Apple Adjusts Its App Review Process Ever-So-Slightly

Posted on August 31, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, iOS, Mobile with 5 Comments

Following through on a promise buried in a press release during WWDC 2020, Apple today made minor adjustments to its app review process.

“We’ve updated the app review process as announced at WWDC20,” an Apple statement notes. “For apps that are already on the App Store, bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues. You’ll instead be able to address guideline violations in your next submission. And now, in addition to appealing decisions about whether an app violates guidelines, you can suggest changes to the guidelines. We also encourage you to submit your App Store and Apple development platform suggestions so we can continue to improve experiences for the developer community.”

Apple’s changes come in the wake of mounting pressure by developers and antitrust regulators for the firm to relax its grip on the mobile app market that drives the iPhone and open up its opaque policies to outside scrutiny. And while they do address a few obvious issues with Apple’s policies—the firm was infamously preventing app developers from shipping bug and security fixes when there was a policy dispute—they don’t address the biggest problems that antitrust regulators are now investigating.

And they certainly don’t help Epic, which was banned from the App Store late last week for violating Apple’s policies on in-app purchases. In fact, the comment about “bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues” in the Apple statement appear to be directed at Epic at any other developer foolish enough to take on the world’s most powerful corporation.

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