June 08, 2022
Updates in preparation for upcoming OS releases
Apple has updated their App Store Review Guidelines in preparation of upcoming OS releases.
Apple’s own summary can be found here.
The complete set of changes can be seen below:
1.1 Objectionable Content
1.5 Developer Information
- 1.1.4 Overtly sexual or pornographic material, defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.” This includes “hookup” apps that may include pornography or be used to facilitate prostitution.
People need to know how to reach you with questions and support issues. Make sure your app and its Support URL include an easy way to contact you; this is particularly important for apps that may be used in the classroom. Failure to include accurate and up-to-date contact information not only frustrates customers, but may violate the law in some countries or regions. Also ensure that Wallet passes include valid contact information from the issuer and are signed with a dedicated certificate assigned to the brand or trademark owner of the pass.
1.7 Reporting Criminal Activity
Apps for reporting alleged criminal activity must involve local law enforcement, and can only be offered in countries or regions where such involvement is active.
2.5 Software Requirements
4.2 Minimum Functionality
- 2.5.4 Multitasking apps may only use background services for their intended purposes: VoIP, audio playback, location, task completion, local notifications, etc. If your app uses location background mode, include a reminder that doing so may dramatically decrease battery life.
- (ii) Make sure you include sufficient content in the binary for theIf your app needs to download additional resources in order to function at launch.
(iii) If your app needs to download additional resources in order to function on initial launch, disclose the size of the download and prompt users before doing so.
4.7 HTML5 Games, Bots, etc.
- 4.4.3 Stickers
- (ii) Consider regional sensitivities, and do not make your sticker pack available in a country or region where it could be poorly received or violate local law.
5.1.3 Health and Health Research
- 4.7.1 Software offered under this rule must:
- not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations;
5.2 Intellectual Property
- (i) Apps may not use or disclose to third parties data gathered in the health, fitness, and medical research context—including from the Clinical Health Records API, HealthKit API, Motion and Fitness, MovementDisorderAPIs, or health-related human subject research—for advertising, marketing, or other use-based data mining purposes other than improving health management, or for the purpose of health research, and then only with permission. Apps may, however, use a user’s health or fitness data to provide a benefit directly to that user (such as a reduced insurance premium), provided that the app is submitted by the entity providing the benefit, and the data is not be shared with a third party. You must disclose the specific health data that you are collecting from the device.
5.3 Gaming, Gambling, and Lotteries
- 5.2.5 Apple Products: Don’t create an app that appears confusingly similar to an existing Apple product, interface (e.g. Finder), app (such as the App Store, iTunes Store, or Messages) or advertising theme. Apps and extensions, including third-party keyboards and Sticker packs, may not include Apple emoji. iTunes music previews may not be used for their entertainment value (e.g. as the background music to a photo collage or the soundtrack to a game) or in any other unauthorized manner. If your app displays Activity rings, they should not visualize Move, Exercise, or Stand data in a way that resembles the Activity control. The Human Interface Guidelines have more information on how to use Activity rings. If your app displays Apple Weather data, it should follow the attribution requirements provided in the WeatherKit documentation.
- 5.3.3 Apps may not use in-app purchase to purchase credit or currency for use in conjunction with real money gaming of any kind, and may not enable people to purchase lottery or raffle tickets or initiate fund transfers in the app.
After You Submit
Once you’ve submitted your app and metadata in App Store Connect and you’re in the review process, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Rejections: Our goal is to apply these guidelines fairly and consistently, but nobody’s perfect. If your app has been rejected and you have questions or would like to provide additional information, please use App Store Connect to communicate directly with the App Review team. This may help get your app on the store, and it can help us improve the App Review process or identify a need for clarity in our policies. If you still disagree with the outcome, or would like to suggest a change to the guideline itself, please submit an appeal.