Apple agrees extra relaxed guidelines for ‘reader’ apps like Netflix, Spotify

Apple on Monday confirmed that it has agreed to extra relaxed App Retailer guidelines for “reader” apps that permit customers to entry beforehand bought content material and subscriptions for books, magazines, music, and extra.

The transfer comes after an investigation by the Japan Truthful Commerce Fee (JFTC) and can apply to all readers apps on the App Retailer — in all international locations. It additionally paves the best way for customers to create and handle accounts inside iOS apps.

The JFTC’s investigation is one among many who examines App Retailer practices and insurance policies to find out whether or not Apple’s guidelines are honest for builders and shoppers. And it’s not the primary that has led to App Retailer modifications.

South Korea launched new laws earlier this week that forces Apple and Google to open up their marketplaces to third-party fee techniques for the primary time. It’s is believed different international locations will quickly comply with swimsuit.

The brand new change to reader apps, which comes into impact in early 2022, will apply to all App Retailer customers in all international locations, regardless of being agreed in Japan.

Apple will permit outdoors purchases in reader apps

“The replace will permit builders of ‘reader’ apps to incorporate an in-app hyperlink to their web site for customers to arrange or handle an account,” explains the Apple announcement. “Whereas the settlement was made with the JFTC, Apple will apply this variation globally to all reader apps on the shop.”

The change ought to permit builders to combine an in-app browser that offers customers the power to create and handle accounts and entry beforehand bought content material with out leaving the reader app. However a browser continues to be required — the options can’t be built-in natively right into a third-party app.

The principles surrounding this modification are nonetheless strict, as you would possibly count on from Apple. Builders can “share a single hyperlink to their web site,” Apple explains, however that’s so far as it goes. “Apple may also assist builders of reader apps defend customers once they hyperlink them to an exterior web site to make purchases.”

Nonetheless, it’s a step in the correct course. And it ought to imply that you simply not want to leap out of apps like Audible, Netflix, Spotify, and Prime Video and into Safari to handle your subscription.

’A protected and safe expertise’

“Belief on the App Retailer is all the pieces to us,” stated Apple Fellow Phil Schiller, who oversees the App Retailer. “The main target of the App Retailer is all the time to create a protected and safe expertise for customers, whereas serving to them discover and use nice apps on the units they love.”

“We’ve got nice respect for the Japan Truthful Commerce Fee and recognize the work we’ve achieved collectively, which can assist builders of reader apps make it simpler for customers to arrange and handle their apps and companies, whereas defending their privateness and sustaining their belief.”

The newest App Retailer change comes after Apple earlier this month agreed to permit builders to tell customers about third-party fee choices inside their apps, and introduced a $100 million fund for small app-makers to settle a class-action lawsuit introduced by builders.

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