Powered by

We will never spam you or give your email to others.

January 29, 2024

Updated rules on app distribution in the European Union and more

Apple has updated their App Store Review Guidelines to support updated policies, upcoming features, and to provide clarification. They now also indicate which guidelines only apply to Notarization for iOS apps in the European Union.

As you will see in the changes, Apple is now indicating which guidelines apply to Notarization with a small key icon. To better understand the context, we are showing the full guidelines for a section that has a key icon, even though the guidelines themselves nay not have changed.

For sections where only some guidelines apply for Notarization, only those guidelines have been included, unless they have changed in some other way. For example, guideline 2.5.15 is not included, since it is does not apply for Notarization even though some of the other guidelines under section 2.5 do.

Apple’s own summary can be found here.

The complete set of changes can be seen below:

Before You Submit

Guidelines that include ASR & NR apply to Notarization for iOS apps in the EU.

  • 1.1 Objectionable Content
    • 1.1.6ASR & NR False information and features, including inaccurate device data or trick/joke functionality, such as fake location trackers. Stating that the app is “for entertainment purposes” won’t overcome this guideline. Apps that enable anonymous or prank phone calls or SMS/MMS messaging will be rejected.
  • 1.4 Physical HarmASR & NR

    If your app behaves in a way that risks physical harm, we may reject it. For example:

    • 1.4.1ASR & NR Medical apps that could provide inaccurate data or information, or that could be used for diagnosing or treating patients may be reviewed with greater scrutiny.
      • Apps must clearly disclose data and methodology to support accuracy claims relating to health measurements, and if the level of accuracy or methodology cannot be validated, we will reject your app. For example, apps that claim to take x-rays, measure blood pressure, body temperature, blood glucose levels, or blood oxygen levels using only the sensors on the device are not permitted.
      • Apps should remind users to check with a doctor in addition to using the app and before making medical decisions.
      If your medical app has received regulatory clearance, please submit a link to that documentation with your app.
    • 1.4.2ASR & NR Drug dosage calculators must come from the drug manufacturer, a hospital, university, health insurance company, pharmacy or other approved entity, or receive approval by the FDA or one of its international counterparts. Given the potential harm to patients, we need to be sure that the app will be supported and updated over the long term.
    • 1.4.3ASR & NR Apps that encourage consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store. Apps that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Facilitating the sale of controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies and licensed or otherwise legal cannabis dispensaries), or tobacco is not allowed.
    • 1.4.4ASR & NR Apps may only display DUI checkpoints that are published by law enforcement agencies, and should never encourage drunk driving or other reckless behavior such as excessive speed.
    • 1.4.5ASR & NR Apps should not urge customers to participate in activities (like bets, challenges, etc.) or use their devices in a way that risks physical harm to themselves or others.
  • 1.5 Developer InformationASR & NR

    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.

  • 1.6 Data SecurityASR & NR

    Apps should implement appropriate security measures to ensure proper handling of user information collected pursuant to the Apple Developer Program License Agreement and these Guidelines (see Guideline 5.1 for more information) and prevent its unauthorized use, disclosure, or access by third parties.

  • 2.3 Accurate MetadataASR & NR

    Customers should know what they’re getting when they download or buy your app, so make sure all your app metadata, including privacy information, your app description, screenshots, and previews accurately reflect the app’s core experience and remember to keep them up-to-date with new versions.

