Apple Updates App Store Guidelines as Part of Agreement With U.S. Developers

Apple today announced it has updated its App Store Review Guidelines with three key changes related to outside-of-app communications, collecting contact information within an app, and in-app events featured in the App Store.

app store blue banner
In late August, Apple announced it had reached a $100 million settlement that, pending court approval, would resolve a class action lawsuit from U.S. developers who alleged that Apple has a monopoly on the distribution of iOS apps and in-app purchases.

As part of the settlement, Apple said it would clarify that developers can use communications, such as email, to share information about payment methods outside of their iOS app, and this is now reflected in the updated App Store Review Guidelines.

Specifically, Apple removed the following sentence from section 3.1.3 of the guidelines:

Developers cannot use information obtained within the app to target individual users outside of the app to use purchasing methods other than in-app purchase (such as sending an individual user an email about other purchasing methods after that individual signs up for an account within the app).

Second, a new guideline under section 5.1.1 (x) indicates that apps may request basic contact information, such as a name and email address, so long as the request is optional for the user, features and services are not conditional on providing the information, and it complies with all other provisions of the guidelines.

Third, Apple has added guideline 2.3.13 to provide clarifications around the requirements for developers to feature in-app events in the App Store. In-app events can highlight in-game competitions, movie premieres, livestream experiences, fitness challenges, and more, and they will start appearing in the ‌App Store‌ on devices running ‌iOS 15‌ and ‌iPadOS 15‌ on October 27. The full text of the guideline is below.

In-app events are timely events that happen within your app. To feature your event on the App Store, it must fall within an event type provided in App Store Connect. All event metadata must be accurate and pertain to the event itself, rather than the app more generally. Events must happen at the times and dates you select in App Store Connect, including across multiple storefronts. You may monetize your event so long as you follow the rules set forth in Section 3 on Business. And your event deep link must direct users to the proper destination within your app. Read In-App Events for detailed guidance on acceptable event metadata and event deep links.

The updated App Store Review Guidelines can be found on Apple's website.

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Top Rated Comments

justperry Avatar
34 months ago

The courts need to keep on going. split up apple.
There's (quite) some truth in your comment.
Bigger is not always better.
Apple isn't even the worst one, Amazon sells about everything you can wish for, too much power for 1 company if you ask me, and there are quite a few of those.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cosmosent Avatar
34 months ago
If Google was smart, they would "immediately" drop their cut to 7.5% Across the Board for ALL transactions !

If I was running Google, that's precisely what I would do !

If they think it through (Pros vs Cons), I'm confident they would do it !

Everything else that Google, OR Apple, does, OR attempts to do, is just a short-term bandaid.

7.5% Across the Board for ALL transactions cuts to the chase, & will Head Off (the Regulators) @ the Pass !

BTW, I hope that $100M settlement that Apple cut with the lawyer representing that group, gets thrown-out (by the Judge).

The "Auto Opt-In" Clause should never have been included !

That's a violation of my rights as a U.S. citizen !

I did NOT participate in that Settlement.

I cannot be automatically included in it as if I had !

If the Judge approves it, I hope Cook will be forced to testify before Congress regarding the Settlement !
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LeadingHeat Avatar
34 months ago

Second, a new guideline under section 5.1.1 (x) indicates that apps may request basic contact information, such as a name and email address, so long as the request is optional for the user,
This right here is the key. As long as it’s optional. I don’t want apps to force me to use their [possibly] insecure payment system when I can conveniently and securely use apple’s in app payment method.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
34 months ago
Hopefully Apple is being fair to the world-class developers around the world ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DaPizzaMan Avatar
34 months ago
This is a good start.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jeezloo Avatar
34 months ago
"section 5.1.1 (x) indicates that apps may request basic contact information, such as a name and email address, so long as the request is optional for the user, features and services are not conditional on providing the information"

Won't this affect apps that use an email address and password for user login? Plenty of apps use email/password to identify a user, and without a user identifying themselves some (usually most) functions are unavailable. So an email address in this case is required to provide services...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)