Apple has announced that it will allow “reader” apps to offer users in-app links to set up and manage accounts, marking a significant shift in how the App Store typically operates.
If you’re wondering what a reader app is, you aren’t alone. In Apple’s press release, the tech giant describes these apps as software that displays content outside of iOS, including previously purchased videos, music, magazines, books and more. More importantly, this term also applies to streaming services like Netflix and Spotify.
The shift stems from a Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) investigation into the App Store but will affect the platform worldwide. The change will go into place in early 2022. Apple says reader apps will be able to offer a single link to their website for account management.
In its press release, Apple emphasized that it’s changing its historically stringent policy because reader apps do not offer in-app purchases. Apple typically takes a 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases.
“Trust on the App Store is everything to us. The focus of the App Store is always to create a safe and secure experience for users, while helping them find and use great apps on the devices they love,” said Phil Schiller, the “Apple Fellow” that oversees the App Store and former senior vice president of worldwide product marketing.
This announcement comes less than a week after Apple revealed sweeping changes to the App Store that allow developers to offer alternative payment methods outside of the App Store via email. The company also revealed plans to launch a fund to assist smaller U.S.-based app developers.
This shift was in response to a class-action lawsuit against the company launched by several developers.