The controversy surrounding the Apple’s App Store has raged on for over a year now. Kickstarted by Epic Games’ Fortnite debacle, Apple was criticised for prohibiting developers from using payment options outside of the App Store. That criticism turned into litigation.
Until now, Apple limited developers’ ways of introducing alternate payment options to users. Developers who told customers, even through email, of other ways to pay would be punished. That's finally changing.
Apple loosens App Store payment rules
After a long legal battle, Apple has conceded to let developers inform users about new payment options via email. This change allows iOS devs to push users towards options that result in more money for developers by circumventing Apple’s 30% cut. There will now be more app payment options as well, increasing from 100 to 500.
On top of this, a $100 million fund has been started to help teams who’ve lost money during court proceedings. Lawsuit funds range from as low as $250 to. $30,000 per developer. However, there's no information on the process teams need to go through to secure the funds.
There are still barriers in place
Despite Apple’s slight relaxation on App Store rules, there's still barriers in place to make sure they still get paid. While devs can inform users via email about new payment processes, that's not allowed in-app.
Those who decide to use in-app means to circumvent the revenue cut will be punished. However, it's not known how severe punishments will be. The last major breach of this App Store policy was from Epic Games; the company introduced non-Apple payment options in-app. That transgression resulted in the app being booted from the App Store.
The iOS ecosystem is still very restrictive for developers. However, it is slowly becoming better. Hopefully, as time goes on, it can become even better for devs.