What is the new 4.2.6 Apple rule?
It seems Apple is pissed off by the hundreds of poor apps sent in review to their team.
They have decided to strike hard against a market which has become the largest provider of shitty apps, the app generation services market.
But wait, I’m not saying all of the apps which are produced through these tools are shitty ones, but due to the fact they are easy to build, sometimes in minutes, they can be poor of content, and interest.
Apple has always paid a lot of attention to its App Store quality – and you may have noticed that apps from the App Store often provide a better overall experience than apps from the Google Play Store. So, they have decided they can do without the app generation tools. They bring them more issues and costs than opportunities.
It seems there is no option for App generation services. From iOS 11, the apps from these services will be rejected. And do not try to spam the review teams to get your app accepted you can get your developer account rejected otherwise!
But that leads us to the BIG question.
What is an App Generation Service?
If Apple rejects apps made from these tools we have to define what are these tools, and what is a commercialized template.
First of all, you can see Apple has used very generic terms. They are not specifically using the terms used by a specific industry. I mean, if you want to target a specific industry, you have to use the right words. App builders, or app makers would be more suitable.
But it is not that simple. It seems Apple wants to blur the lines to reject what they want to consider as an app generation service without having to justify themselves.
That’s why they use generic terms to cover a big enough market and reject what they want to.
Of course, app makers are at the top of the list. Big companies in this industry like App Machine which has communicated on the fact they stop publishing for iOS, are impacted. Here is a part of the email sent by App Machine to its resellers:
This week, Apple notified AppMachine about recently implemented App Store Review Guidelines. In accordance with Section 4.2.6 of these new guidelines, app developers are no longer allowed to publish iOS apps created by app creation services like AppMachine.
This means that effective immediately, all apps that you create with our platform will be rejected by the Apple review team. As a result, we have disabled all our iOS publishing services.
But, what about other tools, like Frameworks. Does a framework like Ionic Framework is impacted? Is it the end of React Native apps? Is it still possible to make apps using Cordova/Phonegap?
The answer seems to be yes. Frameworks, and CMS seem to be not impacted.
What Apple wants from you and what you have to avoid?
It is clear Apple wants to stop people with absolutely no coding, no design, no experience in apps to publish apps in the App Store.
Being spammed by thousands of ugly, useless apps sent to review may represent a big cost for them. No matter a large part of the process is automatic, it surely implies human actions at some steps, and so a cost.
Multiply this cost by thousands of apps per day, and you understand the issue. No matter how big Apple profits are, they don’t want to cut them down for lousy apps.
From what we see some actors may be protected. Siberian CMS, for example, is providing a tool that provides a lot of customization options and which is open to developers by nature. That means developers are using this CMS as a Framework.
As long as you use this kind of tool to produce high-quality apps, that should be okay for you.
Another thing is, avoid to publish apps under your own developer account if these apps are made for your client.
For a simple reason. Let’s say you create apps for restaurants. You may create several apps that look globally the same: a catalog, a menu, a contact page, maybe a booking solution, etc. But many apps of your portfolio may look the same. That would look like you use, or you are an app generation service. Stop that, just ask your clients to get their own developer account.
That’s a cost, that can make the sale process more complex, but that’s the time for safety!
So, create apps like a developer would do. Create apps like a designer would do. That’s your best chance to keep publishing apps to the App Store!