With the most recent update, Apple has relaxed several of its App Store Review Guidelines.

News Sand DC
Source: Getty Images

Apple released a new set of App Store Review Guidelines this week to coincide with its Worldwide Developer Conference, which, rather shockingly, relaxes some of the standards for publishing to the App Store. Apple often changes its developer guidelines to either introduce new restrictions or clarify current rules by providing more specifics. However, this week's adjustments eliminate a few limitations that apply to specific types of applications, such as lottery, charity donation, location-based, and others.

The changes come after a slew of court battles and new rules in certain nations over Apple's dominance of the App Store, where the firm is under pressure to allow third-party payments and more competition. When it comes to app stores and the fees they collect, both the EU and the US are discussing steps to level the playing field on several fronts.

Most significantly, one of Apple's more ambiguous requirements on how an app must perform to be approved for the App Store has been removed from the revised standards.

The requirement (rule 4.2.3) that an app must "have sufficient material in the binary for the app to operate at startup" was eliminated with the upgrade. Apple has used this rule to restrict apps that require another app to work or that initially need to call resources from the internet, although it was created to guarantee that apps have some type of minimal functionality and are useable upon installation. The reason behind Apple's decision is unclear, but it appears that applications will now be able to request users to download additional materials upon startup, as certain games already do, and will no longer be needed to remain functional until that download is complete. It could possibly pave the way for HTML5-enabled games to return to the App Store, after being restricted in 2019.

When combined with two other modifications relating to lottery applications, it appears that Apple is considering loosening its HTML5 standards for this portion of the app market. Regulation 5.3.3, which prohibited users from purchasing lottery or raffle tickets or beginning financial transfers in an app, has been abolished, as has rule 4.7, which prohibited lotteries and charity donations in the non-binary code.

In January 2020, Apple stated its reasons for prohibiting the usage of HTML5 in applications, stating that apps that dynamically supply fundamental features and functionality through HTML5 are "best served through Safari," implying that Apple intended to exclude these types of apps from the App Store. Apple's amended standards signal a shift in its stance, which may have far-reaching implications for the lottery app sector.

Another new requirement mentions Apple's new WeatherKit developer tools, which allow developers to create apps that leverage Apple's own weather data services. Apple simply states in rule 5.2.5 that applications must adhere to the attribution rules outlined in WeatherKit's documentation.

Finally, another regulation (2.5.4) that is being removed is concerned with location data. Apple no longer requires applications to warn users that utilizing location background mode "may severely reduce battery life." Since the standards still prohibit multitasking applications from exploiting background location solely to keep the program running, this is most likely due to advancements in the iPhone's battery capacities over time.

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !