Good News For US App Store Developers As Apple Allows External Website Linking For In-App Purchases

iPhone maker Apple is currently on the rise to make more changes to its App Store and this next amendment is receiving major praise from developers in the US.

The company has opted to update its rules by relaxing one that’s been a major frustrating endeavor for years. Developers in the country will now be given the chance to link to external websites to carry out in-app purchases. This was confirmed in the company's recent developer guidelines.

The huge change comes just a short while after we saw the Supreme Court in the US reject its appeal to reconsider another ruling that had to do with the Cupertino firm enabling developers to forward alternative modes of payments to clients. The recent change is said to apply to iOS and iPadOS applications found in American App Stores only, the company reiterated.

But that still means that developers must pay the iPhone maker its fixed share of commission for any in-app purchases that were not done through its respective App Store.

It appears that the iPhone maker will carry on in terms of ensuring tight controls do exist regarding payments, even if the new rules are applicable. As per a report from the company’s support page, it was boldly delineated how developers would seek approval from the tech giant first and only then take advantage of this new rule on offer. In the same fashion, developers would be required to inform clients about other means of payment in a specific manner.

Image: Tim Sweeney/X

For example, the links would be displayed only ‘one time’ and in a single dedicated place. Similarly, we are going to see developers barred from making use of other ways to alert the users like platform pop-ups or declaring outside payments done through listings on the App Store.

As far as commissions are concerned, they have been set at 12% for all developers and need to be paid when in-app purchases are done through third parties involved. But the latter figure is for those working on a small scale. Bigger developers must pay a 27% commission share to the Cupertino firm.

Previously attained documents from the court prove how the iPhone maker argued how it would be so hard and impossible to attain fees. Moreover, the company even forced developers to roll out monthly reports even if they did not carry out any transactions and if necessary, they could audit records, if and when needed.

Whatever the case may be, this change is a mighty one and it wouldn’t be wrong to call it a huge concession on its part. The firm has been subject to great scrutiny and criticism by developers working on the App Store, where some called it arbitrary behavior.

In 2021, the question was again raised about how Apple barred its developers from talking to users about other means of payment that would be a cheaper alternative to that already in place. This turned into a trial, forcing the iPhone maker to loosen regulations after the trial and another subsequent lawsuit that arose in this matter by developers pushing for change. This also paved the way for the tech giant to give the Netherlands the chance to enable dating apps to process payments through alternative means.

With time, we saw many leading developers raise their voices against Apple, calling its actions a true form of monopoly and unlawfulness. They said it was anti-competitive and designed to prevent others from flourishing. Therefore, we now see their hard work and efforts finally getting acknowledged with changes like these.

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