Apple has updated its Developer’s page to again waive the App Store requirement for paid online group services to use App Store in-app purchases for payments. This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause businesses to pivot to digital services rather than in-person.
“Last year, to support apps that adapted services from in-person to digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily deferred the requirement to offer paid online group event services (one-to-few and one-to-many real-time services) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1. As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, we’d like to support the communities that are still providing digital services in place of in-person group events by extending the deadline further to December 31, 2021.
Until December 31, 2021, digital services in place of an in-person group will continue to be exempted on in-app purchases.
Apple also reiterated that its App Store guideline allows apps to offer real-time person-to-person services between individuals to use purchase methods other than in-app purchases. This can help, for example, tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training.
3.1.3(d) Person-to-Person Services: If your app enables the purchase of realtime person-to-person services between two individuals (for example tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training), you may use purchase methods other than in-app purchase to collect those payments. One-to-few and one-to-many realtime services must use in-app purchase.
Recently, on its Developer’s page, Apple also updated its requirements for the upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature coming with the public release of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, which you can learn more about here.
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