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Bottom line: In addition to implementing an appeal mechanism for developers on the App Store, Apple at WWDC 2020 also revealed that it will no longer delay bug fix updates for apps that are in violation of its App Store guidelines, except those of a legal nature. With the changes going live recently, Apple is now welcoming suggestions from developers regarding its App Store policies and development platform in a bid to become more accommodating and transparent with the community.
Apple and its App Store policies have been deeply embroiled in controversy over the past few months. Engaged on multiple fronts, Cupertino has been making headlines in disputes with Epic Games and Facebook over in-app purchases, with a business model that doesn't allow for any alternative (and legal) way to run apps that can bypass Apple's 30% cut.
Accused of anti-competitive practices, Apple is also undergoing an investigation by the EU and faces similar pressure from Russia's regulatory body. While Apple's stance on distributing software through alternate means is unlikely to change, the company is making tweaks to App Store policies in order to address some of the developer complaints with the platform.
In a recent announcement, Apple shared that it has updated the App Store review process to allow developers to push bug fixes sooner, to the convenience of consumers, as it won't delay such updates over guideline violations as long they're not related to "legal issues." Developers, however, will have to address non-legal guideline violations in their next submission/update.
Apple's second change for the App Store - announced at WWDC 2020 - is the addition of an appeal mechanism that will now allow developers to challenge Cupertino's decision and determine if their app is in fact violating App Store guidelines.
While Apple being its own judge is unlikely to address potential concerns around bias, the company is encouraging developers to suggest changes to these guidelines and its development platform in order to improve the community experience. Whether or not developers get their voices heard remains to be seen.