    • 2.3.1
      • (a)ASR & NR Don’t include any hidden, dormant, or undocumented features in your app; your app’s functionality should be clear to end users and App Review. All new features, functionality, and product changes must be described with specificity in the Notes for Review section of App Store Connect (generic descriptions will be rejected) and accessible for review. Similarly, marketing your app in a misleading way, such as by promoting content or services that it does not actually offer (e.g. iOS-based virus and malware scanners) or promoting a false price, whether within or outside of the App Store, is grounds for removal of your app from the App Store and termination of your developer account.
      • (b) Egregious or repeated behavior is grounds for removal from the Apple Developer Program. We work hard to make the App Store a trustworthy ecosystem and expect our app developers to follow suit; if you’re dishonest, we don’t want to do business with you.
    • 2.3.5ASR & NR Select the most appropriate category for your app, and check out the App Store Category Definitions if you need help. If you’re way off base, we may change the category for you.
    • 2.3.6ASR & NR Answer the age rating questions in App Store Connect honestly so that your app aligns properly with parental controls. If your app is mis-rated, customers might be surprised by what they get, or it could trigger an inquiry from government regulators. If your app includes media that requires the display of content ratings or warnings (e.g. films, music, games, etc.), you are responsible for complying with local requirements in each territory where your app is available.
    • 2.3.7ASR & NR Choose a unique app name, assign keywords that accurately describe your app, and don’t try to pack any of your metadata with trademarked terms, popular app names, pricing information, or other irrelevant phrases just to game the system. App names must be limited to 30 characters. Metadata such as app names, subtitles, screenshots, and previews should not include prices, terms, or descriptions that are not specific to the metadata type. App subtitles are a great way to provide additional context for your app; they must follow our standard metadata rules and should not include inappropriate content, reference other apps, or make unverifiable product claims. Apple may modify inappropriate keywords at any time or take other appropriate steps to prevent abuse.
    • 2.3.8ASR & NR Metadata should be appropriate for all audiences, so make sure your app and in-app purchase icons, screenshots, and previews adhere to a 4+ age rating even if your app is rated higher. For example, if your app is a game that includes violence, select images that don’t depict a gruesome death or a gun pointed at a specific character. Use of terms like “For Kids” and “For Children” in app metadata is reserved for the Kids Category. Remember to ensure your metadata, including app name and icons (small, large, Apple Watch app, alternate icons, etc.), are similar to avoid creating confusion.
  • 2.4 Hardware Compatibility
    • 2.4.2ASR & NR Design your app to use power efficiently and be used in a way that does not risk damage to the device. Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources. For example, apps should not encourage placing the device under a mattress or pillow while charging or perform excessive write cycles to the solid state drive. Apps, including any third-party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.
    • 2.4.4ASR & NR Apps should never suggest or require a restart of the device or modifications to system settings unrelated to the core functionality of the app. For example, don’t encourage users to turn off Wi-Fi, disable security features, etc.
  • 2.5 Software Requirements
    • 2.5.1ASR & NR Apps may only use public APIs and must run on the currently shipping OS. Learn more about public APIs. Keep your apps up-to-date and make sure you phase out any deprecated features, frameworks or technologies that will no longer be supported in future versions of an OS. Apps should use APIs and frameworks for their intended purposes and indicate that integration in their app description. For example, the HomeKit framework should provide home automation services; and HealthKit should be used for health and fitness purposes and integrate with the Health app.
    • 2.5.2ASR & NR Apps should be self-contained in their bundles, and may not read or write data outside the designated container area, nor may they download, install, or execute code which introduces or changes features or functionality of the app, including other apps. Educational apps designed to teach, develop, or allow students to test executable code may, in limited circumstances, download code provided that such code is not used for other purposes. Such apps must make the source code provided by the app completely viewable and editable by the user.
    • 2.5.3ASR & NR Apps that transmit viruses, files, computer code, or programs that may harm or disrupt the normal operation of the operating system and/or hardware features, including Push Notifications and Game Center, will be rejected. Egregious violations and repeat behavior will result in removal from the Apple Developer Program.
    • 2.5.4ASR & NR Multitasking apps may only use background services for their intended purposes: VoIP, audio playback, location, task completion, local notifications, etc.
    • 2.5.6 Apps that browse the web must use the appropriate WebKit framework and WebKit JavaScript. You may apply for an entitlement to use an alternative web browser engine in your app. Learn more about these entitlements.
    • 2.5.7 Video streaming content over a cellular network longer than 10 minutes must use HTTP Live Streaming and include a baseline 192 kbps HTTP Live streamIntentionally omitted.
    • 2.5.9ASR & NR Apps that alter or disable the functions of standard switches, such as the Volume Up/Down and Ring/Silent switches, or other native user interface elements or behaviors will be rejected. For example, apps should not block links out to other apps or other features that users would expect to work a certain way. Learn more about proper handling of links.
    • 2.5.11ASR & NR SiriKit and Shortcuts
      • (i) Apps integrating SiriKit and Shortcuts should only sign up for intents they can handle without the support of an additional app and that users would expect from the stated functionality. For example, if your app is a meal planning app, you should not incorporate an intent to start a workout, even if the app shares integration with a fitness app.
      • (ii) Ensure that the vocabulary and phrases in your plist pertains to your app and the Siri functionality of the intents the app has registered for. Aliases must relate directly to your app or company name and should not be generic terms or include third-party app names or services.
      • (iii) Resolve the Siri request or Shortcut in the most direct way possible and do not insert ads or other marketing between the request and its fulfillment. Only request a disambiguation when required to complete the task (e.g. asking the user to specify a particular type of workout).
    • 2.5.12ASR & NR Apps using CallKit or including an SMS Fraud Extension should only block phone numbers that are confirmed spam. Apps that include call-, SMS-, and MMS- blocking functionality or spam identification must clearly identify these features in their marketing text and explain the criteria for their blocked and spam lists. You may not use the data accessed via these tools for any purpose not directly related to operating or improving your app or extension (e.g. you may not use, share, or sell it for tracking purposes, creating user profiles, etc.).
