iPhone app developers will have to justify to Apple why they're using specific APIs

App Store on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Apple has warned iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac app developers that they will have to justify their use of some APIs before their apps will be allowed into the App Store.

Apple announced the changes will kick in when iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, tvOS 17, and macOS Sonoma are released to the public this fall.

As for the reason behind the change, Apple says that it's all in the name of privacy.

API protections

Apple announced the changes in a post on its developer website, saying that some APIs are now classed as "Required Reason APIs."

"This will help ensure that apps only use these APIs for their intended purpose," Apple says. "As part of this process, you’ll need to select one or more approved reasons that accurately reflect how your app uses the API, and your app can only use the API for the reasons you’ve selected."

The move comes as Apple tries to ensure that its APIs aren't being used to track people. Apple added that "starting in spring 2024, in order to upload your new app or app update to App Store Connect, you’ll be required to include an approved reason in the app’s privacy manifest which accurately reflects how your app uses the API."

However, given the regularity with which developers tell us that their apps have been rejected by App Store review teams for nonsensical reasons, some will no doubt already be concerned about yet another hurdle that they have to jump over in order to be able to distribute their apps and games.

Apple's next round of big software updates is expected to land in or around the first couple of weeks of September, shortly before the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro devices are also released to the world.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • FFR
    Bravo apple. Spring 2024 can’t come soon enough.

    Google and Facebook are going to need to rewrite some apps .