Apple is doing well her or his promise allow some developers to link to their own sites from their apps, depending on a company advertisement on Wednesday. The new rules, which take effect today, allow developers of “reading apps” (apps that are primarily intended to provide access to digital content, such as Netflix, Kindle or Spotify) to link to their sites for things like administration or account creation. .
This should help improve the historically poor user experience for these types of apps caused by Apple’s previous rules. Previously, if you downloaded the Netflix app but didn’t have an account, Netflix couldn’t give you a link to sign up or tell you where to go to create an account. That made the apps frustrating for users who didn’t have accounts and forced developers who didn’t want to use Apple’s in-app payment system (and forgo 30 percent of their revenue) to make the user experience worse. potential customers. Now developers should at least be able to create a button that takes you to their website.
However, developers can’t immediately add a registration link to their app’s home screen and be done with it. According to Apple Developer Support Page, you will need to request an “entitlement” before you are allowed to add an external link. Apple also mandated a specific flow: If a developer is linking a user to his site, he must put up a screen explaining that the purchases made will not be made through Apple. And they will also have to link to an apple page that explains the risks associated with giving your information to a third-party developer.
Apple also has a list of requirements that apply to the link itself. For example:
- The link must open in a browser, not in a webview within the app.
- No additional data or parameters can be passed to the website.
- Your app can’t contain text that explains how much things will cost on your website (for example, Netflix can’t say “tap this button to sign up for Netflix, from $9.99 per month”).
Of course, Apple will review changes to apps before they’re released. Yes history is an indicationThere will probably be some growing pains where developers think their app meets Apple’s guidelines, but App Review disagrees.
When announced that this change would come in September 2021, Apple said it would help close an antitrust investigation by Japanese regulators. At the time, the implementation details were unclear: there were questions about what Apple meant when it said developers could share “a single link.” Given the guidelines that Apple released today, it seems like you can only have a single URL that you can point users to (which can’t go through redirects or a landing page). However, you can use that link “once per app page”, as long as it displays “the same message in each instance”.
as we have mentioned in previous stories, this change is relatively limited in scope. Apple has a pretty long list of requirements that apps must meet if they want to be eligible for the entitlement. So while this change won’t be a very strong argument for Apple against, say, The United Statesit should at least help make the signup experience for some apps a little less ridiculous.