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Apple today informed developers that it has released updated App Store Review Guidelines, with changes that cover reviews, spam, push notifications, Sign in with Apple, data collection and storage, mobile device management, and more.

appstore.jpg

Apple's new guidelines can be found on its developer website, but we've highlighted a few notable changes below.
  • 1.4.4 - Apps used to commit or attempt to commit crimes of any kind by helping users evade law enforcement will be rejected. (This previously was a rule limited to apps about DUI checkpoints).
  • 4.3 - Apple has added new content types to its "Spam" list of app categories it considers already saturated. Fortune telling and dating apps join fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps as apps that will be automatically rejected unless they provide a "unique, high-quality experience."
  • 4.5.4 - New language around Push Notifications says they should not be used "to send sensitive, personal, or confidential information," nor should they be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in an app's UI. Developers must also provide a method in the app to allow users to opt out of receiving such messages.
  • 5.1.1 (ix) - Apps in highly regulated fields like banking and financial services, healthcare, and air travel or that require sensitive user information should be submitted by a legal entity that provides the services and not by an individual developer.
  • 5.1.5 - A rule that previously prohibited the use of location-based APIs for emergency services now says that developers can use location-based APIs to provide emergency services "only if you provide notice to your users in your app's UI that such services may not work in all circumstances."
  • 5.5 - There is new language related to Mobile Device Management apps that says apps offering configuration profiles cannot use third-party analytics to collect data: "In limited cases, third-party analytics may be permitted provided that the services only collect or transmit data about the performance of the developer's MDM app, and not any data about the user, the user's device, or other apps used on that device. Apps offering configuration profiles must also adhere to these requirements."
  • 5.6.1 - There's a new section dedicated to App Store reviews that requires developers treat customers with respect when responding to comments and says custom review prompts are not allowed: "App Store 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 the user's comments and do not include personal information, spam, or marketing in your response. Use the provided API to prompt users to review your app; this functionality allows customers to provide an App Store rating and review without the inconvenience of leaving your app, and we will disallow custom review prompts."
Apple also provided new resources and guidelines for Sign in with Apple, which is an iOS 13 feature that's designed as a privacy-focused alternative to Sign in with Facebook and Sign in with Google options.

Article Link: Apple Shares Updated App Store Review Guidelines on Spam, Push Notifications, App Store Reviews, MDM Apps and More
 
Last edited:

ersan191

macrumors 68000
Oct 26, 2013
1,556
2,916
“Fortune telling and dating apps”

RIP Tinder I guess. (I know tinder isn’t going anywhere)

I’m psyched for no more marketing push notifications

Edit: Wait were marketing pushes not allowed before? Because I’ve gotten them from several apps in the past. I thought this was a positive change but maybe not?
 
Last edited:

LunarFalcon

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2007
139
103
  • 4.5.4 - New language around Push Notifications says they should not be used "to send sensitive, personal, or confidential information," nor should they be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in an app's UI. Developers must also provide a method in the app to allow users to opt out of receiving such messages.
This is awesome, these types of spammy marketing notifications drive me nuts. Shipt and Waitr are bad about these, among others.
 

cmaier

macrumors Penryn
Jul 25, 2007
24,561
31,515
California
  • 4.5.4 - New language around Push Notifications says they should not be used "to send sensitive, personal, or confidential information," nor should they be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in an app's UI. Developers must also provide a method in the app to allow users to opt out of receiving such messages.
This is awesome, these types of spammy marketing notifications drive me nuts. Shipt and Waitr are bad about these, among others.

Well, keep in mind that the OLD language just said you couldn’t use it for marketing. This new language is actually worse.
[automerge]1583349623[/automerge]
I wonder how this will relate to apps that help with ‘safety cameras’?

And speed traps. Bye bye waze?
 
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_Refurbished_

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2007
2,254
2,872
  • 4.5.4 - New language around Push Notifications says they should not be used "to send sensitive, personal, or confidential information," nor should they be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in an app's UI. Developers must also provide a method in the app to allow users to opt out of receiving such messages.
This is awesome, these types of spammy marketing notifications drive me nuts. Shipt and Waitr are bad about these, among others.
Finally. I hate getting spammed deals on Dominos. I just want pizza tracker notifications. Hopefully this solves that, if not, bummer.
 

