Apple recently updated its App Store Guidelinesd, an iPhone and iPa document that tells iPhone and iPad developers what types of behavior a company will accept. And where is it more likely to reject apps or crackdowns after the fact? And as TechCrunch reports, today’s changes are aimed at scammers and fraudsters who directly prey on Apple users, but not all.
I’m just putting all the data through the difference inspector to show you what’s changed. Check out all the differences here for yourself. or read more highlights
Apple warns of upcoming scammers for all their accounts
Apple has a section called “5.6 Developer Code of Conduct” that warns developers not to “Deceive users or try to defraud customers” among a laundry list of other bad behaviors. Now there are also two clear warnings and redemption possibilities:
Repeated manipulative or misleading behavior or other fraudulent behavior This will lead to your removal from the Apple Developer Program.
Your Developer Program account will be terminated if you engage in activities or actions that are inconsistent with the Developer Code of Conduct. To restore your account You may provide a written statement detailing the improvements you plan to make. If your plan is approved by Apple and we confirm the change has been made Your account may be restored.
Apple counts slick credentials, fake reviews, negative reviews, and other warning signs. About developer status
These three sections of the Developer Code of Conduct are new:
5.6.2 Developer Identity
Providing verifiable information to Apple and its customers is important to their trust. Your representation of yourself, your business, and your offer in the App Store must be accurate. The information you provide must be true. relevant and up-to-date so Apple and its customers understand who they are engaging with. and can contact you about any problems.
5.6.3 Fraud discovery
Participation in the App Store requires honesty and commitment to build and maintain customer trust. Any element manipulation of the App Store customer experience, such as charts, search reviews or referring to your app undermines the trust of the customer and is not allowed.
5.6.4 App Quality
Customers expect the highest quality from the App Store, and maintaining high quality content, services, and experiences fosters customer trust. Indications of this non-compliance include excessive customer reports of concerns about your app, such as negative customer reviews. and too many refund requests The inability to maintain high quality can be a factor in deciding whether a developer adheres to the developer code of conduct.
Misleading marketing is not allowed. Up to and including pseudo-and-change pricing These bold parts of section 2.3.1 are new:
Market your app in a misleading way, for example by promoting it. Content or services that are not actually offered (such as virus and malware scanners on iOS). or false price promotions Either inside or outside the App Store is a reason to remove your app from it. app store and termination of your developer account.
All of this appears to be directly aimed at Apple’s scam problem, where the world’s most profitable company can’t stop the blatant scam that you can easily find yourself and where. The Washington Post 2% of the company’s highest grossing apps were found to be fraudulent But it’s unclear whether the enforcement will update alongside these new rules. TechCrunch Apparently, no response was given at the briefing with Apple.
The bounty hunter app is taking notice.
Remember when Citizen’s CEO encouraged his users to hunt down innocents by offering a $30,000 reward? Apple’s new rules appear to be designed to weaken vigilante justice:
1.7 Reporting a criminal offense
An app for reporting alleged criminal activity must involve local law enforcement. and can only be offered in such participating countries.
Hookup apps also let you know.
I’m not sure which app made the headlines this time, but Apple has messed around with this issue in the past.
1.1.4 Sexual or pornographic material disclosed by Webster’s dictionary as: “Explicit descriptions or displays of genitals or sexual activity intended to arouse sexual sensations rather than aesthetic or emotional sensations.” This includes “connected” apps that may include pornography or are used to facilitate prostitution.
legal weed but must be legal
The Weed app has been around and used on iPhones for years, and it’s not for lack of rules. Here’s more information about letting developers know that narrowly defined categories are allowed.
(ix) Apps that provide services in highly regulated areas (such as banking and financial services health care gambling Legal use of marijuanaand air travel) or requiring sensitive user data should be submitted by the entity providing the service. Not by individual developers Apps that facilitate the legal sale of marijuana must be geo-restricted in their respective jurisdictions.
You don’t need to cut gift card sales to Apple.
Apple says it doesn’t want to cut back on physical purchases Are physical gift cards an exception? by any means You don’t have to pay now
digital Gift cards, gift cards, vouchers, and coupons that can be redeemed for digital goods or services can only be sold in your app using in-app purchases. Physical gift cards sold within the app and mailed to customers may use a different payment method than in-app purchases.
Apple’s statutes haven’t disappeared, they’ve been curtailed.
Of all the rules in the App Store, “don’t include irrelevant data” is probably the easiest way to violate it. Developers like ProtonMail tell us it’s used to justify deleting apps when there really isn’t a rule involved. It’s also annoying to developers who believe they should be able to tell users about the hoops they have to jump through to get into the store. It hasn’t gone away, but it’s shortened now:
2.3.10 Make sure your app is focused on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, or watchOS experiences and do not include the name, icon, or image of any other mobile platform in your app or metadata. unless there is a specific approved interactive function. Make sure your app metadata focuses on the app itself and its experience. Do not include irrelevant information.
including but not limited to information about Apple or its development process.
Now, Apple is also making it clear that – with certain types of apps and outside of the apps themselves, and only if you get your contact information elsewhere – the real developers. can Tell the user that they can pay outside the Apple store:
Developers may not use the information obtained within the app to target individual users outside the app to use any other means of purchase other than in-app purchases. (e.g. sending an email on other purchasing methods to each user after that person registers for an account within the app). Developers can send communications outside of the app to the user base about purchase methods. Other than in-app purchases
That doesn’t at least correct the company’s anti-steering rule, which emerged prominently during the Epic-Apple trial, but it does make the edge cases clearer.
Apple wants apps to be free for users.
5.1.1(v) Account Sign-in: If your app does not have a critical account-based feature Let others use it without logging in. If your app supports creating an account You must also offer account deletion within the app.
Oh, and Roblox isn’t totally a game, totally.
This section is all new:
1.2.1 Creator Content
Apps with content from a dedicated community of users known as “authors” are great opportunities if properly curated. These apps offer a unified experience for customers to interact with different types of creator content. They offer tools and programs that help a community of non-developers create, share, and monetize their user-generated experiences. These experiences must not change the core features and functionality of built-in apps—but add content to those structured experiences. These experiences are not original “apps” coded by developers. It is content within the app itself and is considered user-generated content by App Review. Such creator content may include videos, articles, audio, and even generic games. The App Store supports apps that offer user-generated content. up such As long as all guidelines are followed, including Guideline 1.2 for user-generated content moderation and Guideline 3.1.1 for payments and in-app purchases. Apps for creators should share content age ratings for creators with the highest age rating available in their app. and inform users which content requires additional purchase.
If you’re wondering what Apple is all about here, here’s the TL;DR:
Apple doesn’t want to allow cloud gaming services like Stadia and xCloud in the App Store, so it tells everyone that each game in the game collection must be approved individually. Although that rule doesn’t exist until Apple adds it backwards. Then everyone pointed out that Roblox was a collection of games that weren’t individually approved. LOL Apple argued at the trial that Roblox wasn’t a game, and Roblox amusedly agreed. Now, Apple is carving out a brand new category. of “Content for creators” to confirm why Roblox works while many other gaming platforms don’t. Easy!