Apple has today made a major change in the guidelines of the App Store. Currently, users can give a payment application to another person through the App Store page. Simply touch the three points below the name of the application and choose the option “Give app”.
However, until now it was not possible to give away purchases within apps. The impossibility of giving away purchases in apps has been somewhat disconcerting, especially as the apps have become free and offer optional in-app purchases.
For example, Fortnite was unable to add its popular gift functionality, in part due to Apple’s limitations for purchases on the device.
Now the company has adjusted section 3.1 of the guidelines, which previously prohibited giving away purchases within apps to other users. With today’s change, Apple allows developers to add the possibility of giving away purchases within their app.
Apple adds that these gifts can only be returned to the original purchaser and can not be exchanged:
Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged.
The change makes perfect sense considering that so many applications have in-app purchases enabled and that so many of them use a subscription-based revenue model. Buying a special someone a subscription to Netflix or Fortnite content will become even more comfortable than before.
At this time, the details of how this features will be implemented are unknown. The wording of the guideline means that it will be up to the developers to enable shopping gifts in the apps, instead of being a general feature of the App Store.