Apple Says Only Reputable Coronavirus Apps Will Be Accepted on App Store, Expediting Approval Process

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Apple today announced that it is evaluating COVID-19 coronavirus-related apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions.

Apple says only developers from one of the above types of recognized entities should submit an app related to COVID-19, adding that entertainment or game apps with a COVID-19 theme will not be allowed on the App Store.


Apple adds that recognized entities can request an expedited review of COVID-19 apps here.

Apple also gave a reminder that nonprofit organizations, accredited educational institutions, and government entities that plan to distribute only free apps on the App Store related to COVID-19 can request to have their $99 annual membership fee for the Apple Developer Program waived, if based in an eligible country.

The full announcement:
The App Store should always be a safe and trusted place for users to download apps. Now more than ever that commitment takes on special significance as the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities around the world are depending on apps to be credible news sources -- helping users understand the latest health innovations, find out where they can get help if needed or provide assistance to their neighbors.

To help fulfill these expectations, we're evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions. Only developers from one of these recognized entities should submit an app related to COVID-19. Entertainment or game apps with COVID-19 as their theme will not be allowed.

We understand the need to get these apps into the hands of customers as soon as possible. We encourage developers that meet this criteria to select "Time-Sensitive Event" on the expedite request form to ensure prioritized review since App Store review may take longer.

If you are developing an app on behalf of a client, please advise your client to add you to the development team of their Apple Developer account. If your client does not yet have an Apple Developer account, they can enroll in the Apple Developer Program. Nonprofit organizations, accredited educational institutions, and government entities that plan to distribute only free apps on the App Store can request to have their annual membership fee waived, if based in an eligible country.
This is one of many measures that Apple is taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Article Link: Apple Says Only Reputable Coronavirus Apps Will Be Accepted on App Store, Expediting Approval Process
 
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now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,208
10,543
Don't think a government sponsored app is going to help much... Take a look at the official CDC covid tips video on YouTube. It starts out pretty good (keep hands away from face) but then digresses to the absurd when recommending food to hoard.
I kid you not- recommended food items to stock up on was a 5 lbs bag of sugar and chocolate bars.
I couldn't bear it any longer and quit the app
 

moinD

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2020
2
2
So Apple would not allow that guy who understands COVID-19 just because "his uncle worked at MIT" to submit his app?
 

miniyou64

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2008
598
2,119
Who is reputable enough to decide who is reputable.
And just because someone things someone is reputable, does that have anything to do with whether they are correct or not?
Exactly. People applaud this without any consideration to who is in charge of deciding reputability.
 
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cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
18,029
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Who is reputable enough to decide who is reputable.
And just because someone things someone is reputable, does that have anything to do with whether they are correct or not?
The inevitable conclusion being that random **** one reads on the internet is equally valid as the “MSM,” and the next thing you know we all die from an easily-preventable pandemic.
 

[AUT] Thomas

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2016
524
560
Graz [Austria]
Pardon my lack of creative thoughts, but what app would you need for the coronavirus?

The only thing I could imagine is correlate location history of people to track infection paths. But even that is barely useful as location alone doesn't mean anything. You can sit next to an infected person for hours and nothing happens while on the other hand an infected person sneezes on the buttons of an ATM or the hand rails in a bus. As the virus stays alive for 24 hours easily,... well... turns location correlation next to useless. And the price for that would be rather high anyway... everyone would need to participate and precise location history stored for 3weeks+. Privacy nightmare even in times of Corona.
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,177
1,552
Next step only reputable discussion of politics, weather, economics, and Apple rumors. I think on average people are smart enough to determine what is a good source of information. If a few people end up stockpiling forcythia the worlds not going to end. If tech giants continue to feel emboldened decided what information we can have that will be a long term bigger problem.
 
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simonmet

macrumors 68020
Sep 9, 2012
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The irony is: anyone can get any kind of information they like, reputable or not, from the internet or tv; and that is where people are predominantly going.

Apple is fighting a losing battle if they hope to fight the info wars (pun intended). Not that they shouldn’t exclude grossly biased or inaccurate apps, but I’m more concerned about malware, privacy and tracking than Apple trying to censor or control content. That is fraught with potential downsides of its own, including that of Apple creating its own sanitised garden of bias and limited diversity of opinion (not to mention lack of adult content).

Apple seems to have made the assumption that the majority, or even some, non-institutional developers are providing poor or nefarious information and advice in comparison to those institutions, but I haven’t seen much evidence of this. Most are simply using the institutions’ information directly, or collating information from multiple sources including news reports.

A blanket ban on independent developers without assessing the app is even more concerning, and hints at laziness or a lack of capability at Apple (right now) in managing its platform.
 
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cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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The irony is, anyone can get any kind of information they like, reputable or not, from the internet or tv, and that is where people are predominantly going.

Apple is fighting a losing battle if they hope to fight the info wars (pun intended).
It’s less about that battle and more about the battle against people using their platform for distributing bad info. Not too much they can do about platforms they don’t control.
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,177
1,552
The existence of certain news networks and popularity of certain conspiracy-based “news” programs says you’re wrong.
It says I am right because I said average. I assume you are talking about a post news channel like CNN but the issue is the average. There are always outliers but the majority of the people can discern what’s good info and what’s not.
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,288
Silicon Valley
It says I am right because I said average. I assume you are talking about a post news channel like CNN but the issue is the average. There are always outliers but the majority of the people can discern what’s good info and what’s not.
I wish I had your optimism. In my world otherwise intelligent people die when their homemade rocket crashes after a failed test run of their mission to prove that the Earth is flat.
 

cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
18,029
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California
It says I am right because I said average. I assume you are talking about a post news channel like CNN but the issue is the average. There are always outliers but the majority of the people can discern what’s good info and what’s not.
LOL. You proved my point (and got political)
 

cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
18,029
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Reputable = apps that are kind to CHINA and follow it's (CCP's) rules
There is no evidence of that. There is a lot of nonsense out there. CV19 is just the flu, it’s overhyped, it’s a bio weapon, it’s a democrat hoax, drinking bleach cures it, in America anyone who wants to get tested can get tested, stock up on toilet paper, etc. etc. Apple wants to make sure that if any apps on its platform are providing information about CV19, it’s not going to get people killed.
 
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incoherent_1

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2016
365
613
Given some of the messages I’ve received lately, I’m happy to err on the side of less avenues of information over more. Health and science aren’t like politics: There are right and wrong ways to interpret information, and misinformation can kill. We need to hear reliable information from the official experts who have been doing this all their lives.

Just the last week I had to take a family member to task for spreading information that “drinking warm soup” cures the virus.
 

gruntersdad

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2010
52
33
Pick one, not a Government one, or CDC, which is government, and leave it at that. No need for you or other app developers making money on this mess.
 

citysnaps

macrumors 603
Oct 10, 2011
6,004
9,800
San Francisco
The good news is, the public have options and choices.

Don't like Apple's policy? No worries. Simply choose another platform (Android) whose app store policy doesn't impose restrictions.
 

w5jck

macrumors regular
Nov 9, 2013
187
264
Exactly. People applaud this without any consideration to who is in charge of deciding reputability.
Well considering they laid out a fairly detailed description of which entities are allowed to post such apps, even a monkey could probably do a decent job of denying permissions to 99% of the ineligible applications. At least Apple thought this through, whereas you guys don’t seem to be doing that. I think they have a pretty good plan in place, considering the human factor...
 
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