Apple Updates App Store Review Guidelines Around Matter, NFTs and More

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With the release of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1, Apple is updating the App Store review guidelines that are provided to developers who create apps for iPhones and iPads.

iOS App Store General Feature Clorange
Apple is now requiring that apps provide the App Review team with full access to an app, with an active demo account or demo mode for apps that include account-based features. The change will make it easier for app reviewers to investigate all of the parameters of an app.

The guidelines now ban any concepts that attempt to capitalize or profit from “recent or current events, such as violent conflicts, terrorist attacks, and epidemics.” With the Matter smart home standard now integrated into iOS, apps that support Matter must use Apple’s support framework for Matter to initiate pairing.

Notably, the update prevents apps from using NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to bypass in-app purchase rules. Apple’s guidelines say that apps can sell NFTs and related services using the in-app purchase system, but apps that are designed to allow users to view NFTs cannot use NFT ownership as a mechanism to unlock features or functionality within an app. NFT browsing apps are allowed, but cannot include buttons, links, or other calls to action for purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.

The App Store guidelines also prevent music from iTunes and Apple Music previews from being used for entertainment value, and allow apps to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions so long as the functionality is only offered in countries where the app has appropriate licensing.

Apple’s full ‌App Store‌ guidelines can be found on the Apple Developer website.

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Fascinated by how code and design is shaping the world. I write about the why behind tech news. Design Manager in Tech.

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