In June 2017, Apple updated its App Store Review guidelines. New rules were added, banning all apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service. The changes stirred up a discussion about the scope of those guidelines and the definition of templated apps. This week, Apple published an amended version of the guidelines in an attempt to clarify their intentions. We welcome these clarifications as they are in line with our initial interpretation and our vision of high-quality apps.
Templated Apps and Submission
Before, the 4.2.6 App Store guideline read:
4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.
Apple’s revised wording now declares:
4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected unless they are submitted directly by the provider of the app’s content. These services should not submit apps on behalf of their clients and should offer tools that let their clients create customized, innovative apps that provide unique customer experiences.
Another acceptable option for template providers is to create a single binary to host all client content in an aggregated or “picker” model, for example as a restaurant finder app with separate customized entries or pages for each client restaurant, or as an event app with separate entries for each client event.
Will there be changes for our clients and apps?
No. The strategy we chose is now confirmed by Apple and has proven to be highly effective. Since the update in June, all our apps have been accepted to the App Store under our individual clients’ accounts. We have assisted clients for years to set up their own App Store accounts and publish their apps to those accounts for them. Our App Store Management service is free of charge for all our existing and new customers.
One App Portal
While some parts have changed, guideline 4.3 is still in place, stating:
4.3 Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchase. Also avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated; the App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps already. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program
It is not allowed to have multiple versions of the same app in one account. Similar apps must be combined into a container app. In other words: One event app is permitted, but you cannot submit a second, comparable app. The solution is an upgrade to a Society App, which will enable you to publish all your conferences.
Please contact us if you have any questions, or to discuss your event app strategy.