Apple on Friday tweaked some of its policies for the App Store that would loosen its grip over apps and its long contended 30 per cent cut. The revised guidelines will apply to streaming game services, online classes, and when developers must use its in-app purchase system.
This development came after Google and Microsoft decided to not release their gaming services on iOS and iPad OS devices because of Apple's rules. Apple said it would allow gaming companies to create a catalog app within the apps which it previously restricted. However, the catalog apps will have to link out to all of these individual apps as well.
Microsoft was not impressed with Apple's policy changes as they come with caveats.
Microsoft, in a statement to The Verge said, "This remains a bad experience for customers. Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud. We're committed to putting gamers at the center of everything we do, and providing a great experience is core to that mission."
Apple requires developers to send each gaming app for review separately whereas it does not review content from streaming services or Music apps like Netflix or Spotify. This is because these services are not interactive, like games are, according to Apple.
Individual submission of apps would require the gaming companies to pay 30 per cent of the cut that Apple charges.
Last month, Google removed the Google Stadia app from iOS. Microsoft is slated to launch its game streaming service, formerly named xCloud, as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate next week. However, Microsoft's Game pass streaming service will only be available to Android smartphones and tablets starting September 15.
Apple also included other rule changes that include allowing one-on-one virtual classes to be paid for outside of Apple's payment system, though classes taught to a group still must use Apple's system and pay its fees, as per Reuters. The new rules also let business applications such as professional databases skip Apple's payment system when selling to organisations, but still require Apple's payment system for sales to individuals or families.
Apple also said that free standalone apps connected to a paid service outside the app such as email or cloud storage services do not need to use its payment system provided there is no purchasing inside the app or calls to action for purchase outside of the app.
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