Apple has just announced a list of changes to the App Store that will provide more support to developers including changes to customer-developer communication, changes to how users search for apps, a fund for small developers, and more!
An agreement has been struck between Apple and US developers. This will see changes to the sharing of purchase options with users outside of their iOS app; to the expansion of price points that developers can offer for things like subscriptions and in-app purchases; and a new fund that aims to support qualifying US developers.
The goal? To continue improving the experience for both developers and users alike.
What can we expect from these changes?
Upon approval, seven key changes will be prioritised:
- In a validation of the App Store Small Business Program’s success, Apple and the developers agreed to maintain the program in its current structure for at least the next three years. Businesses earning less than US$1 million annually will continue to benefit from the reduced commission, while larger developers pay the App Store’s standard commission on app purchases and in-app payments.
- App Store Search has always been about making it easy for users to find the apps they’re looking for. At the request of developers, Apple has agreed that its Search results will continue to be based on objective characteristics like downloads, star ratings, text relevance and user behaviour signals. The agreement will keep the current App Store Search system in place for at least the next three years.
- 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. As always, developers will not pay Apple a commission on any purchases taking place outside of their app or the App Store. Users must consent to the communication and have the right to opt out.
- Apple will also expand the number of price points available to developers for subscriptions, in-app purchases and paid apps from fewer than 100 to more than 500. Developers will continue to set their own prices.
- Apple will maintain the option for developers to appeal the rejection of an app based on perceived unfair treatment, a process that continues to prove successful. Apple has agreed to add content to the App Review website to help developers understand how the appeals process works.
- Over the last several years, Apple has provided a great deal of new information about the App Store on apple.com. Apple agreed to create an annual transparency report based on that data, which 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.
- Apple will also establish a fund to assist small US developers, particularly as the world continues to suffer from the effects of COVID-19. Eligible developers must have earned US$1 million or less through the US storefront for all of their apps in every calendar year in which the developers had an account between 4 June 2015 and 26 April 2021 — encompassing 99 per cent of developers in the US. Details will be available at a later date.
Extracted from Apple.
The News Partner Program
In addition to this, Apple has also announced further updates aimed at increasing the recognition of journalism.
News organisations that provide their customers with access to their content in Apple News will benefit from a 15 per cent commission on qualifying subscriptions to their news app. Not only will people have more access to different avenues of news from different organisations, but while doing so, Apple is supporting local journalism in its fight to stay alive.
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