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,769
1,035
One thing that needs to happen with the app store review notifications - they should be randomised - developers shouldn't be able to customise the display of these to positive interactions.

An example of this is WSOP - which prompts you to review the app only after you get a big win.
 

cmaier

macrumors Penryn
Jul 25, 2007
24,561
31,515
California
One thing that needs to happen with the app store review notifications - they should be randomised - developers shouldn't be able to customise the display of these to positive interactions.

An example of this is WSOP - which prompts you to review the app only after you get a big win.

If you are going to make apps randomly throw up prompts (in the middle of when I’m doing something) there had better be a global setting to turn off ALL such prompts, so I don’t have to do it app-by-app.
 

omihek

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2014
558
1,705
Salt Lake City, UT
“Fortune telling and dating apps”

RIP Tinder I guess.

I’m psyched for no more marketing push notifications
I'm pretty sure they're just talking about new dating apps. Tinder is already well-established and popular; Apple isn't going to throw away all the money they're making from it.
 

TrenttonY

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2012
1,043
963
How does Apple even make sure apps follow these rules? Do humans test the app or is it automatic with computers?
 

Kevin Palser

macrumors newbie
Jan 14, 2020
6
2
Dundee, Scotland
How does Apple even make sure apps follow these rules? Do humans test the app or is it automatic with computers?

The human aspect of the reviews is generally quite thorough but obviously that can't dive into every screen and scenario. Depending on the reviewer we have sometimes found them quite pedantic with the App Store submissions from our company. On the whole they are quite fair.
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,810
1,952
Phoenix, AZ
“Fortune telling and dating apps”

RIP Tinder I guess.

I’m psyched for no more marketing push notifications
Tinder is going to stick around as it says dating apps, fortune telling, and those other categories will still be approved if they provide a high quality and unique experience.
 

The Phazer

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,901
588
London, UK
Lol, apps can now notification spam us because Apple knows it was about to get killed by the competition review authorities in Europe for being so hypocritical on it.

Nobody at Apple gives the slightest **** about user experience any more.
 
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Bokito

macrumors regular
May 29, 2007
233
712
Netherlands
5.1.1 (ix) - Apps in highly regulated fields like banking and financial services, healthcare, and air travel or that require sensitive user information should be submitted by a legal entity that provides the services and not by an individual developer.

This is good news for citizens of the European Union. Since the European Commission green lighted the PSD2-directive, banks need to provide an API for others to build an app for their systems. A lot of people think this is completely nuts and now we finally know these apps won’t be allowed on iOS. I think that’s very good news, but it’ll probably get Apple in another fight with the European Commission though.
 

falkon-engine

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2010
365
1,048
1.4.4 - Apps used to commit or attempt to commit crimes of any kind by helping users evade law enforcement will be rejected.

Does this mean Waze, as is (i.e., "police reported ahead" or "speed trap reported ahead" or "red light camera reported ahead"), is on its way out? Technically Waze isn't committing any crime, but one could argue that by being so transparent with the location of 'law enforcement' it allows users to evade said law enforcement.
 

kramerdude

macrumors member
Mar 21, 2006
73
42
Since they’re publishing info about push notifications, does that mean Apple themselves are going to figure out push email with their own app? Bec it’s been awful for a while now. LOL
 
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konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,694
This is good news for citizens of the European Union. Since the European Commission green lighted the PSD2-directive, banks need to provide an API for others to build an app for their systems. A lot of people think this is completely nuts and now we finally know these apps won’t be allowed on iOS. I think that’s very good news, but it’ll probably get Apple in another fight with the European Commission though.

Uh what are you talking about? That requirement just says Bank A needs to create a developer account themselves, go through validation, and submit the Bank A app under their own name, rather than relying on a contractor's account. It has nothing to do with APIs.

This makes it easier for them to screen out fake phishing apps, since they will automatically reject banking apps from random individual developers or some other seemingly unaffiliated company. This is largely an issue with tiny banks, like credit unions (building societies), and also small medical practices.
 
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TracesOfArsenic

macrumors 6502a
Feb 22, 2018
560
629
4.5.4 - New language around Push Notifications says they should not be used "to send sensitive, personal, or confidential information," nor should they be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in an app's UI. Developers must also provide a method in the app to allow users to opt out of receiving such messages.
I wonder if Apple will clean up their act now?
 
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