    • 2.5.13ASR & NR Apps using facial recognition for account authentication must use LocalAuthentication (and not ARKit or other facial recognition technology) where possible, and must use an alternate authentication method for users under 13 years old.
    • 2.5.14ASR & NR Apps must request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual and/or audible indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity. This includes any use of the device camera, microphone, screen recordings, or other user inputs.
    • 2.5.16ASR & NR Widgets, extensions, and notifications should be related to the content and functionality of your app.
      • (a) Additionally, all App Clips,Clip widgets, extensions, and notifications should be related to the contentfeatures and functionality of yourmust be included in the main app binary. Additionally, all App Clip features and functionality must be included in the main app binary. App Clips cannot contain advertising.
    • 2.5.17ASR & NR Apps that support Matter must use Apple’s support framework for Matter to initiate pairing. In addition, if you choose to use any Matter software component in your app other than the Matter SDK provided by Apple, the software component must be certified by the Connectivity Standards Alliance for the platform it runs on.
    • 2.5.18ASR & NR Display advertising should be limited to your main app binary, and should not be included in extensions, App Clips, widgets, notifications, keyboards, watchOS apps, etc. Ads displayed in an app must be appropriate for the app’s age rating, allow the user to see all information used to target them for that ad (without requiring the user to leave the app), and may not engage in targeted or behavioral advertising based on sensitive user data such as health/medical data (e.g. from the HealthKit APIs), school and classroom data (e.g. from ClassKit), or from kids (e.g. from apps in the Kids Category), etc. Interstitial ads or ads that interrupt or block the user experience must clearly indicate that they are an ad, must not manipulate or trick users into tapping into them, and must provide easily accessible and visible close/skip buttons large enough for people to easily dismiss the ad. Apps that contain ads must also include the ability for users to report any inappropriate or age-inappropriate ads.
  • 3.1 Payments
    • 3.1.2 Subscriptions: Apps may offer auto-renewingrenewable in-app purchase subscriptions, regardless of category on the App Store. When incorporating auto-renewable subscriptions into your app, be sure to follow the guidelines below.
    • 3.1.2(a) Permissible uses: If you offer an auto-renewingrenewable subscription, you must provide ongoing value to the customer, and the subscription period must last at least seven days and be available across all of the user’s devices. While the following list is not exhaustive, examples of appropriate subscriptions include: new game levels; episodic content; multiplayer support; apps that offer consistent, substantive updates; access to large collections of, or continually updated, media content; software as a service (“SAAS”); and cloud support. In addition:
      • Auto-renewingrenewable subscription apps may offer a free trial period to customers by providing the relevant information set forth in App Store Connect. Learn more about providing subscription offers.
      • Cellular carrier apps may include auto-renewingrenewable music and video subscriptions when purchased in bundles with new cellular data plans, with prior approval by Apple. Other auto-renewingrenewable subscriptions may also be included in bundles when purchased with new cellular data plans, with prior approval by Apple, if the cellular carrier apps support in-app purchase for users. Such subscriptions cannot include access to or discounts on consumable items, and the subscriptions must terminate coincident with the cellular data plan.
    • 3.1.2(c) Subscription Information: Before asking a customer to subscribe, you should clearly describe what the user will get for the price. How many issues per month? How much cloud storage? What kind of access to your service? Ensure you clearly communicate the requirements described in Schedule 2 of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement, found in Agreements, Tax, and Banking.
    • 3.1.6 Apple Pay: Apps using Apple Pay must provide all material purchase information to the user prior to sale of any good or service and must use Apple Pay branding and user interface elements correctly, as described in the Apple Pay Marketing Guidelines and Human Interface Guidelines. Apps using Apple Pay to offer recurring payments must, at a minimum, disclose the following information:
      • The length of the renewal term and the fact that it will continue until canceled
      • What will be provided during each period
      • The actual charges that will be billed to the customer
      • How to cancel
  • 3.2 Other Business Model Issues
    • 3.2.2 Unacceptable
      • (ii) Monetizing built-in capabilities provided by the hardware or operating system, such as Push Notifications, the camera, or the gyroscope; or Apple services, such as Apple Music access or iCloud storageIntentionally omitted.
      • (vi) Apps should allow a user to get what they’ve paid for without performing additional tasks, such as posting on social media, uploading contacts, checking in to the app a certain number of times, etc. Apps should not require users to rate the app, review the app, watch videos, download other apps, tap on advertisements, enable tracking, or take other similar actions in order to access functionality, content, use the app, or receive monetary or other compensation, including but not limited to gift cards and codesIntentionally omitted.
  • 4.1 Copycats
    • (a) Come up with your own ideas. We know you have them, so make yours come to life. Don’t simply copy the latest popular app on the App Store, or make some minor changes to another app’s name or UI and pass it off as your own. In addition to risking an intellectual property infringement claim, it makes the App Store harder to navigate and just isn’t fair to your fellow developers.
    • (b)ASR & NR Submitting apps which impersonate other apps or services is considered a violation of the Developer Code of Conduct and may result in removal from the Apple Developer Program.
  • 4.2 Minimum Functionality
    • 4.2.4 Apple Watch apps that appear to be a watch face are confusing, because people will expect them to work with device features such as swipes, notifications, and third-party complications. Creative ways of expressing time as an app interface is great (say, a tide clock for surfers), but if your app comes too close to resembling a watch face, we will reject itIntentionally omitted.
    • 4.2.5 Apps that are primarily iCloud and iCloud Drive file managers need to include additional app functionality to be approvedIntentionally omitted.
  • 4.3 Spam
    • (a)ASR & NR Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchase.
    • (b) Also avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated; the App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, fortune telling, dating, drinking games, and Kama Sutra apps, etc. already. We will reject these apps unless they provide a unique, high-quality experience. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Apple Developer Program.
  • 4.4 ExtensionsASR & NR

