Apple App Store review policy changed after Hey! controversy

Abhishek Jariwala
By Abhishek Jariwala
3 Min Read

It is known that two of the world’s best mobile operating systems are being run by Apple and Google which are iOS and Android respectively. Now, both of these platforms have their own app markets as well where users can go and download apps compatible for their respective platforms. For Android, we have the Google Play Store while Apple has its App Store for iOS and iPadOS devices. Now, we know that both these stores have been criticized since the companies that have developed them have too much control over them. Both Google and Apple have been accused of rejecting apps for not following their store guidelines and being monopolistic in their approach.

But a recent controversy erupted just before the WWDC 2020 when a new email service from BaseCamp founders Hey! was rejected by Apple for not following their guidelines. The founders said that Apple first approved the app on its App Store but rejected updates to the app making it redundant and could cause security issues for the users. It is now known that Apple did approve Hey’s updates just before the WWDC 2020 kicked off but this was not before a public outcry towards Apple’s policy and its control over the App Store.

Now, Apple has said that it is changing the way its App Store guidelines work. Apple says that they are making two major changes to its App Store policies and guidelines and adds that they “will be implemented this summer”. “First, developers will not only be able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, but will also have a mechanism to challenge the guideline itself,”.

Another change announced by Apple is that even though they have problems with an app now following its guidelines, they will not delay app updates. As per the company’s statement, “Second, for apps that are already on the App Store, bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues. Developers will instead be able to address the issue in their next submission.”

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This means that Apple will let developers challenge its guidelines and why their app was rejected and also not freeze app updates due to this issue. But this did not come before Hey controversy and two antitrust probes by the European Union against Apple for similar reasons.

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It is known that two of the world’s best mobile operating systems are being run by Apple and Google which are iOS and Android respectively. Now, both of these platforms have their own app markets as well where users can go and download apps compatible for their respective platforms. For Android, we have the Google Play Store while Apple has its App Store for iOS and iPadOS devices. Now, we know that both these stores have been criticized since the companies that have developed them have too much control over them. Both Google and Apple have been accused of rejecting apps for not following their store guidelines and being monopolistic in their approach.

But a recent controversy erupted just before the WWDC 2020 when a new email service from BaseCamp founders Hey! was rejected by Apple for not following their guidelines. The founders said that Apple first approved the app on its App Store but rejected updates to the app making it redundant and could cause security issues for the users. It is now known that Apple did approve Hey’s updates just before the WWDC 2020 kicked off but this was not before a public outcry towards Apple’s policy and its control over the App Store.

Now, Apple has said that it is changing the way its App Store guidelines work. Apple says that they are making two major changes to its App Store policies and guidelines and adds that they “will be implemented this summer”. “First, developers will not only be able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, but will also have a mechanism to challenge the guideline itself,”.

Another change announced by Apple is that even though they have problems with an app now following its guidelines, they will not delay app updates. As per the company’s statement, “Second, for apps that are already on the App Store, bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues. Developers will instead be able to address the issue in their next submission.”

- Advertisement -

This means that Apple will let developers challenge its guidelines and why their app was rejected and also not freeze app updates due to this issue. But this did not come before Hey controversy and two antitrust probes by the European Union against Apple for similar reasons.

Share This Article
Leave a comment