Apple Will Allow Developers to 'Challenge' App Store Review Guidelines Starting This Summer

Apple today announced that it is launching an online version of its App Store lab, providing developers with another avenue to share feedback to help improve the App Store. Apple's new developer forums will also serve as a platform for developers to share their suggestions so that Apple can implement changes that benefit the community.


Additionally, two changes are coming to the App Store review process this summer. First, in addition to developers being able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, they will be able to "challenge" the guideline itself. Second, Apple says bug fixes for existing apps will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues. Instead, developers will be able to address the issue in their next submission through App Store Connect.

Apple's marketing chief and App Store lead Phil Schiller:

The Apple developer community inspires us all with apps that help more than a billion users, transform industries, and change the world. This WWDC, we've introduced innovative new APIs, frameworks, and tools designed to help developers take their app experiences further and reach even more users. The App Store ecosystem is more diverse, dynamic, and successful than it has ever been, but we know that to make it better for everyone, there is more we must do together. This year at WWDC20, we've added online App Store Labs, extended the annual App Store developer survey, and more because we want to hear directly from hundreds of thousands of developers on how they want us to improve the App Store for them, and for users.

These changes come days after Apple faced renewed scrutiny over its App Store practices, including the European Commission's announcement that it will be investigating Apple's in-app purchase system. In particular, Basecamp and some other developers have taken issue with Apple's long-standing 30 percent commission from in-app purchases.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
13 weeks ago


Another overblown Apple issue.

Disagree. It wouldn't be an issue if there was another way to get apps for the iOS.

With Mac OS, I can download and install an app directly from the publisher.

With the change to ARM Macs and Mac OS 11, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple took that ability away from users and forced everyone to get their apps through the app store.


Developers have no idea what the 30% fee earns them.

30% less revenue?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 weeks ago
Ouch. This should get interesting. I see apple trying to avoid harsh punishment for their monopolistic behaviors.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 weeks ago


And some will still say Apple's App Store rules are illegal and that Apple should just distribute my apps for free so that Apple gets nothing for investing billions of dollars into this platform.

Every developer pays $99 yearly fee. I spend $1000 on an iPhone. Does none of that go to maintaining the App Store? Considering how much profit Apple makes each quarter and how much cash they have I don’t think the company has any trouble maintaining the App Store. They can argue they deserve a commission or finders fee but a lot of developers will say their app isn’t popular because of Apple. I can’t remember the last time I downloaded an app because it was featured on the App Store. Outside of maybe a few games none of the apps on my iOS devices are there because of Apple promotion/marketing.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 weeks ago
Thanks Oh Apple for the meager scraps.

Developers have no idea what the 30% fee earns them.

Please enlighten us. I distribute non-iOS apps via my website, no problem. I pay fees to keep my domain registration, and I have a power bill and an internet bill to keep my $35 Raspberry Pi online.

People who think Apple is doing anything even remotely worth 30% are clueless. Consider this: Apple is totally content with the 30% of nothing they get on free apps. Why? Because distributing apps costs essentially nothing. Apple's App Store contributes little of actual value. Its only value (for entities besides Apple) is artificially produced by the fact that Apple refuses to allow apps to be installed from any other source.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 weeks ago


Every developer pays $99 yearly fee. I spend $1000 on an iPhone. Does none of that go to maintaining the App Store? Considering how much profit Apple makes each quarter and how much cash they have I don’t think the company has any trouble maintaining the App Store. They can argue they deserve a commission or finders fee but a lot of developers will say their app isn’t popular because of Apple. I can’t remember the last time I downloaded an app because it was featured on the App Store. Outside of maybe a few games none of the apps on my iOS devices are there because of Apple promotion/marketing.

$99 fee pays for 3 app update submissions (app reviewers make $29-$35/hr, 1 app review is about an hour). I've submitted over 20-30 updates before. $99/yr pays for barely anything.

Your $1000:
- pays for hardware (including R&D)
- pays for 5 years of major "user features" software (not even talking about developer APIs)
- pays for Apple Care/Genius Bar support
- pays for free shipping on potential returns
- pays for iMessage + FaceTime service for life
- pays for Apple Maps service for life which Apple doesn't make much $$$ from since they don't sell your data unlike Google Maps
- pays for push notification service for life
- pays for iCloud mail for life
- pays for Sign In with Apple service (where Apple makes $0 from while Facebook makes a ton selling your sign in data),
- pays for Find My phone service for life
- pays for documents in the cloud for all of your apps (like Notes, Keychain, Reminders) for life
- pays for Siri service (again, Apple doesn't sell your data, so the money has to come from somewhere)
- pays for iCloud on the web service
- pays for Apple News (whether you use it or not)
- pays for free radio

- etc...

This doesn't even touch the developer side of things.

You're talking about an expensive option. Instead, imagine what a $399 iPhone SE pays for.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 weeks ago
And some will still say Apple’s App Store rules are just fine, anyone complaining is just a whiner and should go to Android. ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Rumor Report Card: Assessing the Accuracy of Leaks After Apple's Event

Friday September 18, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
Apple hosted its virtual "Time Flies" event this week, where it introduced four new products, including the Apple Watch Series 6, lower-cost Apple Watch SE, a 10.9-inch iPad Air with an all-screen design, and an updated 10.2-inch iPad with a faster A12 Bionic chip. As expected, there were no new iPhones, which are believed to be coming in October instead. Apple also announced that it will be ...

Epic Games Announces 'Fortnite: Save the World' Will No Longer Be Playable on macOS

Friday September 18, 2020 4:50 am PDT by
Epic Games has announced that "Fortnite: Save the World" will no longer be playable on macOS, after Apple terminated Epic Games' developer account. Fortnite has been in violation of the ‌App Store‌ rules since August 13, when it introduced a direct payment option that skirted Apple's in-app purchase system by allowing payments directly to ‌Epic Games‌. Shortly after Epic blatantly...

Deals: Cellular Carriers Introduce First Offers on Apple Watch Series 6 and SE

Friday September 18, 2020 7:43 am PDT by
With the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE today, cellular carriers have now introduced special offers for these new wearable devices. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Starting with AT&T, if you buy one Apple Watch Series 3, Series...