New App Store Guidelines Officially Ban Virus Scanning Apps, Prevent Kids From Using Face ID

Apple this week updated its App Store Review Guidelines for developers, tweaking some existing rules and adding new rules that dictate what developers can and can't include in their apps. Most of the changes introduced are modest and reflect policies that Apple has already put in place, but there are some notable additions.

Rule 2.3.1, which says developers should not include hidden or undocumented features in apps, has been updated with new language that expressly prevents developers from creating iOS-based virus and malware scanners.

Similarly, you should not market your app on the App Store or offline as including content or services that it does not actually offer (e.g. iOS-based virus and malware scanners). Egregious or repeated behavior is grounds for removal from the Developer Program. We work hard to make the App Store a trustworthy ecosystem and expect our app developers to follow suit; if you're dishonest, we don't want to do business with you.

Apple has been removing anti-virus and anti-malware apps from the App Store since 2015, in an effort to prevent customers from believing that it's possible for iOS devices to contract viruses and malware. Popular anti-virus app VirusBarrier, for example, was pulled from the App Store in March of 2015. Though there's been an unspoken ban on many of these apps, it's now official.

Apple's new App Store rules also make it clear that children under 13 will not be permitted to use the Face ID facial scanning feature in the iPhone X. Rule 2.5.13 says apps using facial recognition for account authentication must offer an alternate authentication method for users under 13 years old.

Furthermore, Apple requests that all apps using ARKit provide "rich and integrated augmented reality experiences," preventing apps from misusing the feature for simple implementations.

Apps using ARKit should provide rich and integrated augmented reality experiences; merely dropping a model into an AR view or replaying animation is not enough.

Apple's newly updated App Store Guidelines are available on its developer website.

iOS 11, which introduces ARKit, a revamped App Store, and a long list of other features and design changes will be released to the public next Tuesday, on September 19.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
40 months ago
Good. iOS apps run in a sandbox. Virus scanning apps might as well not exist. They do nothing.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
"if you're dishonest, we don't want to do business with you."

I loved the phrase.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

Could someone explain to me why kids at age 13 or under can't use face ID? I like a rationale answer here. Safety issue? Predatorial-stuff issue? Or is it because they'll buy stuff without letting their parents know?

Probably because it would violate COPPA ('https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/childrens-online-privacy-protection-rule') in the U.S. without additional messaging to age check the user.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
Whats to keep a 13 year old from lying about his age ?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

Could someone explain to me why kids at age 13 or under can't use face ID? I like a rationale answer here. Safety issue? Predatorial-stuff issue? Or is it because they'll buy stuff without letting their parents know?

I’d personally want a rational answer why parents would get their kids a $1000 smartphone
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
Could someone explain to me why kids at age 13 or under can't use face ID? I like a rationale answer here. Safety issue? Predatorial-stuff issue? Or is it because they'll buy stuff without letting their parents know?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases Eighth Beta of macOS Big Sur to Developers [Update: Public Beta Now Available]

Tuesday September 22, 2020 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the eighth beta of an upcoming macOS Big Sur update to developers for testing purposes, close to a week after releasing the sixth beta and more than two months after the new update was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas...

AT&T Already Working on 6G, Says 5G iPhones Might Not Be 'Massive Event' Due to Economic Uncertainty

Monday September 21, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming launch of 5G iPhones might not be a "massive event" due to economic uncertainty amid the global health crisis, AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a paywalled interview published by CNBC. "I do believe that you will see many of the iPhone subscribers move to upgrade to the device," said McElfresh. "But I wouldn't forecast that it's going to be a massive event. I...