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Apple App Store puts dating apps on notice, allows marketing notifications

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Apple is often accused of exercising an iron grip on its App Store but few iPhone and iPad users will probably argue that it is mostly a positive experience for them. Part of that is thanks to the strict review guidelines that Apple imposes on how apps should behave before they’re even allowed into the store. The company has just updated its guidelines to account for the latest iOS and iPadOS versions and, among other things, it is tightening its grip on some class of apps while loosening it for others.

Dating apps have been around for years but they may have gotten a sudden surge in popularity thanks to Facebook’s launch of its own Dating feature. To protect users from being exploited by less conscientious dating apps as well as fortune-telling apps, Apple has instated a new rule in its updated App Store Review Guidelines. These apps, along with burp, fart, and Kama Sutra apps, will be rejected unless they can prove they provide a “unique, high-quality experience.”

On the other hand, Apple is finally giving some advertisers room to breathe by allowing them to use push notifications for promotions or direct marketing. There are, however, caveats to that new freedom. They cannot be enabled by default and users have to opt-in explicitly and apps must present clear options on how to turn them off as well.

The new guidelines also require app developers to switch to the iOS 13 SDK by April 30. That’s also the same deadline for them to add Sign in with Apple if they’re using other login options already. These requirements make sure that apps are able to support new standard features like Dark Mode and also support the most recent generation of Apple mobile devices.

Apple has apparently indicated that 77% of Apple devices are now running iOS 13 and 79% of iPads are on the latest iPadOS 13 as well. Those are definitely impressive numbers, especially considering how rocky the release was in the first few weeks. It also gives iOS fans yet another reason to gloat over their Android counterparts who no longer have any idea about the distribution stats of the platform since Google stopped publishing that information.

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