Apple releases new rules for the App Store, or affects Google and Microsoft streaming game services

On Friday, Apple revised its App Store guidelines before the release of the latest iPhone operating system, iOS 14 . iOS 14 is expected to be released later this month. Apple’s App Store Guidelines are documents used by Apple employees to approve or reject apps and updates in the App Store. In recent weeks, these regulations have been scrutinized by app developers because Apple has too much control over the software running on the iPhone.

In particular, Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, is in a fierce legal battle with Apple over several of its guiding principles, including requiring in-app purchases in digital products. Last month, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store.

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A major update is related to game streaming services . Microsoft and Facebook have publicly stated in recent months that Apple’s regulations limit the functionality of their game apps on the iPhone and iPad. Microsoft’s xCloud service cannot be used on iOS, and Facebook’s game application cannot be used on iPhone.

Apple said that game streaming services such as Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud are expressly permitted. But there are conditions: the service provided by the game needs to be downloaded directly from the App Store, not from an integrated application. The App Store is allowed to release a so-called “catalog application” that links to other game services, but each game requires a separate application.

Apple said that this is out of safety and security considerations. The game streaming service hopes to become a platform for game manufacturers, such as approving individual games and deciding which games to provide, but Apple hopes that the streaming service is more like a group of games, and said it needs to review each game.

Apple’s rules mean that if a streaming game service has 100 games, then each game needs to have a separate app store listing and a developer relationship with Apple. All games and stores need to use Apple’s payment processing system to provide in-app purchase services, and Apple usually receives 30% of its revenue from this system.

Another change is related to face-to-face courses purchased in the iPhone app. This spring, during the epidemic, several companies that previously allowed users to book face-to-face products (such as Classpass) began offering virtual courses. Apple’s previous regulations stated that virtual classrooms must use Apple’s in-app payment process.

Apple’s new guidelines state that one-to-one face-to-face virtual courses, such as fitness training, can bypass Apple’s payment, but if a teacher teaches in a multi-person class, the app still needs to use Apple’s in-app buy.

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