Apple publishes new guidelines for developers

Apple has informed the developers of some news on the guidelines to be followed for the approvals on the App Store, with some changes regarding reviews, spam, push notifications, Log in with Apple, data collection and storage, management of mobile devices and more.

app store guidelines

The new guidelines are available on the developer website. Here are the parts most important:

  • 1.4.4 – Apps used to commit or attempt to commit crimes of any kind by helping users to evade law enforcement agencies will be rejected.
  • 4.3 – Apple has added new types of content to its list of “Spam” apps. Fortune-telling and dating apps join Kama Sutra’s farts, flashlights and apps as titles that will automatically be rejected unless they provide “a unique and high quality experience“.
  • 4.5.4 – Push Notifications should not be used “to send sensitive, personal or confidential information“, Nor should they be used for promotions or direct marketing unless customers have explicitly chosen to receive them through a specific consent displayed in an app’s user interface. Developers must also provide a method in the app to allow users to choose not to receive such messages.
  • 5.1.1 (ix) – Apps in highly regulated sectors such as banking and financial services, healthcare and air travel or that require sensitive information for the user must be sent by the legal entity that provides the services and not by a single developer.
  • 5.1.5 – A rule that previously prohibited the use of location-based APIs for emergency services now states that developers can use location-based APIs to provide emergency services. “only if you notify your users in the app’s user interface that these services may not work in all circumstances.
  • 5.5 – As for mobile device management apps that offer configuration profiles, they cannot use third-party analysis tools to collect data: “In limited cases, third-party analysis may be allowed provided that the services collect or transmit data only on the developer MDM app’s performance and not the data related to the user, the user’s device or other apps used on that device. Apps that offer configuration profiles also need to meet these requirements“.
  • 5.6.1 – There is a new section dedicated to reviews on the “App Store” which requires developers to treat customers with respect when responding to comments and states that personalized review prompts are not allowed: “Customer reviews can be an integral part of the app experience, so you should treat customers with respect when responding to their comments. Keep your responses targeted to user comments and do not include personal information, spam or marketing in your response. Use the appropriate API to ask users to review your app; this feature allows customers to provide an evaluation and review on the “App Store” without the inconvenience of exiting the app, but we will not allow requests for personalized reviews

Apple has also provided new resources and guidelines for “Sign in with Apple“, Which is an iOS 13 feature designed as an alternative to access third party services. Developers whose apps use log-in services such as those of Facebook and Google must also integrate Log in with Apple by April 30, 2020.

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