App Store Update: Apple Tweaks its Rules for Kids Apps and Sign-in Option
Apple has always been on the top when it comes to focusing on delivering a seamless and secure experience to the users. And the tech giant, in the past few months, have taken major steps in this direction.
It restricted access to user contact address book, prohibited third-party data access on iOS platform, introduced new security features in iOS 13, amongst other measures. It also maintained its focus on all aspects that could give users an escape from privacy and security breaches.
However, it seems like Apple is now looking at the flip side of the situation.
The Apple team, after addressing the appeals of iOS developers and advertising companies, realized that these stringent guidelines are acting as a barrier in its business and revenue. Both iOS application development companies and advertising agencies are facing a considerable decline in their business ROI.
So, to ensure that both iOS app developers and users enjoy being on the App Store, Apple has taken a major step.
“As we got closer to implementation we spent more time with developers, analytics companies and advertising companies,” said Phil Schiller, Senior VP at Apple. “Some of them are really forward-thinking and have good ideas and are trying to be leaders in this space too.”
The Apple team looked into the matter from both user and developer-front and reworked on its policies – majorly related to Kids app and Sign-in service.
Earlier Apple declared that data gathering and transmission will be strictly prohibited in the case of Kids apps. No developers will be able to gain any kind of insight using third-party means on their Kids-focused application.
But now, Apple has become somewhat liberal with this rule.
While collecting user sensitive data without their confirmation is still not appreciated, the tech giant now allows developers to integrate third-party analytics to their apps, provided:-
- App does not share identifiable or device fingerprinting data to third-parties. This includes name, email address, date of birth, location, or any other such information.
- The companies offering ads have publicly documented practices and policies. Also, they will have to provide an opportunity for human review of ad creatives.
- iOS app developers comply COPPA, GDPR and other local rules. Also, they tweak the language used for third-party ads from ‘may not’ to ‘should not’. This way, stresses on focusing on the content offered to young users.
- Words like ‘for kids’ and ‘for children’ are not mentioned in metadata of the application submitted under Kids category on the App Store.
Additionally, those investing in iOS app development with an aim to enter the Kids category will now be able to use analytics. They can measure the outcomes of every effort they make, and eventually enhance their app development and marketing services.
Sign in With Apple
As announced as one of the iOS 13 top features, ‘Sign in With Apple’ is seen as an alternative for third-party or social-media login feature of iOS application. This option, that offers a unique and randomly created email address to users, is considered a method that will deliver a secure user experience. Something that was not possible with the existing security rules.
Earlier, it was assumed that this option will be made compulsory for all the iOS apps that offers third-party or social media login functionality. However, Apple has now clarified that this functionality will not be available under certain circumstances.
This includes situations when:-
- Your mobile app exclusively employs your company’s own account setup and sign-in processes.
- It is an Education, Enterprise or Business mobility solution that demands users to sign in with existing education or enterprise login credentials.
- An iOS application employs a government or industry-backed citizen identification mechanism or electronic ID for authentication.
- Your mobile app is a client for a third-party service and users are must to sign in to their mail, third-party, or social media account directly to get access to their content.
As per the Apple team, these rules must be followed from today itself. Meaning, developers will have to focus on these two guidelines while developing their iOS application to get their app approved. No new app will be able to enter the Apple market by overlooking these two rules.
However, existing applications still have some time. The developers are provided with additional six months to update their application as per these rules, i.e, till March 3, 2020.
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