Apple has announced a new agreement with App Store developers that makes a few small changes to make building apps for iPhone and iPad a little more profitable for developers. The company didn’t make the huge policy changes some people were hoping for, but at least it is something.
Apple’s new app store guidelines
The new agreement between Apple and app store developers in the US is intended to resolve a class action lawsuit brought by US app creators. Apple says, “The agreement will help make the App Store an even better business opportunity for developers while maintaining the safe and trusted marketplace that users love.”
The most significant change comes from the way developers can request payments for items within an app without relying on Apple’s in-app purchases. Now a developer can use the contact information received from the app to email customers about external purchase options. That means they can sell items and other in-app purchases without Apple receiving a cut.
The company said, “Apple is also making it clear that developers can use communications such as email to exchange information about payment methods outside of their iOS app. As always, developers pay Apple no commission for purchases made outside of their app or the app store. The users must agree to the communication and have the right to unsubscribe. “
The biggest problem is that developers still have to go outside of the app itself to offer alternative payment methods. the Issue that popped up at Epic Games was not because Epic emailed their customers, but because they were promoting payment options outside of the app store within Fortnite, which is not allowed. Perhaps when this lawsuit is settled we will come to a more satisfactory conclusion.
Another change concerns the prices developers can charge. Now developers have more than 500 price points to choose from, rather than less than 100.
Apple also announced a fund to support small US developers that includes 99% of developers in the US in every calendar year that developers are between the 4th. However, Apple did not reveal any details about this fund, just stated that we will learn more later.
Finally, the company announced that companies making less than $ 1 million a year would benefit from reduced commissions for at least three years, which will help small developers make more money.
It’s a step in the right direction
This is hardly the massive change we thought could result from this class action lawsuit, but it’s better than nothing. Any move that enables small businesses to generate more revenue is positive, although we expected a little more in terms of payment options outside of the app store.
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