Apple updates App Store review guidelines

Apple has published updated App Store review guidelines that include changes and clarifications to policies for apps aimed at children, as well as new restrictions on gambling apps and apps that might result in a user injuring themselves. Apple has created a new section in the guidelines regarding what is acceptable for kids under the age of 13. Apps that are intended for use by children under 13 must conform to these new rules, including the prohibition on they kinds of ads developers can display in them, says Apple:

24.2 Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 may not include behavioral advertising (e.g. the advertiser may not serve ads based on the user's activity within the App), and any contextual ads presented in the App must be appropriate for kids

In addition to this restriction, apps aimed at kids must include a privacy policy, and must get permission from a parent or use some sort of parental restrictions when the app has the ability to link to an online store outside of the app. These changes bring Apple's rules into line with recent changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which mandates these policies.

There has been a slight tweak to section 2.25, which covers apps that resemble the App Store. Apple was said to be cracking down on these apps for being too similar to the App Store, and therefore confusing for users. The change to the rule says that apps that are similar in functionality to the App Store will be allowed if they exist for a "specific approved need." These needs include accessibility, health, and aviation.

Other changes include alterations to rules for gambling apps, including the requirement that real-money gambling applications must now be free on the App Store. Additionally, the use of in-app purchases for credit or money in these games is strictly prohibited. These apps are also restricted by location, and can only be offered in places where their use is legal. Apps that may cause physical harm will also be rejected.

To view these changes, along with the rest of the guidelines, head over to Apple's developer site and log in with a registered developer account. If you're a developer, let us know what you think of the changes, and if you're a parent or customer, let us know if any of this makes you feel safer about shopping in the App Store?

Source: Apple via MacRumors

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.