Apple is backing away a bit from its strict policy on payments in apps to reach a dispute settlement with smaller developers.
Apple has announced a few changes coming to the App Store in response to a lawsuit from US developers. One of the most notable changes is that developers can now communicate with users about alternative payment solutions outside of their apps. This has nothing to do with Epic’s case against Apple but to get the case settled with smaller developers. These changes will apply to all developers in the App Store in the United States and other countries.
Apple further says that developers can “use communications, such as email, to report payment methods outside the App Store”. This means that the company or developer can email users with their consent informing them of a subscription outside the App Store. However, Apple confirmed to 9to5Mac that this change does not apply to in-app connections.
Therefore, the developers may not, as before, inform users in the application of the prices or subscription options that are available elsewhere than the App Store. In theory, this means that Netflix could have a field in its iOS app for users to enter their email address and then communicate directly with that user via email about payment options.
Other features of the deal:
Apple and the developers have agreed to keep the App Store Small Business app in its current structure for at least three more years.
The search functionality in the App Store has always been about making it easier for users to find the apps they are looking for. At the request of the developers, Apple has agreed that search results will continue to be based on objective characteristics such as downloads, star ratings, relevance, and user behavior. The agreement will retain existing search functionality in the App Store for at least three more years.
Apple will also increase the number of points of sale available to developers in subscriptions, in-app purchases, and paid apps from less than 100 to more than 500. Developers will continue to set their own pricing.
Apple will retain the ability for developers to appeal an app disapproval if they are deemed unfair treatment. Apple has agreed to add content to the App Review website to help developers understand how the appeal process works.
In recent years, Apple has provided a lot of new information about the App Store on its website. Apple agreed to create an annual transparency report that shares useful statistics about the app review process, including the number of apps rejected for various reasons, the number of disabled customer and developer accounts, search query and results information, and the number of apps removed. from the App Store.
In addition, Apple also announced a fund for smaller developers that pays in excess of $30,000 to developers who earn less than $1 million annually on the App Store. Amounts will vary based on the “developer’s participation in the App Store ecosystem”. However, this applies only to eligible developers of this software in the United States.
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