App Store new rules take effect: Apps must have “delete account” function

Apple iOS 14 app store

Apple has since sent a notice to developers regarding a new rule in the Apple App Store. Starting from today, all applications that supports account creation must also allow users to initiate account deletion in the app. Apple had initially set the deadline for this new law but due to some reason, it did extend it to June 30th. Thus, after today, the company will start removing any app that support account creation but not account deletion from the store. Apple also outlines the relevant requirements that developers need to pay attention to when updating the app. The outlines are as follows:

Apple App Store

  • Users should be able to easily find the account deletion option in the app
  • If the app offers Sign in with Apple, the developer will need to use the Sign in with Apple REST API to revoke the user token when the account is no longer active.
  • The option to temporarily disable or deactivate an account cannot be provided only. Users should be able to delete their personal data along with the account.
  • If there is strict regulations in the area that the app covers, the developer may also need to provide additional support processes. This is to confirm and assist with the account deletion process.
  • Comply with applicable legal requirements for storing and retaining user account information and handling account deletions. This includes following local laws in different countries.

Apple App Store Review Guidelines

Apple’s “App Store Review Guidelines” show that if the app does not contain important account-based features, please allow users to use it without logging in. If the app supports account creation, the account deletion option must also be available within the app. Apps must not require users to provide personal information to function properly. However, if it must use personal information, the information must have direct links to the core functionality of the app.

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In addition, Apple points out in the review guidelines that if the developer’s core App functionality is not related to a specific social network (such as Facebook, WeChat, Weibo or Twitter, etc.), the developer must provide access without login or other similar mechanisms. Retrieving basic profile information, sharing to social networks, or inviting friends to use the app are not core app functions . The app must also include a mechanism for revoking social network credentials. It should also be able to deactivate data access between the app and the social network from within the app. Apps may not store social network credentials or tokens off-device. They may only use such credentials or tokens to connect directly to social networks from within the app itself during app use.

Google brings ‘Android replacement’ iOS app to Apple iPhone users

The latest announcement from Google shows that all smartphones can use Google’s Switch to Android app to support all Android 12 models. This also means that iPhone users can now use the feature to switch to any compatible Android 12 devices. The iOS version of the Switch to Android app only supports Google’s own Pixel phones before,. Furthermore, it can only run on some specific devices.

According to reports, iPhone users who recently bought an Android phone can now connect their iPhone to an Android smartphone. They can do this connection via WiFi or USB Type-C data cable. They can then simply copy a series of data such as apps, photos, contacts, messages to new phone. The purpose of this feature is to achieve a seamless transition from iOS to Android.

Along with Google’s support for Android 12 devices, there’s a blog post on why iPhone users should switch to an Android smartphone. The post highlights the Messages app and Gboard, Google Meet, Google Play, and Android Privacy.

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