Apple has announced some meaningful changes to the App Store policy. While Apple has been involved in a number of App Store political controversies in the past, from the Hey Email app, to Microsoft’s xCloud service, to the big Epic Games battle, the changes announced today are not the answer to criticism nor intended to resolve these disputes. .
First announced back at WWDC in June, Apple has now made three important changes to the App Store policies and procedures:
A bug fix will no longer be maintained after policy violations, except for those related to legal issues. A developer can force a bug fix update to its customers while working to resolve the App Store policy guidelines it needs.
Developers may propose changes to the App Store policies, whether or not they are found to be in conflict with them.
These are welcome changes, but not unexpected – they were unveiled at WWDC in June. Newer critics of the way Apple manages its App Store are probably not relieved by them.
Here is Apple’s full statement on the changes:
The App Store is dedicated to providing a great experience for everyone. To continue to provide a safe place for users to download apps and help you develop apps that are secure, high-quality, reliable, and respectful of users’ privacy, we’ve updated the app review process announced at WWDC20. For apps already in the App Store, bug fixes are no longer delayed due to policy violations, except for those related to legal issues. You will instead be able to address policy violations in your next post. And now, in addition to appealing decisions about an app violating the policy, you can propose changes to the policy. We also encourage you to submit suggestions to the App Store and Apple Development Platform so that we can continue to improve the experiences for the developer community.