June 20, 2024

Apple Cuts App Store Fees, to Allow Rival App Stores in Europe

US tech giant Apple announced yesterday, January 25, that it had opened up its App Store to game streaming services and apps. The announcement said that services such as GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Streaming will now officially emerge as full-featured apps available in the store.

Game streaming Services can finally Enter the App Store

Apple’s App Store has always been rather selective about the featured apps, and game streaming apps and services were not allowed until yesterday. This means that services like Xbox Cloud Streaming were only available on iOS through web browsers.

Apple has now changed that, and as it explained in its blog post, developers are now allowed to submit a single application with game streaming capabilities. The changes were applied worldwide, so there should be new game streaming services emerging for everyone, regardless of location.

Initially, many believed that Apple had carved out a space for cloud gaming services in its App Store with the rules issued back in 2020. However, that was not the case at the time. The company’s App Store kept demanding that all developers who want their games featured must submit them and have them reviewed as standalone apps. Which ensured that game-streaming services were unable to comply with this demand.

The new shift in the App Store’s policy now finally allows a single app to feature a large catalog of games. Apple also stated that each experience made available in an app on the App Store will be required to adhere to all App Store Review Guidelines. In other words, the host app will have to comply with all the guidelines. As well as maintain an age rating of the highest age-rated content that the app offers.

That means that even if a single game in the game-streaming services is rated as mature. The entire game-streaming service needs to be rated as such.

Enhanced Discovery Opportunities

On the positive side for developers, they will be able to provide enhanced discovery opportunities for streaming games, mini-games, mini-apps, plug-ins, and chatbots that can be found in the apps. Furthermore, these will also be able to interoperate with Apple’s In-App Purchase system. In order to offer paid digital content and/or services to their users.

Essentially, this will enable things like subscriptions for individual chatbots and alike for the first time. Which is also a big move for the relevant apps.

This, as well as other changes, arrived as part of an entire series of shifts that Apple has been making in the App Store. In an attempt to open it up after the European Commission antitrust investigation. The store also announced several other changes yesterday. Including the fact that it now allows browser engines and alternative app stores in the EU.

More Information for App Developers

Apple’s report also said that there will be 50 new reports available through the App Store Connect API. Which will allow developers to analyze the performance of their app, and find opportunities for improvement. This will include new metrics in several areas, including Engagement, Commerce, App usage, and Frameworks usage.

Engagement will provide new information regarding the number of users on the App Store interacting with the app. Commerce will show data regarding downloads, sales, proceeds, pre-orders, and transactions made with the App Store’s In-App Purchase system.

App usage will offer more information regarding active devices, app deletions, crashes, installs, and alike. As for Framework usage, it will tell developers how the app is integrating with OS functionalities. Just like widgets, CarPlay, and PhotoPicker, among others.

Apple also said that additional information regarding report details and access will become available in Mach of 2024. So developers should keep an eye out for that.


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