In a press release on Monday, Apple announced two major alterations to its App Store rules. Firstly, Developers will not only be able to appeal the rejection of an App that violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, but will also have a procedure to challenge the guideline that led to the rejection. Secondly, there won’t be a delay in App updates and bug fixes over App Store disputes except for those related to legal issues. The changes were made in the wake of criticism received by Apple over software developer Basecamp’s ‘Hey’, an E-mail App which was initially approved by Apple but then repeatedly rejected as it violated App Store guidelines requiring in-app purchases, thereby harming Apple’s subscription revenue.
Apple has been the target of public spat for months over its App Store policies that requires developers to use its App Store payment service, which takes a cut of 15% to 30% of most app subscriptions and in-app purchases. Earlier this week in an interview, Apple’s Phil Schiller stated that, “there would currently be no changes to its rules that would allow the app to continue to be offered. There are many things that they could do to make the app work within the rules that we have. We would love for them to do that.”
To ease tension among the developers, Apple instituted a new mechanism to hear the objections of developers who disapprove with its app-approval policies. The decision was put into practice on Monday by approving Hey’s updated App with bug fixes while the App’s developers are working on a solution towards the in-app-purchase matter.