Apple has shared an update to the App Store payments system, which was announced last year. This update will allow “reader” apps like Netflix, Spotify, and more to include a link to their websites in the app to enable users better manage their accounts on such apps. Here’s what this means for you.
“Reader” Apps on iOS to Get In-App Links
Apple has revealed that the developers of “reader” apps can now request access to the External Link Account Entitlement so that they can add a link to their websites. For those who don’t know, going by Apple’s definition, reader apps are ones that provide users with digital content like audio, video, newspapers, books, and more.
Apple, via a recent post, said, “Last year, Apple announced an update coming to the App Store in early 2022 that would allow developers of “reader” apps to include an in-app link to their website for account creation and management purposes. Starting today, with the update of App Store Review guideline 3.1.3(a), developers of reader apps can now request access to the External Link Account Entitlement.“
The primary aim of this change is to allow users easily manage their existing accounts from such apps’ websites and even create new ones. If you don’t know, there are a number of features that are exclusive to an app’s website. For instance, Netflix still doesn’t allow users to change their account passwords via its app versions. Hence, this new ability can come in handy.
But, it can also provide users a way to use other apps’ billing systems instead of using Apple’s. Also, it can help developers avoid the 30% commission fee charged by Apple. Although, there still be a fee. For the uninitiated, up until now, Apple refrained developers to add their links to the app or have their billing system.
This new change comes in as a settlement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) that happened last year. While it was initially just for JFTC, it has now expanded globally.
This also appears like a step Google just took. To recall, Google recently announced a pilot program wherein it will allow app developers to have their own billing system in addition to Google’s billing system. The pilot has started with Spotify and is expected to reach more apps depending on the user feedback. This is a way for app developers to bypass the high commission fee. Although, there still be a payment the developers will have to make.
What are your thoughts on this new App Store change? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!