Apple heard green and unripe fruit last week after the European Commission officially launched an investigation into the practices of the App Store, followed immediately after by controversy over the HEY app (read: The Slingshot developers against Apple’s practices). The dispute is now closed with Basecamp, the publisher of the email application and Apple having found a compromise acceptable to both parties. But that doesn’t detract from the relevance of the debate that continues to rock the developer community.
In a press release relating to the novelties for developers, Apple puts water in its wine on two points. The first change concerns the app review process. When the validation team considers that an application breaks a famous rules guidelines, the developer has the opportunity to appeal the decision to the famous and still opaque App Review Board. Nothing changes here.
What is new is that the manufacturer is installing a new mechanism that will allow challenge the rule itself. It is a way to associate the developer with the evolution of guidelines, which is pretty clever – and ultimately fair enough – from Apple. Furthermore, and this is the second important change, even when an app violates the guidelines, the App Store will not block a patch update, unless that update is related to the offense itself.
This will allow a security hole to be plugged quickly, without waiting for the developer to deal with the offense first. These new features will be implemented this summer.