Apple recently updated its App Store review guidelines and made some eye-opening changes. For example, developers can now use push notifications for advertising or marketing purposes. Though user authorization is required, this is sure to develop into a thorny issue over time. Let's go over the rest of the changes.
Regarding push notifications, developers will have to make it simple for users to opt-out. Apple didn't provide too much information in the guidelines, so just how much leeway developers have is unknown. Android allows for marketing via notification, and it doesn't always sit well with end-users. Apple app developers will need to tread lightly lest they alienate their customers.
Other changes are afoot. Beginning April 30 of this year, all new apps and app updates will have to be compiled using the iOS 13 SDK. This is required, in part, because 77% of all Apple devices in the market from the last four years have adopted iOS 13. iPad users are more likely to have updated, with 79% now running iPadOS 13. The iOS 13 SDK includes support for a range of application types and includes core APIs for ARKit 3, Core ML 3, and Dark Mode. In addition to the iOS requirement, Apple says all developers should ensure that their apps are fully compatible with the feature lists of devices able to run iOS 13. That means the latest iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPad.
Apple says it will be much more strict when reviewing apps that fall under the dating and fortune-telling categories. "We will reject these apps unless they provide a unique, high-quality experience," read the guidelines in part. In other words, no hanky-panky allowed.
Also, required by April 30? Support for Sign In with Apple. This tool lets iPhone and iPad users sign into applications using their existing Apple ID credentials. Apple wants its service to be available, particularly when developers already offer Amazon, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, or Twitter login. Apple says new tools are available to developers to support Sign In with Apple, such as buttons and logos. There are exceptions spelled out in the guidelines.
Last, Apple is curtailing the ability to bug users for reviews. Before the latest guidelines were published, developers could use their own notification style when requesting reviews. Now, an API is involved. "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 customer review prompts."
You can read the full set of guidelines here.