Apple changes key App Store rules

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Apple agreed to modify several rules of his App Store as part of an agreement with the developers who filed a class action lawsuit against the company. The most significant change is that Apple is “making it clear” that developers can email users “about payment methods outside their iOS app”. The company has also agreed to publish transparency reports detailing the App Store rejection rates and the app review process.

Apple changes the key rules of the App Store in favor of developers

Many of the changes will affect some of Apple’s most controversial developer rules that have been hotly debated. For example, Apple has a policy that prohibits developers from informing users about ways to pay for their content outside of the App Store. This policy was a key issue in the Epic vs. Apple. Now Apple claims that developers are in fact allowed to make such “communications” by email or other methods, as long as they do not do so directly in their app. Furthermore, payments made outside the App Store will not be subject to Apple fees.

“To give developers even more flexibility to reach their customers, Apple is also making it clear that developers can use communications, such as email, to share payment method information outside of their iOS app.” Apple writes in its statement.

As Engadget reports, the company also promises greater transparency on the app review process, which according to the developers is confusing and difficult to understand. Apple says it will release an “annual transparency report” that “will share meaningful statistics on the app review process, including the number of apps rejected for various reasons, the number of customer and developer accounts disabled, objective data related to search queries, and results, and the number of apps removed from the App Store. “

The other changes Apple will make to the App Store

There are other changes that are meant to give developers one more flexibility in setting their prices. Apple says it will increase the number of price points available to app makers from “less than 100 to more than 500”. Such changes are expected by the end of next year, according to a statement from lawyers representing the developers.

Additionally, Apple has agreed, as part of the deal, to keep the changes it originally claimed to be in response to COVID-19 which have reduced commissions to 15% for developers earning less than $ 1 million per year. This change will now be in effect for “at least the next three years”.

Apple will set up a fund to support small US development companies, especially at a time when the world continues to suffer from the effects of COVID-19. Eligible developers must have earned $ 1 million or less through the US store for all of their apps in each calendar year that developers had an account between June 4, 2015 and April 26, 2021 – which includes 99 percent of developers in the United States. Details will be made available at a later date.

Launch of the News Partner Program

Apple today also announced further updates to the App Store with the launch of the News Partner Program. Recognizing the importance of ethical journalism and a free, independent press, the program includes new initiatives to expand Apple’s support for this industry.

“To participate in the program, publishing organizations must provide customers with access to their content in Apple News using the Apple News Format. The realities that will participate will benefit from a 15% commission on eligible subscriptions to their news app. Together with the App Store Small Business Program, this new program will help offer publishers various ways to make their content available to Apple customers while supporting local journalism. Program details are available at apple.com/newsroom. ” explains Apple.