Apple quietly announces that developers will be able to challenge application ‘guidelines’ amid backlash over policy

Given the developer’s backlash and antitrust scrutiny, Apple Inc. has quietly announced that it will make some adjustments to its App Store development policies.

The company said in a press release on Monday that it plans to implement two changes to its app review process later this summer. Developers will be able to appeal decisions about whether their applications violate App Store guidelines and will also “have a mechanism to challenge the guideline itself.” Apple AAPL,
+ 2.13%
He also said he would stop delaying bug fixes for breaches of the guidelines, except in legal circumstances.

Apple’s release was released a few hours after the company wrapped up the opening speech for its WWDC developer conference. The company used the address to preview upcoming software features and some technology-related changes for developers around plans to introduce custom Mac processors in the next two years, but Apple executives did not discuss these. new developer policies in the registered keynote.

Apple declined to comment on the record why the policy changes were not highlighted in the address.

The company has faced criticism from some prominent app developers about its practices on the App Store. Apple gets a revenue cut when users make in-app purchases of services through third-party apps, causing some developers to bypass in-app subscriptions and direct users to web browsers for their purchases.

Shortly before WWDC began, Apple found itself in a high-profile dispute with the developers of Hey, an email app that charges $ 99 a year for its services, but did not allow customers to pay for an in-app subscription. . Apple rejected the Hey software update that contained bug fixes because the company did not have a payment option in the app, but after some public discussions, Apple agreed to approve Hey bug fixes once developers created an option. free trial that users could sign within the application itself.

Great developers, including Tinder-parent Match Group Inc. MTCH,
+ 3.57%
has criticized Apple in recent days for its App Store policies. Match said in its statement that Apple “arbitrarily” decides what to classify as digital services in order to determine which companies must disburse a portion of the revenue in the application to the smartphone giant.

“We welcome the opportunity to discuss this with Apple and create an equitable distribution of rates across the App Store, as well as with stakeholders in the EU and the United States,” Match said in the statement. European regulators are investigating the practices of the Apple Store and Apple Pay.

See more: Apple faces new complaints from app makers as the EU launches antitrust probes

Apple made another silent change on Monday that it was probably intended to avoid regulatory backlash when it announced in a launch and a small on-screen keynote that would give iOS users the ability to set their default email and web browsers on the upcoming iOS 14 software update.

Opinion: Apple says more with its silent actions than on the main stage of the WWDC

Microsoft Corp. MSFT,
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lost a major battle with the United States Department of Justice two decades ago by bundling its operating system and web browser, and Alphabet Inc.’s alphabet,
+ 0.91%
+ 0.86%
Google has faced problems in the European Union more recently by requiring phone manufacturers to pre-install various Google applications before they can access the Android operating system.

It remains to be seen whether Apple will make changes to the guidelines as a result of future challenges for developers, but the company appears to be looking for ways to ease tensions with developers and regulators without drawing attention to public controversies.

Apple shares are up 3.3% in Tuesday’s session and have gained 65% in the past three months as DIA Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
+ 0.50%
has increased by 41%.