Apple’s AppStore guidelines are pretty harsh, especially for new developers. More to that, app updates even for minor bug fixes are reviewed to meet store guidelines even if the previous package was approved for rollout. Apple promised back at WWDC that it would allow developers to challenge App Store rules. That promise is finally coming to fruition. With the new relaxed rules, apps that are already on the App Store will no longer need to resolve guideline violations before Apple approves bug fixes unless those violations are related to legal issues. The new decision also will allow developers to suggest changes to Apple’sguidelines.
From Apple’s announcement, the changes are already live. The one-paragraph announcement on apple’s developer news section explained that while guideline violations won’t hold up bug fixes, developers will need to address guideline violations in their next submissions.
“App Store, bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues. You’ll instead be able to address guideline violations in your next submission.” part of the announcement read.
These changes were prompted by the rather public feud with software maker Basecamp, the creator of a new email service called Hey. Basecamp openly challenged Apple over whether it could distribute an iOS companion app to its email service without including in-app sign-up options, as Hey costs $99 a year and Basecamp felt it unnecessary to give Apple its standard 30 percent cut of that revenue (although Apple does only take 15 percent of in-app subscription revenue after one year of service). Apple, in response, held up the company’s bug fixes and update capability. These changes could avoid a similar situation from happening in the future.
Apple however did not specifically cite Basecamp as the reason for the changes. The new app store guidelines policy also gives developers room to appeal guideline violations when Apple finds them in violation of a guideline. Developers can also suggest guideline changes for the platform if they desire. suggestions can be given on Apple’s website here
Apple is currently locking horns with Epic Games, creator of the incredibly popular battle royale game Fortnight, Epic fighting against the 30% “Apple tax” it’s getting for every in-app purchase made in the iOS app. The game developer recently started offering Fortnite discounts for players to incentivize them to bypass App Store purchases. Apple also reportedly blocked WordPress app updates to force in-app purchase support.
You have to wonder how receptive Apple will be to suggestions when so many have pushed back against its policy of collecting hefty commissions on in-app purchases.