Apple’s new App Store rules plugged in for xCloud, Stadia and more

Apple has released new rules for its App Store, which have come to address a number of issues with Apple’s rule on its digital storefront for iPhone devices, including updates for game streaming services, new for online classes There are rules and fewer restrictions. The in-app purchases on the free email app, which was the focus of Apple’s previous dispute with Hay.

Changes are a major rule on game streaming services such as Google Stadia or Microsoft’s xCloud, which Apple cites are doing Newly permitted – but new rules state that every game must be “downloaded directly from the App Store”, and that each game update must be presented individually to Apple before a company can stream it to users . This means that Microsoft or Google cannot build a single, overreach XCloud or Stadia app that uses all games. But they can offer different games on the App Store using their streaming technology as separate pieces of software with a “catalog” -style app that collects and links to those individual apps.

Additionally, all those game streaming apps will still be subject to Apple’s general App Store rules, including the company’s controversial 30 percent cut, which is currently the subject of Apple’s ongoing battle with Epic Games.

Microsoft and Google will have to radically change their proposed business model and jump through multiple hoops to get their cloud gaming services on the iPhone – enough that it almost seems like Apple designed the rules So that it still looks altruistic while keeping xCloud and Stadia. outside. Google declined to comment on these changes.

Here are the complete guidelines on “streaming games”, although they also appear elsewhere in Apple’s revised rules:

4.9 Sports Streaming

Streaming games are allowed as long as they don’t follow all the guidelines – for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for discovery, the game features Or have to use in-app purchases to unlock functionality, etc. , Is an always open Internet and web browser app to reach all users outside the App Store.

4.9.1 Each streaming game must be presented as an individual app in the App Store so that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and searches, user ratings and reviews, managed with screentime and other parental control apps Can be seen on the user’s device, etc.

4.9.2 Streaming game services can offer a catalog app on the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find games on the App Store, provided that the app follows all guidelines, including allowing users to subscribe Payment option included. Sign in and use with Apple. All games included in the catalog app must link to an individual App Store product page.

The update also clarifies the rules: whether digital fitness or tuition classes are to be billed through the App Store (with Apple’s deduction). According to the new guidelines, “one-to-one experiences” do not have to be billed through the App Store, but are commonly made in-app purchases for “one-to-some or one-to-many services” Is required.

Finally, Rule 3.1.3 (f) also adds “a formal exception to free apps that serve as a stand-alone companion to paid web-based tools,” a class that Apple says Applications that include VOIP, cloud storage, email services and web hosting are now exempt from using Apple’s in-app purchases for subscriptions. Like the other rules, Caviates are: Developers may not offer purchases inside the app themselves or include a call to action to purchase elsewhere.

The new rule here comes after a dirty fight with Apple’s basecamp-developed email app Hey, which initially rejected its update – and then allowed it back in the App Store – due to fights over whether Apple Was required to use the in-app purchase system (and charge 30 percent of it). Another battle ensued with WordPress, where its completely free app was forced to make in-app purchases until Apple backed down and “apologized for whatever confusion we had.” Under the new rule, the original implementation of the Hey Email app will also be allowed, without modifications requiring the company to add a free version of the app to approve the app.

Here is Apple’s complete App Store Guidelines changelog.

Update September 11, 1:50 pm ET: Added Google No Comments

Correction September 11, 2 pm: Basecamp is the developer of Hey, not Bandcamp. We regret this error.