Apple said Wednesday that “reader apps” distributed through the App Store will be allowed to use external links in their apps to allow users to sign up or manage their accounts. This change applies to apps that primarily deliver magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video content. The move was announced last year as part of an agreement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
Apple previously prohibited app makers from asking users to sign up through a website. Instead, it forced them to use Apple’s App Store payment system, which accounts for 15-30% of sales. The new policy will allow these apps to bypass Apple’s fees by directly enrolling new customers in the app.
The change, now reflected in Apple’s App Store guidelines, will allow reading apps to manage their own client management for users acquired through the app, a sticking point that app makers have grappled with. complained to regulators and courts around the world. The new policy is available worldwide, Apple said.
The rule does not apply to all applications. Games that offer in-app purchases, which account for the majority of Apple’s App Store revenue, will still have to use Apple’s payment system.
Apple said in a post on its developer website that interested developers can submit an application form to Apple, and Apple’s app review process will still approve app updates. The link should be formatted as a standard link, not a button, and contain the domain name of the website it links to.
MacDaily news note: Apple’s “Reader Application Distribution Update” notice is here.
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