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Apple updates App Store guidelines after US court decision: What it means?

Apple changes App Store rules after a US court decision, letting developers link to external websites for in-app purchases with added commissions.

Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Published on: January 17, 2024 18:27 IST
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Apple has made changes to its App Store guidelines following a recent decision by a US court. The update allows app developers to include links to external websites for in-app purchases. This means that apps offering in-app purchases on the US storefront can now provide users with a link to the developer’s website for alternative ways to buy digital goods or services.

The revised guideline, known as StoreKit Purchase Link Entitlement (US), has been introduced, aligning with the court decision. The company highlighted this change in a blog post on Tuesday. Notably, digital purchases made outside the App Store will be subject to a commission. Small business program developers face a 12 per cent commission, while larger developers are charged 27 per cent.

Important Considerations for Developers

The tech giant advised developers using this entitlement alongside in-app purchases to be aware that certain App Store features, like Ask to Buy or Family Sharing, won't be available for customers making purchases on external websites. Additionally, Apple won't be able to assist customers with issues like refunds, purchase history, and subscription management for digital goods and services purchased outside the App Store.

Apple's Response to Court Decision

The App Store changes come in response to a recent US court ruling. Apple is adapting to this decision, ensuring compliance while allowing developers more flexibility.

Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 Modifications

In a separate development, Apple is reported to have prepared modified versions of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. These versions do not include pulse oximetry functionality, as per a document filed with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The blood oxygen app is being temporarily removed from these models sold in the US, according to the filing by medical technology company Masimo.

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