Apple has introduced a new set of guidelines for the App Store that will monitor its own new features that will come with the new iOS 14. The guidelines also address how game streaming services will operate on the app store and clarifies rules regarding in-app purchases.
One of the biggest updates is related to how game streaming services will operate on Apple devices. Such streaming apps like Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia are not available on the app store. Microsoft has complained too that Apple’s regulation restricts gaming apps in many ways on its platforms, and the lawsuit with Epic Games has already created a divide between Apple and its gaming community.
However, the new rules state that game streaming services are now permitted to run based on some conditions. One of them is that the games supported by these services need to be separately available on Apple’s app store listings. The new guidelines give provisions to create a ‘catalog app’ to game streaming app developers, that will list all games in service, but these games have to be individually available on the app store. Apple says this will help it review all games for content guidelines, ratings and regulations.
Moreover, Apple has introduced new guidelines that will monitor new features that come with soon-to-be-released iOS 14. Content in new formats such as App Clips, widgets, extension and notifications, will be required to be solely related to the main app’s functions.
The tech giant has also made exceptions for certain kinds of apps to allow them to conduct payments from elsewhere rather than through in-app purchases, a rule Apple is very stringent about. This new rule extends to enterprise apps – that sell to employees and students for use, apps that offer VOIP calling, storage or email, and apps that offer in-person services such as classes and telehealth only if the payment is made between two individuals.
Another update in the rules bars Netflix and Kindle from providing services where users pay elsewhere and use the subscription on iOS devices, resulting in bypassing the Apple app store fees. Under the new rules, these apps have to give a new provision of creating an account within iOS as long as it is a free service.
Another major change is that developers will now have to mention what the app’s updates include. They will reject generic descriptions in the Notes for Review section of App Store Connect.
A lot more has been announced in the new changes brought by Apple in its guidelines for the App Store. The company says developers will be handed detailed information of what to do and what not to
Interestingly, these changes come around a time when Apple is facing a challenge in the court against Epic Games over the issue of App store’s in-app purchases and fees collected by Apple for it.