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Apple updates its App Store Review Guidelines

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Apple has announced updates to its App Store Review Guidelines comprising three major changes. These changes are related to collecting contact information,

changes related to collecting contact information within an app, outside-of-app communications, and in-app events in the App Store.

The App Store is a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great opportunity for developers. The following updates to the App Store Review Guidelines support new features in upcoming OS releases, better protect customers, and help your apps go through the review process as smoothly as possible.

Added 2.3.13. “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.”

Deleted from 3.1.3. “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).”

Added 5.1.1 (x). “Apps may request basic contact information (such as 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 these guidelines, including limitations on collecting information from kids.”

Earlier in August, Apple had mentioned that it had reached a $100 million settlement to resolve an action lawsuit from U.S. developers who complained of Apple having a monopoly on the distribution of iOS apps and in-app purchases, which is still pending court approval.
The settlement included parts that Apple would clarify the developers to be permitted on using communications such as email to share the information about the various payment methods outside of their iOS app.

The above part has been included in the updated App Store Review Guidelines.
With that, Apple has removed the following sentence from section 3.1.3 of the Guidelines:
Similarly, the company has added a new guideline under section 5.1.1(x), indicating that apps can request basic contact information, such as name and email address, which is left as optional for users.

Also, a third guideline 2.3.13 has been added to provide clarifications of the requirements for developers to add in-app events in the App Store. Developers are given access to highlight in-game competitions, Livestream experiences, movie premiers, fitness challenges, and many more.

To view the updated App Store Review Guidelines, you can visit Apple’s official website.

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