A hand holding an iPhone with the Apple App Store pulled up on the screen

First spotted by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch, Apple has officially revised its strict policy that banned all template-based apps from being published in the App Store. Initially, the company introduced the policy in order to cut down on the amount of low-quality and spam apps floating around. However, it wasn't just spammers who were impacted. The policy change negatively affected small businesses owners, nonprofits, and other organizations and groups who don't have the resources to craft an app independently.

Before the switch, the guidelines stated the following:

4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.

Now, however, Apple's revised reviewing guidelines say this:

4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected unless they are submitted directly by the provider of the app's content. These services should not submit apps on behalf of their clients and should offer tools that let their clients create customized, innovative apps that provide unique customer experiences. Another acceptable option for template providers is to create a single binary to host all client content in an aggregated or "picker" model, for example as a restaurant finder app with separate customized entries or pages for each client restaurant, or as an event app with separate entries for each client event.

So basically, while Apple is getting more lenient when it comes to templates and app generation services, there is still a caveat: apps created using these services must be submitted by whatever business, organization, or individual the app is actually for. That means no third-party generation service will be able to publish an app — that now falls squarely on the client's shoulders.

Perez also points out that in early 2018, Apple will begin waiving the $99 developer fee for all government and nonprofits starting in the U.S. to make it easier for those sorts of organizations to publish their own apps.

For a more in-depth analysis of Apple's new policy, you can check out TechCrunch's original article here.

Thoughts?

Do you believe Apple's relaxed guidelines will be detrimental or beneficial? Let us know in the comments.