    Apps hosting or containing extensions must comply with the App Extension Programming Guide, the Safari App Extensions documentation, or the Safari Web Extensions documentation and should include some functionality, such as help screens and settings interfaces where possible. You should clearly and accurately disclose what extensions are made available in the app’s marketing text, and the extensions may not include marketing, advertising, or in-app purchases.

    • 4.4.1ASR & NR Keyboard extensions have some additional rules.

      They must:

      • Provide keyboard input functionality (e.g. typed characters);
      • Follow Sticker guidelines if the keyboard includes images or emoji;
      • Provide a method for progressing to the next keyboard;
      • Remain functional without full network access and without requiring full access;
      • Collect user activity only to enhance the functionality of the user’s keyboard extension on the iOS device.

      They must not:

      • Launch other apps besides Settings; or
      • Repurpose keyboard buttons for other behaviors (e.g. holding down the “return” key to launch the camera).
    • 4.4.2ASR & NR Safari extensions must run on the current version of Safari on the relevant Apple operating system. They may not interfere with System or Safari UI elements and must never include malicious or misleading content or code. Violating this rule will lead to removal from the Apple Developer Program. Safari extensions should not claim access to more websites than strictly necessary to function.
    • 4.4.3 Stickers Stickers are a great way to make Messages more dynamic and fun, letting people express themselves in clever, funny, meaningful ways. Whether your app contains a sticker extension or you’re creating free-standing sticker packs, its content shouldn’t offend users, create a negative experience, or violate the law.
      • (i) In general, if it wouldn’t be suitable for the App Store, it doesn’t belong in a stickerIntentionally omitted.
      • (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.
      • (iii) If we don’t understand what your stickers mean, include a clear explanation in your review notes to avoid any delays in the review process.
      • (iv) Ensure your stickers have relevance beyond your friends and family; they should not be specific to personal events, groups, or relationships.
      • (v) You must have all the necessary copyright, trademark, publicity rights, and permissions for the content in your stickers, and shouldn’t submit anything unless you’re authorized to do so. Keep in mind that you must be able to provide verifiable documentation upon request. Apps with sticker content you don’t have rights to use will be removed from the App Store and repeat offenders will be removed from the Apple Developer Program. If you believe your content has been infringed by another provider, submit a claim here.
  • 4.5 Apple Sites and Services
    • 4.5.1ASR & NR Apps may use approved Apple RSS feeds such as the iTunes Store RSS feed, but may not scrape any information from Apple sites (e.g. apple.com, the iTunes Store, App Store, App Store Connect, developer portal, etc.) or create rankings using this information.
    • 4.5.2ASR & NR Apple Music
      • (i) MusicKit on iOS lets users play Apple Music and their local music library natively from your apps and games. When a user provides permission to their Apple Music account, your app can create playlists, add songs to their library, and play any of the millions of songs in the Apple Music catalog. Users must initiate the playback of an Apple Music stream and be able to navigate using standard media controls such as “play,” “pause,” and “skip.” Moreover, your app may not require payment or indirectly monetize access to the Apple Music service (e.g. in-app purchase, advertising, requesting user info, etc.). Do not download, upload, or enable sharing of music files sourced from the MusicKit APIs, except as explicitly permitted in MusicKit documentation.
      • (ii) Using the MusicKit APIs is not a replacement for securing the licenses you might need for a deeper or more complex music integration. For example, if you want your app to play a specific song at a particular moment, or to create audio or video files that can be shared to social media, you’ll need to contact rights-holders directly to get their permission (e.g. synchronization or adaptation rights) and assets. Cover art and other metadata may only be used in connection with music playback or playlists (including App Store screenshots displaying your app’s functionality), and should not be used in any marketing or advertising without getting specific authorization from rights-holders. Make sure to follow the Apple Music Identity Guidelines when integrating Apple Music services in your app.
      • (iii) Apps that access Apple Music user data, such as playlists and favorites, must clearly disclose this access in the purpose string. Any data collected may not be shared with third parties for any purpose other than supporting or improving the app experience. This data may not be used to identify users or devices, or to target advertising.
    • 4.5.3ASR & NR Do not use Apple Services to spam, phish, or send unsolicited messages to customers, including Game Center, Push Notifications, etc. Do not attempt to reverse lookup, trace, relate, associate, mine, harvest, or otherwise exploit Player IDs, aliases, or other information obtained through Game Center, or you will be removed from the Apple Developer Program.
    • 4.5.4ASR & NR Push Notifications must not be required for the app to function, and should not be used to send sensitive personal or confidential information. Push Notifications should not be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in your app’s UI, and you provide a method in your app for a user to opt out from receiving such messages. Abuse of these services may result in revocation of your privileges.
    • 4.5.5ASR & NR Only use Game Center Player IDs in a manner approved by the Game Center terms and do not display them in the app or to any third party.
    • 4.5.6ASR & NR Apps may use Unicode characters that render as Apple emoji in their app and app metadata. Apple emoji may not be used on other platforms or embedded directly in your app binary.
  • 4.6 Alternate App IconsASR & NR

