Apple finally agrees to let app developers communicate with their customers

As part of a proposed agreement to resolve a class action lawsuit from US app developers, Apple says iOS developers will finally be able to contact their customers, with permission, using information collected in their apps. The change will mark a major shift to the anti-steering policy that has been a major point of contention between Apple and its critics for years.

“To give developers even more flexibility to reach their customers, Apple is also clarifying that developers can use communications, such as email, to share payment method information outside of their iOS app,” Apple said in its press release. “As always, developers do not pay Apple commission on purchases made outside of their app or the App Store. Users must agree to the communication and have the right to unsubscribe.”

The company is making a number of other commitments as part of the proposed agreement.

  • One is a promise to keep the App Store Small Business program, which allows developers who earn less than $1 million in a year to request a reduced 15 percent commission on their sales, in its “current structure” for at least $1 million. at least the next three years.
  • Apple is creating a fund to help U.S. developers who have made $1 million or less “for all their apps in any calendar year in which the developers had an account between June 4, 2015 and April 26, 2021.” Under the proposed settlement, Apple is putting $100 million into the fund called the Small Developer Assistance Fund.
  • Apple will publish an annual transparency report on the App Store. Apple says the report will provide “meaningful statistics about the app review process, including the number of apps rejected for various reasons, the number of deactivated customer and developer accounts, objective data on searches and results, and the number of apps removed from the list.” App Store.”
  • Apple commits to keeping the current App Store search system in place “for at least the next three years.”
  • Developers can set more than 500 price points for subscriptions, in-app purchases, and paid apps. Previously, they were limited to less than 100.

To develop…