[REVIEW] : Apple makes concessions in the App Store

As promised last September, Apple is starting to let go. Under pressure from various international regulators, the American technology giant has announced that “reader” type apps, namely those that allow you to read subscription content, such as newspapers, books, audio or video (Spotify or Netflix, for example) will be able to integrate external links. These must make it possible to redirect to the websites of these various services to allow users to create or manage their account.

Developers wishing to obtain this right, so far blocked, will have to request it. And in the event of a positive response, they will have to apply a few rules before redirecting Internet users, in particular displaying a message with a rather dissuasive tone, which indicates that Apple is not responsible for transactions made outside the App Store and that the firm cannot ensure privacy and security.

At the same time, in the Netherlands, where Apple was fined $50 million by the national competition authority for not allowing dating apps to offer an alternative payment system, the firm comes finally to relax its rules. These services will be able to integrate directly into their apps a payment system other than that of Apple.

Apple gets support from former national security officials in Fortnite case

Apple won support in its case for control of its App Store on Thursday. In a series of documents related to Apple’s ongoing lawsuit against Fortnite maker Epic Games, a group of former national security officials, developers and corporate advocacy groups have widely said courts shouldn’t not get in the way of Apple’s approach to managing apps on its iPhones and iPads.

The briefs, more than a dozen in total, echoed many of Apple’s concerns raised since it was sued by Epic over how it handles payments in its App Store. Apple says it should be allowed to moderate and control which apps can and cannot be offered on an iPhone. Epic says Apple’s approach is stifling competition.

A filing signed by former defense officials and heads of US government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and National Security Council, told the court that forcing changes to the App Store of ‘Apple could lead to security issues including malware and spyware.

As Apple argued, the group said consumers should have the choice to buy products with a stronger approach to security. “If Epic were to prevail, competition for higher quality device security would be stifled and courts would be forced into undesirable regulatory postures that would open the door to greater risk of security threats,” the group wrote. .

Hit online game Roblox has written that its support for Apple comes out of concern for its many underage users. “Apple’s process for reviewing and approving apps available on the App Store improves safety and security and gives those apps greater legitimacy in the eyes of users,” Roblox wrote. “This is a significant benefit that all apps, including those from Roblox, enjoy by choosing to be part of Apple’s ecosystem.”

Apple finally loosens the noose of the App Store… for certain applications only

Apple has finally kept its word. The manufacturer will allow certain developers to offer a link to their websites in their applications, in order to allow users to create or manage their account… without going through the services of the App Store.

(apps for reading newspapers, magazines or books, listening to music or watching videos). However, this category includes important titles like Kobo, Kindle, Spotify or Netflix.

However, developers of such applications cannot directly include a link in their software. They must first apply for access to Apple’s External Link Account Entitlement program. In addition, they must display a warning that specifies that the user is going to an external site, whose transactions are not managed by Apple.

They should also include a link to an Apple page that explains the risks of transmitting information to a third-party site. The manufacturer also imposes other constraints: the site cannot be opened within the application, but via the browser, the link must not transmit any parameters and the application must not indicate prices for purchases made. on the website.

Integrated payment in dating apps in the Netherlands

The manufacturer has also loosened the screw for payments in dating apps. But this opening concerns only the Netherlands. Indeed, Apple must obey the order of the Dutch competition authority (ACM). The manufacturer appealed the decision, but has already been fined 50 million euros for failing to comply.

Apple has also updated its information pages and indicates that developers will no longer have to provide a separate binary module for the Netherlands. The app may therefore include a payment system other than that of the App Store, but this function will not be available in other countries. Additionally, developers will need to make it clear to users that the payment system is not managed by Apple, as well as the risks of going through a third party.