In connection with the company’s ongoing WWDC 2021 developer conference, Apple has announced it is tweaking the regulations for the App Store.
The biggest news is that, in cases where Apple has decided not to approve an app, it will be easier for developers to appeal against the decision: there is now room in the appeals submission form for devs to specify that they feel they have been discriminated against for political or other forms of bias, reports MacRumors.
It might seem obvious that developers should be able to specify the grounds on which they are appealing against rulings on the App Store, but appealing at all was not permitted until WWDC 2020 last summer. The first successful appeal was recorded in September 2020.
Both the original change and this further liberalising of the rules come in response to long-term pressure from developers and the media, many of which have characterised Apple’s stewardship of the App Store as monopolistic (a description the company has vigorously disputed) and heavy-handed. Apple is working hard to create an image as a partner rather than a dictator.
“Our goal is to apply these guidelines fairly and consistently, but nobody’s perfect,” read the Review Guidelines, in noticeably conciliatory language. “If your app has been rejected and you have questions or would like to provide additional information, please use the Resolution Center to communicate directly with the App Review team.
“If you still disagree with the outcome, or would like to suggest a change to the guideline itself, please submit an appeal. It can help us improve the App Review process or identify a need for clarity in our policies.”
There are some other changes to the App Store Review Guidelines. One change is that developers can now report other apps that are suspected of violating the regulations, or if they are considered a security threat. Another is that “‘hookup’ apps that may include pornography or be used to facilitate prostitution” have been added to the sex-related section of the Objectionable Content category.
The new rules can be read in full on Apple’s developer pages.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation and additional reporting by David Price.