Apple discreetly updated its App Store guidelines during its WWDC keynote on Monday.
The update features new rules around free trials, privacy and remote mirroring apps like Valve’s Steam Link. Additionally, the guidelines touch on subscriptions, app descriptions and background processes.
Apple modified rule 3.1.1 to say that non-subscription apps may offer a free time-based trail to users. To do so, the app should use a free in-app purchase option that unlocks functionality for a period of time.
This update clearly outlines the rules surrounding the trial, stating that an “app must clearly identify its duration, the content or services that will no longer be accessible when the trial ends and any downstream charges the users would need to pay for full functionality.”
Now, apps must obtain explicit user consent in order to record user activity. Apps must also provide a “clear visual indication when recording, logging or otherwise making a record of user activity.”
The rule includes any use of the device camera, microphone or other user inputs.
Apple received some flak from gamers when it approved and later rejected Valve’s Steam Link app from the app store. In light of that, the company has updated its guidelines around apps that provide a remote mirroring service such as what Steam Link offers.
Guideline 4.2.7 states that the host device must be a personal computer owned by the user and must be connected to the user’s device using a local area network (LAN).
Additionally, software and services must be rendered on the host device and cannot use APIs or platform features beyond what’s required to stream the desktop. Furthermore, all account creation and management must be handled on the host device.
Finally, the UI can’t resemble an iOS or App Store view, provide a store-like interface or include the ability to browse, select or purchase software not already owned or licensed by the user. Any transactions taking place within the mirrored environment aren’t required to utilize in-app purchase as long as the transaction is processed on the host device.
This should open the door for apps like Steam Link to work on iOS devices. Valve may have to resubmit the app and there is no word yet if or when it will be available.
Apple also introduced some other minor guidelines. App update descriptions have to be much more detailed now, unless the update is only a bug fix, security patch or performance improvement.
Apps with auto-renewing subscriptions are prohibited from attempting to trick users into purchasing a subscription under false pretenses.
To see the full list of changes, check out the guidelines here.
Source: Mac Rumors