    Apps may display customized icons, for example, to reflect a sports team preference, provided that each change is initiated by the user and the app includes settings to revert to the original icon. All icon variants must relate to the content of the app and changes should be consistent across all system assets, so that the icons displayed in Settings, Notifications, etc. match the new springboard icon. This feature may not be used for dynamic, automatic, or serial changes, such as to reflect up-to-date weather information, calendar notifications, etc.

  • 4.7 HTML5 GamesMini apps, Botsmini games, etc.streaming games, chatbots, and plug-ins

    Apps may contain or run codeoffer certain software that is not embedded in the binary (e.g. HTML5-based, specifically mini apps, mini games, botsstreaming games, etcchatbots, and plug-ins.), as long as code distribution isn’t the main purpose of the You are responsible for all such software offered in your app, the code isincluding ensuring that such software complies with these Guidelines and all applicable laws. Software that does not offered in a store or store-like interface, and providedcomply with one or more guidelines will lead to the rejection of your app. You must also ensure that the software adheres to the additional rules that follow in 4.7.1 and 4.7.25. These additional rules are important to preserve the experience that App Store customers expect, and to help ensure user safety.

    • 4.7.1 Software offered in apps under this rule must:
      • be free or purchased usingfollow all privacy guidelines, including but not limited to the rules set forth in Guideline 5.1 concerning collection, use, and sharing of data, and sensitive data (such as health and personal data from kids);
      • include a method for filtering objectionable material, a mechanism to report content and timely responses to concerns, and the ability to block abusive users; and
      • use in-app purchase; only use capabilities available in a standard WebKit view (e.g. it must open and run natively in Safari without modifications or additional software); and use WebKit and JavaScript Core to run third-party software and should not attempt to extend or expose native platform APIs to third-party software; be offered by developers that have joined the Apple Developer Program and signed the Apple Developer Program License Agreement; not provide access to real money gaming; adhere to the terms of these App Store Review Guidelines (e.g. do not include objectionable content); and not in order to offer digital goods or services for saleto end users.
    • 4.7.2 Upon request, youYour app may not extend or expose native platform APIs to the software without prior permission from Apple.
    • 4.7.3 Your app may not share data or privacy permissions to any individual software offered in your app without explicit user consent in each instance.
    • 4.7.4 You must provide an index of software and metadata available in your app. It must include Apple Developer Program Team IDs for the providersuniversal links that lead to all of the software along with a URL which App Review can use to confirm that the software complies with the requirements aboveoffered in your app.
    • 4.7.5 Your app must share the age rating of the highest age-rated content available in your app.
  • 4.8 Sign in with AppleLogin ServicesASR & NR

    Apps that use a third-party or social login service (such as Facebook Login, Google Sign-In, Sign in with Twitter, Sign In with LinkedIn, Login with Amazon, or WeChat Login) to set up or authenticate the user’s primary account with the app must also offer Sign in with Apple as an equivalent option. A another login service with the following features:

    • the login service limits data collection to the user’s name and email address
    • the login service allows users to keep their email address private as part of setting up their account
    • the login service does not track users as they interact with your app

    A user’s primary account is the account they establish with your app for the purposes of identifying themselves, signing in, and accessing your features and associated services.

