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So as you're probably aware, there's been a bit of a shakeup around App Store review guidelines this week. There have always been recommendations in that document that have were either a little vague, or were just not enforced consistently (yes, advertising in push notifications I'm looking at you!) but this week, it seems that apps that change their functionality using JavaScriptCore have come under fire and are being rejected from the store.

It all started with a thread on the developer forums where some apps were being rejected for using Rollout (Just for full disclosure, Rollout have been a sponsor here on iOS Dev Weekly several times). At the same time, Apple also made a change to lock down the remaining fields in iTunes Connect so that nothing could be updated without without an app review. The iTunes Connect change has since been reverted, but the main issue is still ongoing.

The problem with all of this is not the change in the interpretation of the guidelines. I'm 100% comfortable with the fact that there should be a consistent experience for developers using only native development frameworks as well as these other tools and services that allow post-review changes to be made. The issue I have is how it's being enforced by Apple, and as you'd expect it's all down to communication, again.

We still only have anecdotal evidence on what has actually happened and while that continues both the creators of these tools, and the developers who are using them are left in this difficult/impossible situation of not knowing what's going to happen to their apps. It'll probably take a couple of weeks to see full impact of this, and I really feel do for you if you have an app that's being affected by the changes.

People build businesses on the App Store and to have the possibility of changes like this being enforced with zero notice after years of them being fine on the App Store is completely unacceptable in that situation. If this change is intentional (which we can only assume it is) then it should have come with a detailed description of what's happening and a notice period to give app owners a chance to react and continue to run their apps.

Apple can definitely do better at handling situations like this.

Dave Verwer

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