Apple developer guideline update slightly loosens anti-steering provision

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Apple has made three changes to its App Store developer guidelines, including the removal of a restriction prohibiting the use of contact data to advertise outside purchase options.

The company announced the App Store changes Friday in an update to developers. Apple's updated guidelines, which include the changes, are now live and effective for all app makers.

Apple's biggest change is the removal of at least one anti-steering rules, which barred developers from using user contact information to promote alternate payment systems.

Basically, Apple says that the move will give developers more flexibility when reaching their customers. Developers can now send emails to users advertising cheaper prices elsewhere.

The change was made to fulfill the company's part of a settlement with developers. Although related to anti-steering, Apple did not cite the Epic Games v. Apple decision — which would prohibit Apple from applying its anti-steering guidelines — for the change. Apple has since appealed that ruling and asked for a stay on the decision

Another smaller change is an update to App Store Review Guideline 5.1.1. The change clarifies that apps can request basic contact information so long as the request is optional. It also bars developers from making certain features and services conditional on providing that information.

Apple's guidelines have also been updated to provide clarity around the requirements for in-app events, which the company announced at WWDC 21. In-app events, which could include competitions or live-streamed content, go live on Oct. 27.