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Apple has announced that 'reader' apps may now request an 'external link' entitlement allowing them to link to a website for subscription and account management. The move comes as the company is facing serious antitrust pressure from regulators around the world.
Last year, Apple announced an update coming to the App Store in early 2022 that would allow developers of “reader” apps to include an in-app link to their website for account creation and management purposes. Starting today, with the update of App Store Review guideline 3.1.3(a), developers of reader apps can now request access to the External Link Account Entitlement. This entitlement lets reader apps link to a website that is owned or maintained by the developer, so that users can create or manage their account outside of the app. Reader apps are apps that provide one or more of the following digital content types — magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video — as the primary functionality of the app.
In order to be eligible, your app must:
● As the primary functionality of your app, provide one or more of the following digital content types; magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video.
● Allow people to sign in to an account.
● Allow people to access content or services previously purchased outside of the app when signed in, such as on your website.
● Not offer in-app purchases on iOS or iPadOS while using the External Link Account Entitlement
● Not facilitate real-time, person-to-person services (e.g., providing tutoring services, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training).
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