Apple seems to be making good on its promise to offer a less restrictive App Store for developers and users. Apple App Store now allows some apps to include external links in their respective iOS apps. In this way, those users who wish can register and choose an alternative payment method to that of the App Store.
From now on, “reader” apps, those that allow access to digital content such as Netflix, Spotify or Kindle, will be able to add links to their own websites to manage the subscription or make payments in their systems.
With its ‘App Store Review guideline 3.1.3(a), the ability for developers to request the ability to add the external link is added. This means that Apple still reserves the right to cancel the ability to add the link.
Apple will only allow this freedom to apps that, “previously purchased media content or content subscriptions for digital content types; magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video.”
Some of these platforms, like Netflix, have never offered a registration system in their iOS app. Until now, if a new user wanted to register in the service, he had to do it externally. That is, by accessing the browser, entering Netflix.com and filling in your data and bank information. Once registered, he had to enter the login data in the app.
With this new measure, however, the process is much simpler. In those cases, in addition, the platforms do not have to share that 30% commission that Apple does require from those who use the App Store payment platform.
Apple first announced this freedom to add in-app links to certain media services last year as part of an agreement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission, although Apple will apply the new policy to all such apps throughout the world.
When offering this external link, Apple explains that it must open in the browser and not in a web view within the application. Neither can data or parameters be passed from the app to the website, and finally, advertising or description of the payment within the app cannot be made. That is, Apple will allow the link but not any management within the application.