    Sign in with AppleAnother login service is not required if:

    • Your app exclusively uses your company’s own account setup and sign-in systems.
    • Your app is an education, enterprise, or business app that requires the user to sign in with an existing education or enterprise account.
    • Your app uses a government or industry-backed citizen identification system or electronic ID to authenticate users.
    • Your app is a client for a specific third-party service and users are required to sign in to their mail, social media, or other third-party account directly to access their content.

  • 4.9 Streaming gamesApple PayASR & NR

    Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere toApps using Apple Pay must provide all guidelines—for examplematerial purchase information to the user prior to sale of any good or service and must use Apple Pay branding and user interface elements correctly, as described in the Apple Pay Marketing Guidelines and Human Interface Guidelines. Apps using Apple Pay to offer recurring payments must, at a minimum, disclose the following information:

    • The length of the renewal term and the fact that it will continue until canceled
    • What will be provided during each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.period
    • The actual charges that will be billed to the customer
    • How to cancel
  • 4.910 Monetizing Built-In CapabilitiesASR & NR

    You may not monetize built-in capabilities provided by the hardware or operating system, such as Push Notifications, the camera, or the gyroscope; or Apple services and technologies, such as Apple Music access, iCloud storage, or Screen Time APIs.1 Each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as an individual app so that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and search, has user ratings and review, can be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps, appears on the user’s device, etc.

  • 4.9.2 Streaming game services may offer a catalog app on the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find the games on the App Store, provided that the app adheres to all guidelines, including offering users the option to pay for a subscription with in-app purchase and use Sign in with Apple. All the games included in the catalog app must link to an individual App Store product page.
  • Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where you make them available (if you’re not sure, check with a lawyer). We know this stuff is complicated, but it is your responsibility to understand and make sure your app conforms with all local laws, not just the guidelines below. And of course, apps that solicit, promote, or encourage criminal or clearly reckless behavior will be rejected. In extreme cases, such as apps that are found to facilitate human trafficking and/or the exploitation of children, appropriate authorities will be notified.

    • 5.1 PrivacyASR & NR

      Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem, and you should use care when handling personal data to ensure you’ve complied with privacy best practices, applicable laws, and the terms of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement, not to mention customer expectations. More particularly:

