Screenshot 2014-09-02 22.39.30

Today, Apple has updated its official App Store developers Review Guidelines to outline the requirements for iOS 8 applications that will make use of the new HealthKit, HomeKit, TestFlight, and Extensions services. Today’s update indicates that Apple is nearing the release of iOS 8, the next-generation mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch ahead of the September 9th Apple media event. Apple will provide developers with a golden master seed of iOS 8 on the day of the event, according to sources with knowledge of the plans. The review guidelines are a “living document” that list reasons that App Store apps could be rejected. Below are the full lists for HealthKit, HomeKit, TestFlight, and Extensions, but here are some of the more significant points:

  • “Apps using the HealthKit framework that store users’ health information in iCloud will be rejected.” This point should reduce fears of intruders being able to access a user’s health data, especially after the scandal surrounding the leak of celebrity photos potentially stored in iCloud.
  • “Apps that share user data acquired via the HealthKit API with third parties without user consent will be rejected.”
  • “Apps that provide diagnoses, treatment advice, or control hardware designed to diagnose or treat medical conditions that do not provide written regulatory approval upon request will be rejected.” This point is crucial in that these fine print allows Apple to work around the FDA’s regulatory guidelines for mobile health applications.
  • “Apps using the HealthKit framework must provide a privacy policy or they will be rejected.”
  • “Apps must not use data gathered from the HomeKit APIs for advertising or other use-based data mining.” Same deal with HealthKit, as we noted earlier this week.
  • There are also a number of third party keyboard guidelines that will be critical for developers to follow.

In addition to those four new sections, Apple has also updated the guidelines to say that “if your app is plain creepy, it may not be accepted.” You can read all of the new bullet points below:

25. Extensions

  • 25.1

    Apps hosting extensions must comply with the App Extension Programming Guide

  • 25.2

    Apps hosting extensions must provide some functionality (help screens, additional settings) or they will be rejected

  • 25.3

    Apps hosting extensions that include marketing, advertising, or in-app purchases in their extension view will be rejected

  • 25.4

    Keyboard extensions must provide a method for progressing to the next keyboard

  • 25.5

    Keyboard extensions must remain functional with no network access or they will be rejected

  • 25.6

    Keyboard extensions must provide Number and Decimal keyboard types as described in the App Extension Programming Guide or they will be rejected

  • 25.7

    Apps offering Keyboard extensions must have a primary category of Utilities and a privacy policy or they will be rejected

  • 25.8

    Apps offering Keyboard extensions may only collect user activity to enhance the functionality of their keyboard extension on the iOS device or they may be rejected

26. HomeKit

  • 26.1

    Apps using the HomeKit framework must have a primary purpose of providing home automation services

  • 26.2

    Apps using the HomeKit framework must indicate this usage in their marketing text and they must provide a privacy policy or they will be rejected

  • 26.3

    Apps must not use data gathered from the HomeKit APIs for advertising or other use-based data mining

  • 26.4

    Apps using data gathered from the HomeKit API for purposes other than improving the user experience or hardware/software performance in providing home automation functionality will be rejected

27. HealthKit

  • 27.1

    Apps using the HealthKit framework must comply with applicable law for each Territory in which the App is made available, as well as Sections 3.3.28 and 3.39 of the iOS Developer Program License Agreement

  • 27.2

    Apps that write false or inaccurate data into HealthKit will be rejected

  • 27.3

    Apps using the HealthKit framework that store users’ health information in iCloud will be rejected

  • 27.4

    Apps may not use user data gathered from the HealthKit API for advertising or other use-based data mining purposes other than improving health, medical, and fitness management, or for the purpose of medical research

  • 27.5

    Apps that share user data acquired via the HealthKit API with third parties without user consent will be rejected

  • 27.6

    Apps using the HealthKit framework must indicate integration with the Health app in their marketing text and must clearly identify the HealthKit functionality in the app’s user interface

  • 27.7

    Apps using the HealthKit framework must provide a privacy policy or they will be rejected

  • 27.8

    Apps that provide diagnoses, treatment advice, or control hardware designed to diagnose or treat medical conditions that do not provide written regulatory approval upon request will be rejected

28. TestFlight

  • 28.1

    Apps may only use TestFlight to beta test apps intended for public distribution and must comply with the full App Review Guidelines

  • 28.2

    Apps using TestFlight must be submitted for review whenever a build contains material changes to content or functionality

  • 28.3

    Apps using TestFlight may not be distributed to testers in exchange for compensation of any kind

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11 Responses to “Apple sets developer rules for HealthKit, HomeKit, TestFlight, and Extensions ahead of iOS 8 launch”

  1. Jassi Sikand says:

    “If your app is plain creepy, it may not be accepted”. Classic Apple

    Like

  2. milknstrawberry says:

    Apple really abandons developers. I’m surprised everybody is ok with having to wait a couple of days for each new build submitted to beta testers… http://www.appaloosa-store.com lets you test apps rapidly in lieu of TestFlight.

    Like

  3. I sense an iTC update is coming on the 9th…. Better get signed up to beta test my app.

    Like

  4. Jim Phong says:

    Too many restrictions.. It’s going to be a failure!

    Like