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Apple Updates App Store Guidelines to Allow Communications Outside App

Apple has updated its App Store guidelines to allow developers to communicate with their customers outside of the app, 9to5Mac reported Friday (Oct. 22).

One update removes a previous restriction on using information obtained within an app to communicate outside the app about payment methods other than in-app purchases, according to the report. Another adds a new guideline saying that apps may request basic contact information with some restrictions.

The changes come in response to a class-action lawsuit from developers that Apple settled in August, the report stated. At that time, Apple promised to make changes such as these to the App Store.

The settlement fundamentally changes the way Apple interacts with developers — and the way developers interact with end-users.

Read more: Apple’s Settlement With Developers May Alter Platforms, Payment Landscapes

In allowing developers to connect directly with end-users (via email) the developers get to avoid the commissions that have traditionally been paid as they access the App Store. The commissions typically range from 15% to 30% of the sale, so this is money that goes directly into the developers’ pockets.

The announced updates do not resolve Apple’s issues with Epic Games or the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). According to 9to5Mac, Apple will make updates to accommodate the JFTC ruling in early 2022 and is appealing the Epic Games case.

The court battle between Apple and Epic Games will continue, with Apple appealing a ruling in an antitrust case brought by the Fortnite creator.

See more: Apple Appeals Ruling in Antitrust Case Brought by Fortnite Creator

For its part, Epic had already announced that it is appealing a judge’s finding that Apple has not violated antitrust law through its payment rules.

The legal challenge began with Epic suing Apple in August 2020 when the company took Fortnite off the App Store after Epic found a workaround that kept Apple from collecting a commission on purchases.

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