After Google, Apple is updating App Store rules for developers 

With the update, developers on Apple’s App Store will have to describe why their apps use certain APIs  

Updated - July 28, 2023 10:17 pm IST

Published - July 28, 2023 03:13 pm IST

Apple is updating its App Store policy and will require developers to detail why their apps use certain APIs.

Apple is updating its App Store policy and will require developers to detail why their apps use certain APIs. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Apple is updating its App Store rules to make them stricter for developers. The company will now require developers to detail why their apps use certain Application Programming Interfaces (API) before submitting them to the App Store. APIs are used by developers to add features that could include pulling data from servers to update feeds on the app.

Some APIs used in apps to deliver core functionality have the potential of being misused to access device signals or try to identify the device users, also known as fingerprinting, a method used for tracking users across different apps and websites.

“Describe the reason your app or third-party SDK on iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, visionOS, or watchOs uses these APIs”. Apple said in a blog post.

The Cupertino-based tech company said that from Spring 2024, apps that don’t describe their use of required API in their privacy manifest file will not be accepted by App Store Connect.

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The measure that looks to curb cross-app tracking and enhance security for users could result in higher rejection rates on the app store. It could also slow down the rate of updates as apps could be rejected for lack of details on their use of APIs, some of which may be necessary to ensure apps remember user preferences.

And, while the change in policy appears to be a move in a positive direction, it is not clear how Apple plans to ensure that APIs used by an app after describing its use are not misused.

Apple will let developers appeal a rejection and submit a request to approve the use of an API by developers if it benefits users.

Earlier in April, Google changed it Play Store rules to add data deletion requirements for accounts and associated data in apps

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