Apple extends App Store fee waiver for certain experiences • The Register

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If you’re looking for a sign that the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided and life is approaching normal, Apple has a bad omen: the fruity company has once again extended virus relief to developers.

Apple has offered a little help since early 2020 by waiving App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1, which requires apps that offer paid online group services to do so through in-app purchases.

By removing this requirement, Apple felt it helped some businesses.

The waiver has since been extended, and on Saturday Apple extended it again.

“Given the recent resurgence of COVID and its continued impact on in-person services, we have extended the most recent deadline through June 30, 2022,” Apple said in a statement.

The message reminds developers that individual services such as tutoring, medical consultations, real estate visits or fitness training can use any method they choose to accept payments anyway, so this really only applies. at group events.

Still, if June 30 is Apple’s estimate of when other event formats won’t need help, that’s a bit concerning.

Apple also extended the date by which apps in its Store must allow its users to initiate account deletion, citing implementation complexity. Previously, the deadline for this feature was January 31, 2022, but June 30, 2022 is the new deadline.

Apple has restructured some of its fees since the pandemic began. In November 2020, it halved the commission for developers making up to $1 million in sales through the App Store. While some may have applauded, others saw it as a thinly veiled attempt to please regulators without genuinely altering its fee structure or addressing its monopoly position.

Meanwhile, in Korea, Apple has been dragging its heels to comply with an amendment to South Korea’s Telecom Business Law that prevents market-dominant tech giants from imposing their own payment method. .

The amendment passed in September 2021, Google complied in November, while Apple argued that it was already compliant. After a few fines and persistence from the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), Apple decided in January that it was probably a good idea to comply.

As for when Apple’s policy on digital experiences will change and developers will have to use in-app purchase, it might sound a bit like Groundhog Day — the actual day, not the movie. If the policy requires in-app purchases, it may indicate that there are only six weeks left of COVID. ®

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