Apple today updated the App Store Guidelines following the iOS 15 announcement earlier in the WWDC 2021 opening keynote. This time, Apple has further tightened the rules against apps with pornographic content, added new terms for misleading marketing, and ensured that digital gift cards can only be sold through the App Store’s in-app purchases system.

The App Store Guidelines provide the rules that developers need to follow to get their apps approved by Apple. Every year, Apple updates its guidelines to clarify what developers can and cannot do as a way to ensure the privacy and security of users when downloading apps from the App Store.

This year, Apple says that “Hookup apps” containing pornographic content or that facilitate prostitution will be rejected by the company. For apps that let users report criminal activities, Apple will only approve them if there is a local law enforcement institution behind it.

Regarding in-app purchases, the company stresses that digital gift cards must be sold exclusively through the App Store’s in-app purchases system. Only physical gift cards can be sold outside the App Store without paying the 30% commission to Apple.

Apple has also expanded its guidelines to allow mobile operators to finally include music and video subscriptions in pre-defined data plans so that developers can easily identify these subscriptions in their apps. The company also says that “bug fixes for safety issues will not be delayed over guideline violations.”

In addition, developers can now specify why they believe an app rejection was wrong when opening an appeal:

In addition, two updates have been made to the App Review contact form. If you appeal an app rejection, you can now specify if you believe your app was rejected due to unfair treatment (including political or other bias). And you can now report an app if you believe it presents a trust or safety concern, or is in violation of the App Store Review Guidelines.

You can check out all the new App Store guidelines on the Apple Developer website.

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About the Author

Filipe Espósito

Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.