App Store Guideline Updates 2021
13 October 2021

Apple and Google are not standing still. Stores are constantly improving their platforms and terms of use to ease the life of both and User and App owner. These notable changes that fluctuate the products standing are updated yearly. And to keep your application on top charts, it is essential to incorporate Apple App Store and Google Play with these latest guidelines. In the following, we will cover the most notable updates of 2021 and discuss forthcoming changes in the App Store that will take effect soon.

Apple App Store Guidelines 2021

Perhaps you’re familiar with the battle between Apple and Netflix or Fortnite Developer? Both struggled with subscription payments outside the App Store. After many trials, Apple finally allowed “reader apps” to process payments outside of iTunes Connect. Some of the more critical updates we’ll be seeing are as follows.

Developer transparency

To secure the User from fraud or dishonest behavior, AppStore has implemented new transparency regulations. 

Apple has accomplished considerable progress in this question earlier. In the past, by repeatedly violating the rules, the AppStore would permanently delete the application. Now, to provide even more developer transparency, the company renewed its Apple’s Developer Code of Conduct and added a new mechanism for a User to report a problem, abuse, or suspected fraud. With this in place, in case of repeated misleading or manipulative behavior, the User can complain, leading to the developer’s removal from the Apple Developer Program. Therefore, we encourage you to read the App Store Review Guidelines one more time and not violate the rules to secure your App and Account position. 

No more “hookup” apps

They say love hurts. Crimes involving romance, unfortunately, comprise a sizable chunk in the bucket of scams. And in the era of digital, hookup apps may serve as mediums for abuse, risks associated with revealing too much private information, and, most serious issue of all, human trafficking. No surprise that Apple is shutting apps that “explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.” 

Loosened restrictions on cannabis 

Cannabis legislation around the US used to be and currently is still considered to be a total mess. However, with mass opposition to its legality and growing momentum in the US, even Apple, with its strict views on this issue, has eased its rules regarding legal in-app sales. As a result, cannabis operators received its approval for in-app sales and fell under the same restrictions as licensed pharmacies. It means users can browse, choose and buy cannabis and have it set for delivery — all within the app. 

Mandatory account deletion option

Users will have greater control over their data with the help of updated App Store Review Guideline 5.1.1. Hence, starting January 31, 2022, app developers will face a new requirement to initiate user account deletion from within the app. Although application companies cleverly hid a delete option within the app in the past, this option will be mandatory from the beginning of the following year. If the app owner doesn’t comply with new regulations, they will face removal from the store. Examples of this type of data include a warranty, sales, and electronic health records. It is a big win for a user who faces the issue of subscription termination.  

StoreKit2 update

StoreKit is a payment tool that provides transactional efficiency. With newly released updates within the service, both the Developer and User will face an improved iOS in-app purchase experience. 

Benefits for Developer:

  • A fast history of all in-app purchase transactions within an app. 
  • One simple step to find out the latest status of Users subscription. 
  • A product entitlement and eligibility for offers.  
  • Latest information about transactions from your app or server.

Benefits for User: 

  • Request the refund from in-app purchases more easily.
  • Manage your subscription from within the app.
  • Resolve in-app purchase issues faster and efficiently through the app itself. 


This year Apple concentrated its effort on quite a severe topic as human rights. That is why it calls the attention of app developers on such topics as fraud, abuse, and misleading actions. The company hopes to make the platform safe for both users and developers with its updated guidelines and stricter rules. We mentioned the last changes, but there are more. In addition to the mentioned changes, guidelines from previous years are essential to consider when publishing an App. Therefore, stay updated with our news in order not to miss new valuable articles, and if you need help with the publishing, do not be shy and contact us. We are the best publisher app for iOS. Soon there will be one more about “Google Play Store Guidelines Updates 2021”.