Apple has announced a series of changes related to the App Store. The most significant change is that iOS developers can now inform their users about the existence of other payment methods other than the default one provided by Apple on the App Store.
Thus, developers will be able to avoid the commission of 15% or 30% that Apple imposes for the use of its payment system. Until June 2021, developers were not allowed to point out alternative payment options to their customers at all.
This is the result of an out-of-court settlement reached by Apple and developers on a class-action lawsuit regarding the payment modalities in the App Store.
Apple specifies the guidelines to the effect that iOS developers may, with users’ permission, can use the data collected in their apps to inform users about payment options outside the App Store. If a user has stored their email address in the app, the developer can use this to inform them about other payment options in the future. However, users must explicitly consent to this type of contact and can revoke it at any time. Offering additional payment options within the app is still prohibited.
According to The Verge, the deal also includes Apple paying developers a total of $100 million via “Small Developer Assistance Fund” — which will be split among small developers who earned $1 million or less “for all of their apps in every calendar year in which the developers had an account between June 4, 2015, and April 26, 2021.”
Apple will also publish a transparency report on the App Store. The current search system in the App Store is to be retained for at least three years. Developers can also still object to an app being rejected. Apple has agreed to create a website that explains the app rating process. The agreement has yet to be confirmed by a judge.