Apple’s updated App Store Review Guidelines give developers more appeal options; cracks down on scams and fraud

Along with updates to iOS and the other major platforms, Apple has also released an updated version of its App Store Review Guidelines. Apple makes these types of changes on a semi regular basis, aiming to give more power to developers in some capacity. And this year is no different.

The new changes reflect the updated versions of its platforms. Apple unveiled iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS 12 Monterey earlier today at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The new guidelines cover a lot of bases, including safety procedures, developer trust, and more.

Apple addresses some major bullet points right out of the gate. That includes making sure developers know that their apps might be seen by children of all ages. While parental controls work to a certain extent, Apple says, “you have to do your part too. So know that we’re keeping an eye out for the kids.” Apple’s making it clear, here, that it will continue to do what it feels is best to make sure the App Store is a safe environment for all ages perusing the digital storefront.

Apple’s updated Review Guidelines go in-depth in various ways. However, one other key takeaway is that Apple is aiming to crack down on spam and fraud apps in the App Store:

  • If you attempt to cheat the system (for example, by trying to trick the review process, steal user data, copy another developer’s work, manipulate ratings or App Store discovery) your apps will be removed from the store and you will be expelled from the Apple Developer Program.

And, another interesting bullet point:

Expanded the Developer Code of Conduct to address additional developer trust and safety issues. New rules in this section require developer identity information to be accurate and up to date; make clear that manipulating any element of the App Store experience such as reviews and charts is not permitted; and that excessive customer reports about concerns with an app may be a factor in deciding whether the developer is complying with the Code of Conduct.

Finally, appeals. Apple is making it easier for developers to share their opinion on their app’s rejection from the App Store. Developers can now submit if they believe their app was rejected due to unfair treatment by the review team. One of the reasons for that treatment could be bias towards the developer in some way or another.

You can check out the full App Store Review Guidelines to read up on other changes Apple made this year.