Late yesterday, Apple announced changes to the App Store that close an investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). From the start of 2022, developers of so-called “reading” applications or reading applications will be able to include a single link to their website. Thanks to it, users will be able to register or manage their account, being one of the great demands of this type of application.
Goodbye to the “pediment” of reading apps
Until now, applications for reading digital magazines, newspapers, series, films, music or books could display a “pediment” as soon as they were downloaded and opened. This happened when the developer preferred not to place a new user registration system in the app itself, bypassing the App Store payment system. Apple allows these types of apps to display the pediment whenever they fall into any of the aforementioned categories, but not the others (Apple requires minimal functionality for the rest of the apps).
This requires the user to go to the developer’s website, register, and purchase the digital good or subscription. Later, you need to go to the app and enter the credentials to enjoy the app. With the agreement reached with the JFTC, Apple will change that in early 2022, reaching the world.
To do so, Apple will change “the standards and review process to ensure that playing apps continues to have a safe experience in the App Store.” The company considers the in-app shopping system to be the safest option, but it will also help developers protect users through these types of links.
This application reading “pediment” has never offered the best user experience, even if it has protected them from possible fraud
Since Cupertino, security and user experience are the main concerns. Therefore, they will only allow one web link that the developer decides. According to Phil Schiller, an Apple Fellow who oversees the App Store:
Trust in the App Store is everything to us. The goal of the App Store is always to create a safe experience for users and to help them find and use great apps on the devices they love so much. We have great respect for the Japan Fair Trade Commission and appreciate the work we have done together, which will help developers of content visualization applications make it easier for users to configure and manage their applications and services while protecting their privacy and maintaining their trust.
Spotify, Netflix and Kindle as main beneficiaries
The ability to redirect the user to the web to register was one of the demands made by companies such as Spotify, Netflix or Amazon for their Kindle. While that’s not the only claim of these developers, the truth is, it’s a change that’s hard for Apple to reject. With the elimination of the anti-leadership measures announced in the United States, the two were the weaker fronts in the current assault on the App Store.
The exception of reading apps so that they could show the pediment continued to suffer from flaws in the user experience. It is not optimal for the user to find a wall in the app and infer that they need to register to enter. Apple decided to allow them for the security and privacy that it entailed, thus avoiding possible frauds and problems when connecting to an external website.
Unlike last week’s agreement, these rules will apply worldwide from 2022
The Cupertino company will allow the inclusion of a single link to an external website, although details are unknown. Certainly, certain rules aimed at preserving security and confidentiality during bank registration and transaction must be observed. But it will add an extra layer of review by the App Store, increasing the complexity of the process.
Small developers have different concerns and needs than large development houses. Between them there is an abyss of different interests. Therefore, while a Netflix or Spotify have a brand that is strong enough that the user can trust an offline transaction, other smaller apps will have no choice but to continue with the IAP system. .
There is a very difficult balance between these developers, which Apple must try to maintain. Of course, Apple is making efforts to protect the little ones while meeting some of the requirements of the bigger ones. Otherwise, you risk creating a two-tier App Store.