Apple changes key App Store rules in response to class action lawsuit from developers

Apple has agreed to change that govern its App Store as part of a settlement with developers who filed a class action lawsuit against the company. The most significant change is that Apple is “clarifying” that developers are permitted to email users “about payment methods outside of their iOS app.” The company has also agreed to publish transparency reports detailing App Store rejection rates and the app review process.

Many of the changes will affect some of Apple’s most controversial developer rules that have been hotly debated as the company faces increased antitrust scrutiny. For example, Apple’s policies prohibiting developers from informing users about ways to pay for their content outside of Apple’s Store — what are sometimes called anti-steering rules — was a key issue in the Epic vs. Apple trial. Now Apple says developers are in fact allowed to make such “communications” via email or other methods outside of their actual app.

“To give developers even more flexibility to reach their customers, Apple is also clarifying that developers can use communications, such as email, to share information about payment methods outside of their iOS app,” Apple writes in its statement.

The company is also promising more transparency around its app review process, which developers have said and difficult to navigate. Apple says it will release an “annual transparency report” that will “share meaningful statistics about the app review process, including the number of apps rejected for different reasons, the number of customer and developer accounts deactivated, objective data regarding search queries and results, and the number of apps removed from the App Store.”


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