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Apple Loses Some Of Its App Store Guidelines And In-App Payment Rules

Apple Loses Some Of Its App Store Guidelines And In-App Payment Rules
Following repeated criticisms by app developers and a court case filed against it by the video game developer Epic Games against its app store policies, iPhone maker Apple Inc announced some revision in some of its App Store review guidelines on Friday.
According to the company, it has loosened some of the restrictions that it had imposed on app developers using its app Store related to streaming game services, online classes and when developers must use its in-app purchase system for which the company charges a commission of 30 per cent on all financial transactions made through the App Store.
The policies and practices that the company follows for its App Store have come under criticisms from app developers as well as from some of its rivals such as Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc's Google, both of which decided not to launch their streaming game platforms on the iPhone due to the rules of Apple.  
Catalogs of apps within apps have been barred by Apple for long. However on Friday, the company announced that creating such catalog apps by streaming game companies would now be allowed by it. But the rider is that each of such games within the catalog must still be made into its own standalone app and those will be required to use Apple's in-app payment system.
There were no comments available on the issue from Google and Microsoft.
Some of the other changes in its App Store rules made by Apple include allowing one-on-one virtual classes to be paid for outside of Apple's payment system. But the rider is that those online classes that are taught to a group will still be required to use Apple's system for paying fees and other transactions. These changes follows a report published in the New York Times that claimed that ClassPass, which had helped users book in-person appointments at gyms were subjected to the commission of Apple.
Skipping Apple's payment system by business applications for services such as professional databases when selling to organizations will also be allowed according to the new changed rules of Apple’s App Store. But any sales to individuals or families will still have to be done through Apple's payment system and hence pay Apple’s commission.
Further, the United States based iPhone maker also said that it payment system can also be chosen to be avoided by free standalone apps that are connected to a paid services outside the app - such as email or cloud storage services "provided there is no purchasing inside the app, or calls to action for purchase outside of the app."
The above change was instituted following criticism by the makers of paid email service Hey publicly of Apple’s app store rules for refusing to allow its free companion app in the App Store.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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