      • 5.1.1 Data Collection and StorageASR & NR
        • (i) Privacy Policies: All apps must include a link to their privacy policy in the App Store Connect metadata field and within the app in an easily accessible manner. The privacy policy must clearly and explicitly:
          • Identify what data, if any, the app/service collects, how it collects that data, and all uses of that data.
          • Confirm that any third party with whom an app shares user data (in compliance with these Guidelines)—such as analytics tools, advertising networks and third-party SDKs, as well as any parent, subsidiary or other related entities that will have access to user data—will provide the same or equal protection of user data as stated in the app’s privacy policy and required by these Guidelines.
          • Explain its data retention/deletion policies and describe how a user can revoke consent and/or request deletion of the user’s data.
        • (ii) Permission: Apps that collect user or usage data must secure user consent for the collection, even if such data is considered to be anonymous at the time of or immediately following collection. Paid functionality must not be dependent on or require a user to grant access to this data. Apps must also provide the customer with an easily accessible and understandable way to withdraw consent. Ensure your purpose strings clearly and completely describe your use of the data. Apps that collect data for a legitimate interest without consent by relying on the terms of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) or similar statute must comply with all terms of that law. Learn more about Requesting Permission.
        • (iii) Data Minimization: Apps should only request access to data relevant to the core functionality of the app and should only collect and use data that is required to accomplish the relevant task. Where possible, use the out-of-process picker or a share sheet rather than requesting full access to protected resources like Photos or Contacts.
        • (iv) Access: Apps must respect the user’s permission settings and not attempt to manipulate, trick, or force people to consent to unnecessary data access. For example, apps that include the ability to post photos to a social network must not also require microphone access before allowing the user to upload photos. Where possible, provide alternative solutions for users who don’t grant consent. For example, if a user declines to share Location, offer the ability to manually enter an address.
        • (v) Account Sign-In: If your app doesn’t include significant account-based features, let people use it without a login. If your app supports account creation, you must also offer account deletion within the app. Apps may not require users to enter personal information to function, except when directly relevant to the core functionality of the app or required by law. If your core app functionality is not related to a specific social network (e.g. Facebook, WeChat, Weibo, Twitter, etc.), you must provide access without a login or via another mechanism. Pulling basic profile information, sharing to the social network, or inviting friends to use the app are not considered core app functionality. The app must also include a mechanism to revoke social network credentials and disable data access between the app and social network from within the app. An app may not store credentials or tokens to social networks off of the device and may only use such credentials or tokens to directly connect to the social network from the app itself while the app is in use.
        • (vi) Developers that use their apps to surreptitiously discover passwords or other private data will be removed from the Apple Developer Program.
        • (vii) SafariViewController must be used to visibly present information to users; the controller may not be hidden or obscured by other views or layers. Additionally, an app may not use SafariViewController to track users without their knowledge and consent.
        • (viii) Apps that compile personal information from any source that is not directly from the user or without the user’s explicit consent, even public databases, are not permitted on the App Store.
        • (ix) Apps that provide services in highly regulated fields (such as banking and financial services, healthcare, gambling, legal cannabis use, and air travel) or that require sensitive user information should be submitted by a legal entity that provides the services, and not by an individual developer. Apps that facilitate the legal sale of cannabis must be geo-restricted to the corresponding legal jurisdiction.
        • (x) Apps may request basic contact information (such as name and email address) so long as the request is optional for the user, features and services are not conditional on providing the information, and it complies with all other provisions of these guidelines, including limitations on collecting information from kids.
      • 5.1.2 Data Use and SharingASR & NR
        • (i) Unless otherwise permitted by law, you may not use, transmit, or share someone’s personal data without first obtaining their permission. You must provide access to information about how and where the data will be used. Data collected from apps may only be shared with third parties to improve the app or serve advertising (in compliance with the Apple Developer Program License Agreement). You must receive explicit permission from users via the App Tracking Transparency APIs to track their activity. Learn more about tracking. Your app may not require users to enable system functionalities (e.g., push notifications, location services, tracking) in order to access functionality, content, use the app, or receive monetary or other compensation, including but not limited to gift cards and codes. Apps that share user data without user consent or otherwise complying with data privacy laws may be removed from sale and may result in your removal from the Apple Developer Program.
        • (ii) Data collected for one purpose may not be repurposed without further consent unless otherwise explicitly permitted by law.
        • (iii) Apps should not attempt to surreptitiously build a user profile based on collected data and may not attempt, facilitate, or encourage others to identify anonymous users or reconstruct user profiles based on data collected from Apple-provided APIs or any data that you say has been collected in an “anonymized,” “aggregated,” or otherwise non-identifiable way.
        • (iv) Do not use information from Contacts, Photos, or other APIs that access user data to build a contact database for your own use or for sale/distribution to third parties, and don’t collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing.
        • (v) Do not contact people using information collected via a user’s Contacts or Photos, except at the explicit initiative of that user on an individualized basis; do not include a Select All option or default the selection of all contacts. You must provide the user with a clear description of how the message will appear to the recipient before sending it (e.g. What will the message say? Who will appear to be the sender?).
        • (vi) Data gathered from the HomeKit API, HealthKit, Clinical Health Records API, MovementDisorder APIs, ClassKit or from depth and/or facial mapping tools (e.g. ARKit, Camera APIs, or Photo APIs) may not be used for marketing, advertising or use-based data mining, including by third parties. Learn more about best practices for implementing CallKit, HealthKit, ClassKit, and ARKit.
        • (vii) Apps using Apple Pay may only share user data acquired via Apple Pay with third parties to facilitate or improve delivery of goods and services.
      • 5.1.4 Kids
        • (a)ASR & NR For many reasons, it is critical to use care when dealing with personal data from kids, and we encourage you to carefully review all the requirements for complying with laws like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), and any other applicable regulations or laws.

          Apps may ask for birthdate and parental contact information only for the purpose of complying with these statutes, but must include some useful functionality or entertainment value regardless of a person’s age.

          Apps intended primarily for kids should not include third-party analytics or third-party advertising. This provides a safer experience for kids.

        • (b) In limited cases, third-party analytics and third-party advertising may be permitted provided that the services adhere to the same terms set forth in Guideline 1.3.

          Moreover, apps in the Kids Category or those that collect, transmit, or have the capability to share personal information (e.g. name, address, email, location, photos, videos, drawings, the ability to chat, other personal data, or persistent identifiers used in combination with any of the above) from a minor must include a privacy policy and must comply with all applicable children’s privacy statutes. For the sake of clarity, the parental gate requirement for the Kid’s Category is generally not the same as securing parental consent to collect personal data under these privacy statutes.

