New EU Regulation Gives Developers More Protection and Transparency in App Store Review
As noted by developer Steven Troughton-Smith, one of the new requirements is that operators of app distribution platforms like Apple provide developers with a minimum of 30 days notice before removing their apps from the App Store, with exceptions for illicit or inappropriate content, safety concerns, counterfeiting, fraud, malware, spam, and apps that have suffered a data breach.
Other protections for developers include transparency on how ranking charts and "trending" lists are generated, mandatory disclosures by platform operators about preferential treatment being given to any specific developers or publishers, and access to third-party mediation for any disputes that can not be resolved through the normal app review process.
Apple has been under increasing scrutiny for its App Store practices, with the EU currently exploring antitrust issues related to the platform. The company also recently found itself embroiled in controversy over its rejection of apps for new premium email service Hey for not including an in-app subscription option.
Apple has taken a few steps to address app review concerns in recent weeks, allowing developers to challenge not only decisions about whether an app is in violation of Apple's review guidelines but also the guidelines themselves. Apple will also no longer delay bug fix updates for most guideline issues, allowing those updates to be delivered to users while any guideline issues can be addressed in a subsequent update.