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Apple is updating the App Store policy to include game streaming services



Apple has updated the App Store Review Policy to accommodate new features coming to iOS 14. The App Store Review Policy now includes new rules for app clips, streaming service, and in-app purchases.

The updated App Store Review Policy mentions streaming games that are offered by Microsoft xCloud. However, it also makes it clear that all games and subscription services must be made through the App Store. This is to ensure that streaming games end up paying App Store fees. Apple did not allow Microsoft̵

7;s latest xCloud streaming platform on the App Store. Apple felt they had no control over the games, and this upset Microsoft.

Streaming games are allowed as long as they adhere to all guidelines – for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate search metadata, games must use in-app purchases to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always open Internet and browser apps to reach all users outside the App Store.

Interestingly, the guidelines require that each game be submitted to the App Store separately. Maybe this will help Apple gain better control over the games. This also means that each streaming game will have independent reviews and ratings in the App Store.

Streaming game services may offer a catalog app in the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find the games in the App Store, provided that the app complies with all policies, including offering users the option to pay for an in-app purchase subscription and use Sign in with Apple. All games included in the catalog app must link to a single App Store product page.

The policy has added some payment exceptions for apps like Netflix. Until now, you had to register for Netflix outside the app and log in to the app. Updated policies allow Netflix to offer free account creation and account management facilities to current users without offering payment options.

Apple also makes it clear that apps are not allowed to add paperless features, and all functionality will be communicated to Apple’s review team and user. Apart from that, the review team will also reject generic descriptions while submitting the app update.

Direct payment allowed for transactions in apps between users

Facebook had called out Apple to charge App Store fees for transactions that take place between two people. The company has assessed the problem and allows direct payment methods. Finally, app clips do not have permission to add ads, and everything should be related to app functionality.

[via Apple]