On Friday, apple revised its Apple Store guidelines ahead of the release of the latest iPhone operating system, IOS 14. IOS 14 is expected to be released later this month. Apple's Apple Store guide is a document that Apple employees use when they approve or reject apps and updates in the app store. In recent weeks, the rules have come under scrutiny from app developers over whether Apple has too much control over the software running on the iPhone.
In particular, Epic Games, the maker of Fortress night, is in a fierce legal battle with apple over several of its guiding principles, including requiring in app purchases to be used in digital products. Last month, apple removed fortress night from its app store.
Apple said game streaming services such as Google stadia and Microsoft xcloud are explicitly allowed. But there are conditions: the services provided by the game need to be downloaded directly from the apple store, rather than from an integrated application. The apple store is allowed to release a so-called "directory app" that links to other game services, but each game requires a separate app.
Apple said it was for safety and security reasons. The game streaming service hopes to become a platform for game manufacturers, such as approving individual games and deciding which games to offer, but Apple wants streaming services to be more like a set of games and says it needs to review each game.
Apple's rules mean that if a streaming Game service has 100 games, each game needs to have a separate app store list and developer relationships with apple. All games and stores need to use Apple's payment processing system to provide in app purchase services, from which Apple usually earns 30% of its revenue.
Another change relates to face-to-face courses purchased in the iPhone app. This spring, during the outbreak, several companies that previously allowed users to book face-to-face products, such as classpass, began offering virtual courses. Apple's previous rules said virtual classes must use Apple's in app payment process.
Apple's new guidelines say that one-to-one face-to-face virtual courses, such as fitness training, can bypass Apple's payment, but if a teacher teaches with multiple people, the app still needs to be purchased in Apple's app.