

2. Stream changes:

If your station has one or more live web streams, you will need to make sure that you are using a streaming URL that is DNS-based, not one with a hard-coded IP address in it. As a part of the IPv6 update, streaming URLs with hard-coded IP addresses in them will no longer be accessible from iOS apps (including NPR apps), or if someone tries to listen to your stream in the Safari web browser. 

If your station is a NPR Digital Services streaming customer, your streams already use a DNS-based URL, so you will not need to make any changes to your streaming URLs.

For other stations, we suggest confirming that your streaming URLs are DNS-based. Here are examples below of both types of streaming URLs:

Hard-coded IP-based URL: http://66.151.22.253/wabc/stream.pls

DNS-based URL: http://stream.wabc.org/listen

You can log into StationConnect to see which streaming URLs are currently being used for your station streams in NPR apps. If you find that your URLs are not DNS-based, please reach out to your streaming provider and request a DNS-based URL. Once you have updated StationConnect with the new URL, all NPR apps accessing your stream URL should be automatically updated within an hour of the change.

Now is the time to contact your development team and other third party vendors that you work with you make sure that your apps and streams are IPv6 ready!