Apple Releases New App Store Review Guidelines with Updated Rules for Kids Apps, Gambling Apps

app_store_icon_170Apple has updated its App Store Review Guidelines, revising several sections and introducing a number of new rules based on various policies that have been enacted over the last six months.

Most notably, Apple has clarified its guidelines regarding apps for children in light of its upcoming educational policy changes and the expansion of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) earlier this year.

COPPA's new rules prevent developers from collecting information from children under the age of 13 without verifiable parental consent. While developers were previously limited from collecting information like name, address, and telephone number, COPPA now restricts access to photographs, video, and audio as well.

17.3 Apps may ask for date of birth (or use other age-gating mechanisms) only for the purpose of complying with applicable children's privacy statutes, but must include some useful functionality or entertainment value regardless of the user's age

17.4 Apps that collect, transmit, or have the capability to share personal information (e.g. name, address, email, location, photos, videos, drawings, persistent identifiers, the ability to chat, or other personal data) from a minor must comply with applicable children's privacy statutes.

Apple has also created a whole new section on "Kids Apps" as it prepares to implement sweeping changes to its educational program with the introduction of iOS 7. As part of its efforts to increase iOS device usage in schools, Apple will allow children under age 13 to own and operate individual iTunes accounts for the first time.

The new section detailing apps for children under aged 13 specifies that such apps must include a privacy policy, may not include behavioral advertising (ads based on in-app activity, for example), and must ask for parental permission before allowing children to "link out of the app or engage in commerce." Apps in the Kids Category of the App Store must be made specifically for children "ages 5 and under, ages 6–8, or ages 9–11."

In addition to its guideline changes regarding children, Apple implemented two new guidelines that pertain to gambling. Apps that offer real money gaming are now required to be free and are forbidden from using in-app purchases to offer players credit or currency to use in such games.

20.5 Apps that offer real money gaming (e.g. sports betting, poker, casino games, horse racing) must have necessary licensing and permissions in the locations where the App is used, must be restricted to those locations, and must be free on the App Store

20.6 Apps that use IAP to purchase credit or currency to use in conjunction with real money gaming will be rejected

Apple has also introduced a new guideline that prevents apps "whose use may result in physical harm" and provided a slight wording change to guideline 2.25, which first made headlines earlier this year when it was cited in the rejection of prominent app discovery title AppGratis. Under the new terms, apps that mimic the App Store will not be rejected if they have been approved for a specific need.

Registered iOS developers can access Apple’s full range of App Store Review Guidelines from Apple's developer site.

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
124 months ago
Apple has also introduced a new guideline that prevents apps "whose use may result in physical harm"
I wonder if my app, which requires users to bash their phones into their faces, will be rejected? C'mon, Apple! :mad:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisCW11 Avatar
123 months ago
Hey Apple, why not do this?

Destroy FREEMIUM.

I mean true, I get tired of hearing about some parent shocked when they get a $30,000 credit card build because their 2 year old was pounding on an iPad for the past month buying Smurfberries. If a parent hands a device to a child without protecting in-game purchases with a password I don't believe they should be entitled to getting a refund and learn a hard lesson.

But the problem with freemium in general is they make for a really crappy game.

Was playing Jurassic Park Builder for a bit, and I mean every aspect of this game wants to drive you to buy in-game money to move the game along faster. Buildings take 24 real world hours to build, or spend 75 in-game bucks? Dinosaurs cost 200+ in-game bucks which translate to $40+ real world bucks! The problem is that you only get 1 - 2 in-game bucks for free when you complete missions, meaning you can never do anything in the game just by completing missions. You can get free in-game bucks, but you have to download countless other crappy freemium games to clutter your home screen. And on top of it all the game crashes 15 times a minute.

When a game was designed around in-game purchases then it ceases to be a game and turns into an interactive Ad tied directly to your credit card.

But in general Apple needs to do more to protect children from the instant kind of gratification that occurs when they start needing to buy in-game content. It sets a bad message to children that they just need to throw money at something to make it nicer or to get it faster, not a good life lesson to be promoting to the young. We already have a culture of people that are in massive debt, but imagine now children raised on the idea of overspending and the kind of instant gratification that spending money has. If you thought 2008 was a rough year for the economy, you haven't seen anything yet.

I think Apple should end the Freemium model on their platform. I know it might drive away a large segment of content but in the end if they actually care about kids and the quality of content on their platform, continuing to allow the Freemium model is an affront to those efforts.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
notjustjay Avatar
124 months ago
They sure can and I sure did when I was <13.

They don't really care. They've done enough to cover their hineys legally by providing the mechanism to filter by age. The fact that you can lie about your age makes it your problem, not Apple's.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Klosefabrinio Avatar
123 months ago
why dont they make a special ID just for kids, which covers all these things, so we (the parents) dont have to worry about anything.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
charlituna Avatar
123 months ago



and must ask for parental permission before allowing children to "link out of the app or engage in commerce."

And how are they going to achieve that. Simple check through, entrust that parents didn't tell kids the password to their own account, something else

This is yet another reason for why I think the idea of kids sub accounts is a better way than this whole 'school asks for permission'. Allows for account level permission setting by the parental account including banning all link at that go outside of the app, all IAP etc. Or simply requires parental approval which could be 'signed' by the parent putting in his/her id

----------



I'd also like to think that there are other parents out there like me who set the devices up for their kids (especially the younger kids) and so the opportunity to lie about one's age is in the hands of the parents.

Likely. Many of those accounts are set up for iCloud so that Junior is not deleting dad's address book.



When I set up my son's account, I obviously had to lie because he's under 13. But I will be changing that soon when these new policies take effect.

If he's now 13 otherwise only if his school is using iOS devices and then it will likely have to be a totally new account. MobileMe had family accounts so it amazes that iCloud doesn't, which would solve this issue

----------

Which part do you mean? (Not flaming, genuinely curious!)

Also, anyone think that this may mean that AppGratis will be able to come back into the App Store now?

Unlikely.

The particular purpose thing they are taking about it likely going to be more specific than just fee apps (which really should be a built in section in the store).

----------

Disagree totally.

So if Apple had a shop that sold hand guns and they sold a gun to an 8 year old, but their defence was "Well he ticked the box on our electronic sales register than he was 18 (or whatever age you can buy guns legally" then you feel they should be ok using that as a defence?

Or perhaps they should rather demand to see submitted some official proof of age, and not just allow anyone to tick a box and think that clears them of any responsibility.

Bed example. They can see the customer and know that it is a child

That is basically the reason why they looped schools into the system. Make the schools responsible for getting paper saying its cool for the kids to have an id. Because the schools have the parties present etc. Hopefully there will be some built in filters in those accounts to keep them from getting into trouble downloading stuff way above their age etc or Apple could still be at fault
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iMerik Avatar
123 months ago
Apple's focus and response to Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a very positive thing that I think differentiates themselves from the competition but isn't techie enough for most people to care. If you want a good educational tool that you can also use to keep your children safe on the Internet as much as possible, are you going to pick a random Android device or an iOS device? Seems pretty obvious to parents I bet if they focus on this type of thing and not just the price tag.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...
Mac Pro 2019 Apple

Mac Pro Enthusiasts Raise Concerns Over Upgrade Limitations of Apple Silicon

Thursday January 26, 2023 6:30 am PST by
The new Mac Pro coming later this year is expected to feature the same spacious modular design as the 2019 model, but with fresh concerns over its lack of upgradeability surfacing, some users are beginning to wonder what the transition away from Intel architecture actually means for Apple's most powerful Mac. The current Intel Mac Pro that Apple sells is popular with creative professionals...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...