          As a reminder, Guideline 2.3.8 requires that use of terms like “For Kids” and “For Children” in app metadata is reserved for the Kids Category. Apps not in the Kids Category cannot include any terms in app name, subtitle, icon, screenshots or description that imply the main audience for the app is children.

      • 5.1.5 Location ServicesASR & NR

        Use Location services in your app only when it is directly relevant to the features and services provided by the app. Location-based APIs shouldn’t be used to provide emergency services or autonomous control over vehicles, aircraft, and other devices, except for small devices such as lightweight drones and toys, or remote control car alarm systems, etc. Ensure that you notify and obtain consent before collecting, transmitting, or using location data. If your app uses location services, be sure to explain the purpose in your app; refer to the Human Interface Guidelines for best practices for doing so.

    • 5.2 Intellectual Property
      • 5.2.4 Apple Endorsements:Endorsements
        • (a)ASR & NR Don’t suggest or imply that Apple is a source or supplier of the App, or that Apple endorses any particular representation regarding quality or functionality.
        • (b) If your app is selected as an “Editor’s Choice,” Apple will apply the badge automatically.
      • 5.2.5 Apple Products:ProductsASR & NR 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. Music from iTunes and Apple 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 you provide music previews from iTunes or Apple Music, you must display a link to the corresponding music in iTunes or Apple Music. 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.
    • 5.4 VPN AppsASR & NR

      Apps offering VPN services must utilize the NEVPNManager API and may only be offered by developers enrolled as an organization. You must make a clear declaration of what user data will be collected and how it will be used on an app screen prior to any user action to purchase or otherwise use the service. Apps offering VPN services may not sell, use, or disclose to third parties any data for any purpose, and must commit to this in their privacy policy. VPN apps must not violate local laws, and if you choose to make your VPN app available in a territory that requires a VPN license, you must provide your license information in the App Review Notes field. Parental control, content blocking, and security apps, among others, from approved providers may also use the NEVPNManager API. Apps that do not comply with this guideline will be removed from the App Store and you may be removed from the Apple Developer Program.

    • 5.5 Mobile Device ManagementASR & NR

      Mobile Device Management Apps that offer Mobile Device Management (MDM) services must request this capability from Apple. Such apps may only be offered by commercial enterprises, educational institutions, or government agencies, and in limited cases, companies using MDM for parental control services or device security. You must make a clear declaration of what user data will be collected and how it will be used on an app screen prior to any user action to purchase or otherwise use the service. MDM apps must not violate any applicable laws. Apps offering MDM services may not sell, use, or disclose to third parties any data for any purpose, and must commit to this in their privacy policy. In limited cases, third-party analytics may be permitted provided that the services only collect or transmit data about the performance of the developer’s MDM app, and not any data about the user, the user’s device, or other apps used on that device. Apps offering configuration profiles must also adhere to these requirements. Apps that do not comply with this guideline will be removed from the App Store and you may be removed from the Apple Developer Program.

    • 5.6 Developer Code of ConductASR & NR

      Please treat everyone with respect, whether in your responses to App Store reviews, customer support requests, or when communicating with Apple, including your responses in App Store Connect. Do not engage in harassment of any kind, discriminatory practices, intimidation, bullying, and don’t encourage others to engage in any of the above. Repeated manipulative or misleading behavior or other fraudulent conduct will lead to your removal from the Apple Developer Program.

      Customer trust is the cornerstone of the App Store’s success. Apps should never prey on users or attempt to rip off customers, trick them into making unwanted purchases, force them to share unnecessary data, raise prices in a tricky manner, charge for features or content that are not delivered, or engage in any other manipulative practices within or outside of the app.

      Your Developer Program account will be terminated if you engage in activities or actions that are not in accordance with the Developer Code of Conduct. To restore your account, you may provide a written statement detailing the improvements you plan to make. If your plan is approved by Apple and we confirm the changes have been made, your account may be restored.

      • 5.6.2 Developer IdentityASR & NR

        Providing verifiable information to Apple and customers is critical to customer trust. Your representation of yourself, your business, and your offerings on the App Store must be accurate. The information you provide must be truthful, relevant, and up-to-date so that Apple and customers understand who they are engaging with and can contact you regarding any issues.

    After You Submit

    • Appeals: If you disagree with the outcome of your review, or would like to suggest a change to the guideline itself, please submit an appeal. This may help get your app on the store, and it can. You may also suggest changes to the guidelines themselves to help us improve the App Review process or identify a need for clarity in our policies.