App stores such as Google’s Play Store, or Apple’s App Store, have been involved in different controversies over the policies they handle in relation to developers and competition, so it seems that Tim Cook’s company would have proposed a new settlement for a class action lawsuit with developers.
Apple would have agreed to make some changes after a year of intense scrutiny for its policies and although some are pending judicial approval, the truth is that this is a great step for digital stores.
Changes in the App Store
The biggest of the changes will allow developers to directly inform customers outside of their iOS apps about payment options, which could translate to avoiding the controversial Apple Tax to some extent.
“To give developers even more flexibility to reach their customers, Apple also clarifies that developers can use communications, such as email, to share information about payment methods outside of their iOS application,” said Apple in its ad .
In order to carry out this type of transaction, developers will not have to pay Apple a commission, as long as users give their consent to be notified outside the application and also have the option of not participating.
The technology company assured that this agreement will provide developers with more business opportunities, while the App Store remains safe for consumers. In addition, this action could also reduce the percentage of scrutiny for antitrust charges.
A great change?
It may not be what many developers expected, but it is certainly a big step in the middle of a policy as strict as Apple’s.
Prior to this new agreement, developers were prohibited from notifying users of alternative payment methods, which were not subject to Apple’s 30 percent commission, with customer contact information obtained from the app. This change will break down this barrier, but it will not be as simple as what Epic would have done and that today has led both companies to a war on Fortnite.
- Expand price points for subscribers, as well as in-app purchases and paid apps
- In which the search results are based on “objective characteristics such as downloads, star ratings, relevance of the text and signs of user behavior.” This system would last for at least the next three years.
- The small business program for small businesses to be allowed to pay a reduced commission. This will also last for the next three years.
Likewise, last but not least, the company assured that it will publish an annual transparency report, which is undoubtedly a great step in the midst of a time when both users and governments require technology companies to demonstrate in greater depth how they work.