Apple amends its App Store guidelines

Apple is amending the App Store guideline that banned apps created using templates and other app generation services. When the company revised its policies earlier this year, the move was meant to reduce the number of low-quality apps and spam. 

However, as noted by TechCrunch, the decision ended up affecting small businesses, restaurants, nonprofits, organizations, clubs and others who don’t have the in-house expertise or funds to build custom apps from scratch.

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Apple’s revised wording now says:

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.

Also, Apple will make the Apple Developer Program free for governments and nonprofits early next year, starting with institutions in the U.S. Charities will be able to submit apps without having to pay the $99 per year fee to be a member. The fee will still apply for commercial businesses and individual app entrepreneurs. Nonprofits can already collect donations using free-to-download App Store apps and avoid the 30% in-app purchase fee that’s usually required for app developers.