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In a major concession, Apple to allow apps like Netflix and Spotify to link out to the web for sign ups

The current app store policies of Google and Apple have invited criticism from app developers across the world.

Apple announced an update to its App Store policy that will allow developers of "reader apps" to include an in-app link to their website for users to set up or manage an account. The change was made to close an investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). Notable, the change will be applicable to all reader apps globally starting in early 2022. This is the second concession that Apple has made in less than a week and it comes at a time when both Apple and Google are facing increased regulatory scrutiny and legal battles across the world with respect to their app store practices. What are reader apps? Reader apps are apps that provide previously purchased content or content subscriptions for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video, Apple said in its announcement. It does not cover apps that offer in-app purchases. As such, apps like Spotify and Netflix, which offer music and video subscription services respectively, fit the criteria for reader apps. "Because developers of reader apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, Apple agreed with the JFTC to let developers of these apps share a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account," the company said. Why is this a big deal? Apple’s current policy: Apple’s current App Store guidelines state that apps cannot "encourage users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase” and “developers cannot use information obtained within the app to target individual users…

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