On September 2, 2014 Apple updated the App Store’s review guidelines to prepare grounds for the launch of iPhone 6 and iOS 8. They added sections for extensions, HomeKit, TestFlight and HealthKit. While app developers welcomed these additions, there were some other updates to the guidelines that some developers didn’t like. For example, Apple’s paragraph in the Introduction about rejecting apps that are useless or “creepy”:
“We have over a million Apps in the App Store. If your App doesn’t do something useful, unique or provide some form of lasting entertainment, or if your app is plain creepy, it may not be accepted.”
In addition to this paragraph, there’ve been quite a few changes reflected in sections 25-28 where Apple regulates the use of new features and outlines what sort of behavior could get an app rejected. For example, Apple points out that ” Apps hosting extensions that include marketing, advertising, or in-app purchases in their extension view will be rejected” and that keyboard extensions must stay functional even without network access. Another important note about keyboard extensions is that they are only allowed to collect user activity to enhance their own functionality. This is good news for anyone concerned about their privacy.
Other important privacy-related updates state that HomeKit apps are not allowed to collect any user data for advertising purposes, while HealthKit apps can only collect data with the user’s permission.
Indeed, the era of creepy apps seems to be over!