jini jini - 4 months ago 9x
Objective-C Question

How to implement a basic voting mechanism in iOS that prevents duplicate votes?

I am showcasing content in my iOS app and I would like users to be able to vote. Instead of implementing a complicated "register a username" functionality, I just want a user to be able to upvote.

In the World of web development I could prevent duplicate votes by using the IP address of the client.

How can I make a simple voting system that allows a user to be only able to vote up a post once and not worry about duplicates?


Dont use uniqueIdentifier as Apple has stated:

Deprecated in iOS 5.0


An alphanumeric string unique to each device based on various hardware details. (read-only) (Deprecated in iOS 5.0. Instead, create a unique identifier specific to your app.)

Instead, I would suggest changing over from uniqueIdentifier to this open source library (2 simple categories really). It utilizes the device’s MAC Address along with the App Bundle Identifier to generate a unique ID in your applications that can be used as a UDID replacement.

Keep in mind that unlike the UDID this number will be different for every app.

You simply need to import the included NSString and UIDevice categories and call:

#import "UIDevice+IdentifierAddition.h"
#import "NSString+MD5Addition.h"
NSString *iosFiveUDID = [[UIDevice currentDevice] uniqueDeviceIdentifier]

You can find it on Github here:


Heres the code (just the .m files - check the github project for the headers):


#import "UIDevice+IdentifierAddition.h"
#import "NSString+MD5Addition.h"

#include <sys/socket.h> // Per msqr
#include <sys/sysctl.h>
#include <net/if.h>
#include <net/if_dl.h>

@interface UIDevice(Private)

- (NSString *) macaddress;


@implementation UIDevice (IdentifierAddition)

#pragma mark -
#pragma mark Private Methods

// Return the local MAC addy
// Courtesy of FreeBSD hackers email list
// Accidentally munged during previous update. Fixed thanks to erica sadun & mlamb.
- (NSString *) macaddress{
    int                 mib[6];
    size_t              len;
    char                *buf;
    unsigned char       *ptr;
    struct if_msghdr    *ifm;
    struct sockaddr_dl  *sdl;
    mib[0] = CTL_NET;
    mib[1] = AF_ROUTE;
    mib[2] = 0;
    mib[3] = AF_LINK;
    mib[4] = NET_RT_IFLIST;
    if ((mib[5] = if_nametoindex("en0")) == 0) {
        printf("Error: if_nametoindex error\n");
        return NULL;
    if (sysctl(mib, 6, NULL, &len, NULL, 0) < 0) {
        printf("Error: sysctl, take 1\n");
        return NULL;
    if ((buf = malloc(len)) == NULL) {
        printf("Could not allocate memory. error!\n");
        return NULL;
    if (sysctl(mib, 6, buf, &len, NULL, 0) < 0) {
        printf("Error: sysctl, take 2");
        return NULL;
    ifm = (struct if_msghdr *)buf;
    sdl = (struct sockaddr_dl *)(ifm + 1);
    ptr = (unsigned char *)LLADDR(sdl);
    NSString *outstring = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%02X:%02X:%02X:%02X:%02X:%02X", 
                           *ptr, *(ptr+1), *(ptr+2), *(ptr+3), *(ptr+4), *(ptr+5)];
    return outstring;

#pragma mark -
#pragma mark Public Methods

- (NSString *) uniqueDeviceIdentifier{
    NSString *macaddress = [[UIDevice currentDevice] macaddress];
    NSString *bundleIdentifier = [[NSBundle mainBundle] bundleIdentifier];  
    NSString *stringToHash = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@%@",macaddress,bundleIdentifier];
    NSString *uniqueIdentifier = [stringToHash stringFromMD5];  
    return uniqueIdentifier;

- (NSString *) uniqueGlobalDeviceIdentifier{
    NSString *macaddress = [[UIDevice currentDevice] macaddress];
    NSString *uniqueIdentifier = [macaddress stringFromMD5];    
    return uniqueIdentifier;



#import "NSString+MD5Addition.h"
#import <CommonCrypto/CommonDigest.h>

@implementation NSString(MD5Addition)

- (NSString *) stringFromMD5{
    if(self == nil || [self length] == 0)
        return nil;
    const char *value = [self UTF8String];
    unsigned char outputBuffer[CC_MD5_DIGEST_LENGTH];
    CC_MD5(value, strlen(value), outputBuffer);
    NSMutableString *outputString = [[NSMutableString alloc] initWithCapacity:CC_MD5_DIGEST_LENGTH * 2];
    for(NSInteger count = 0; count < CC_MD5_DIGEST_LENGTH; count++){
        [outputString appendFormat:@"%02x",outputBuffer[count]];
    return [outputString autorelease];