Apple shares new Sign in With Apple guidelines to developers; urges child safety in the App Store

With the impending arrival of new software versions for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and its other platforms, Apple is sending out semi-regular updates to developers on some important matters.

This week has already seen Apple remind developers that if they have an Apple Watch, they will need to get into the habit of submitting them to the App Store on Apple Watch, among other things. And now the company is setting new guidelines for the upcoming Sign in With Apple Feature, and also making sure updates in apps keep children safe.

First, per Apple’s news today, the new guidelines for the Sign in With Apple feature:

Make it easy for users to sign in to your apps and websites using the Apple ID they already have. With privacy and security features built-in, Sign in with Apple is a great way to help users set up an account, sign in, and engage with your app quickly and easily. All accounts are protected with two-factor authentication for superior security, and Apple will not track users’ activity in your app or website.

We’ve updated the App Store Review Guidelines to provide criteria for when apps are required to use Sign in with Apple. Starting today, new apps submitted to the App Store must follow these guidelines. Existing apps and app updates must follow them by April 2020. We’ve also provided new guidelines for using Sign in with Apple on the web and other platforms.

Meanwhile, for the kids, Apple wants to make sure that apps aren’t going out of their way to share a child’s data, that the apps they can find in the Kids category in the App Store are age-appropriate, and feature a parental gate to link outside of the app. The company says that it’s “critical” that “no personally identifiable information or device information be transmitted to third parties”, adding that advertisements must be human-reviewed to make sure they are age-appropriate for the audience playing the game or using the app.

Guideline 1.3 and guideline 5.1.4 detail important rules related to apps in the Kids category and we’ve been working with some developers of existing apps to assist them in the transition to full compliance with this important guideline.

All new apps must follow these guidelines, and we urge you to update your existing apps as soon as possible. If your existing app requires more time to implement these guidelines, we’ve provided an additional six months, until March 3, 2020, to bring it into full compliance.

Apple’s updates to its major platforms will start rolling out to customers late next week, wrapping up before the end of the month.